Ox Tongue with ponzu sauce

I only started eating ox tongue a few years ago when I had Japanese BBQ at Torimatsu. After that meal, I fell in love with the slightly chewy, crunchy and fragrant meat that many people probably wouldn’t touch. It’s not an easy meat to prepare but it’s quite cheap compared to other meats. I used to buy them for $4-5 each at good butchers and recently they were around $5-6 each. Not too bad if you ask me for the amount of enjoyment I get out of it.

Have you ever seen a tongue un-skinned? It’s not a pretty sight. Yuye used to skin the tongue himself which took about half hour each and was a very tedious task. Now we’ve found a store in Springvale that skins the tongue for us at an extra $1 per tongue. It’s a good deal!

Always pick a thicker tongue if available and I recommend asking your local butcher where you buy the ox tongue from to skin it for you as it really saves time. If you can’t find a place to skin it then do the following:

1. Freeze tongue for a few hours until roughly 80% frozen. It needs to be firm but not too hard so you can still get your knife through.

2. Slice all the skin off with a sharp knife, don’t be afraid to waste a bit of meat on it. The part that can be eaten is the fatty upper tongue part. The fattier it looks, the more tender it would be when cooked.

3. The skinned non-fatty parts (ie. the tip of the tongue and side parts that are not fatty) can be used in stews.

Although it’s not pretty, it really does taste good. Trust me. 😉

The tongue also needs to be around 80% frozen to be able to cut into thin pieces after it’s skinned. Yuye used to cut this by hand but I convinced him to cut it with our meat slicer which is a lot easier and less time consuming.


Ox Tongue with ponzu sauce

Serves 4

– 1 ox tongue, skinned
– 30ml ponzu sauce*
– 1/2 lemon
– salt and pepper
– chilli powder (optional)


1. Lightly salt and pepper ox tongue pieces (add chilli powder if you want a bit of heat)

2. Heat pan on high and add a small splash of cooking oil

3. Space each piece of ox tongue out and cook until golden brown

4. Pour ponzu sauce into a small bowl, add squeeze of lemon in the sauce or on the ox tongue pieces, serve immediately.

*Ponzu sauce is a Japanese dipping sauce which contains soy sauce and yuzu (a type of citrus fruit). This sauce can be purchased from all good Asian grocery stores. If the sauce can’t be obtained, you can substitute it with a mix of soy sauce and lemon juice.


Question time: Are you a fan of trying obscure foods and have you ever tried ox tongue? Did you like it?


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10 comments… add one
  • batasan January 4, 2012, 12:13 am

    dang, what happened to gyutan at the party, totally forgot to grill it

    did you eat it all already

  • Akika (Ichigo Shortcake) January 4, 2012, 12:22 am

    @batasan, horhorhor…nah we ate the leftovers from the ones we couldn't fit into the boxes. We froze those boxes we took to Tom's. 😛 Just waiting for the next party!

  • Choux-Fleur January 4, 2012, 12:31 am

    I had to say, I'm not a fan of ox tongue purely because it's… ox tongue. I think I once ate some accidentally and freaked out. I think I like obscure food combinations when it doesn't include offal.

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet January 4, 2012, 2:32 am

    LOL that picture of the ox tongue looks a little scary hehe and i dunno if i'd ever have the courage to cook it but i sure dun mind eating it! :)

  • Deanna January 4, 2012, 6:21 am

    I love tongue. I never make it at home, but I regularly order it at Mexican and Korean restaurants. I used to eat tongue sandwiches when I was little too. My grandma called tongue "easy meat" since you didn't need help to eat it.

  • JasmyneTea January 4, 2012, 10:35 am

    I tried it once, and the flavour and texture were nice, but I got grossed out at the thought of pashing an ox, lol.

  • Nic@diningwithastud January 4, 2012, 2:35 pm

    I tried ox tongue for the first time at a Korean BBQ place and was actually really surprised to like it lol. Not sure I could cut it though :(

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 4, 2012, 5:12 pm

    Thanks for your great instructions! I've eaten ox tongue a lot but never prepared it. I agree, it's delicious! 😀

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook January 4, 2012, 6:13 pm

    Holly crap. I've been eating gyutan (that's how we call it) for many years BUT never seen the tongue itself…. I am in shock!! It's delicious though… I can't cut the meat myself FOR SURE. You are SUPER brave!!!!

  • Akika (Ichigo Shortcake) January 5, 2012, 12:27 am

    @Choux-Fleur, it's so funny that you'd say that..I once ate dog meat (YES I KNOW) in China by accident, my dad actually lied that it was beef. I was totally yucked out. I understand how it feels 😛

    @Daisy, it does look kinda yuck doesn't it? It really does taste good though so what it looks like doesn't matter 😛

    @Deanna, tongue in sandwiches? I've never thought of that before, sounds very interesting. 😀

    @JasmyneTea, I understand 😀 I'm not too sure why I wasn't grossed out by the fact, maybe it was too delicious 😛

    @Nic, cutting is quite hard if you don't have a slicer and have to do the skinning by hand as well…I'm so glad we found a butcher that can skin it for us!

    @Lorraine, no problems :) Eating it at home is so much cheaper though so it's become a favourite item to bring to friends' BBQs 😀

    @Nami, I normally call it gyutan too 😛 But changed it just for the blog so it's easier to undertand, hehe..we didn't have a choice at the start because we didn't know we could get it skinned!


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