Braised and Broiled Beef Tongue

Beef Recipes

Braised and then Broiled Beef Tongue set on top of Chayote Squash

(Harini’s version of Empal Lidah – Origin: East Java)

For serious meat lovers, beef tongue has been known for its tenderness and succulence. Jeff “introduced” me to this meat a few years back. He ordered a delicious beef tongue dish (I don’t recall the name now) once when we dined at Chicago’s Colombian restaurant, Las Tablas (on Lincoln Ave.), and then again at El Llano (also on Lincoln). He said that the plate reminded him of a couple of Indonesian dishes he enjoyed so much: braised and pan-seared beef tongue and a beef tongue stew. I had never tried these dishes before and was intrigued. Jeff’s story  inspired me to make the braised and pan-seared one. The only difference I did was that after braising, I broiled the meat instead of pan searing it. Jeff and I would have this dish every now and then. When we have it, I usually pair it with a chayote squash in spicy broth and serve them together over white jasmine rice.

Chayote squash in spicy broth with shrimp (optional)

The way I like to cook beef tongue is to make the meat to be tender in the inside and crispy on the outside. Braising the meat for at least two hours and then broiling it a little bit inside of an oven work for my preference.

Here’s how I cook the meat:

First we will need:

  • 2 pounds of sliced (skinless) beef tongue. A little note about beef tongue for those who have never cooked it before: some grocery stores meat department may only carry the whole meat (not sliced).  If so, you’d have to remove the skin and fat by cooking the whole meat in a large pot for about 30 minutes, remove and let it cool, chop it into big chunks, and then cut off the skin and fat. The skin comes off easier when the meat is hot.
  • 2 cups of white vinegar

Chop and mix in a food processor:

  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 6 shallots
  • 6 candlenuts
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For aroma:

  • 1 Lemongrass (Cut and throw away the very top and bottom part and then halve it)
  • 2 lime leaves
  • 1 inch of galangal root


  • Place the whole meat in a large pot and cover it with water
  • Bring to boil and let cook for 30 minutes and then dump the water
  • Put the vinegar in a larger bowl that can be used to soak the meat
  • Cut the whole meat into larger chunks
  • Cut off the skin, trim away the fat, and throw them away
  • Slice the meat into 1/2 inch thick
  • Wash with water and then soak them in the vinegar bowl for 10 minutes and then drain
  • Return the meat in the larger pot and cover it again with water over medium heat
  • Add the chopped and mixed spices from the food processor along with lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal root
  • Stir and mix well
  • Cover with a lid and let it cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until liquid is reduced by ¾
  • Place the braised meat on an aluminum-foil-layered tray, broil in the oven with the door slightly ajar for about 5 minutes or until the outer part of the meat turns golden brown
  • Best served with white jasmine rice

Serve 4

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