Very Crispy Tongue with Chili Bean Paste and Sichuan Peppercorns Recipe


Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 1/2 pounds beef, veal, or pork tongue (about 1 beef tongue or 2 to 3 pork tongues)
  • 2 quarts stock low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 to 12 dried Chinese red chilis
  • 3 scallions cut into 1-inch segments
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan chili bean paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine, sherry, or dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, chili oil, or a combination


  1. Place the tongue(s) in a pot and cover with water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook until tender, about three hours, adding extra liquid as needed. Let the tongue cool, then remove the tongue from the stock and set the stock aside for another use.

  2. When tongue is cool enough to handle, peel the outer membrane off the tongue and discard. Cut the tongue into slices slightly thicker than 1/4-inch.

  3. Add a 1/4 cup oil to the skillet and place over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add the slices of tongue and cook until brown and crisp on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side, another 3 minutes. (Reduce heat if tongue or oil is smoking excessively). As slices of tongue brown, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

  4. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a wok set over medium low heat until shimmering. Add the chilis, scallions, and Sichuan peppercorns, and stir-fry until aromatic, 20 to 30 seconds.

  5. Add the slices of tongue to the wok. Add the chili bean paste and stir-fry vigorously to coat the tongue, about 20 seconds longer. Add the rice wine and soy sauce. Add salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon. Keep stirring the tongue around in the wok to evenly distribute the seasonings. Remove from the heat, stir in the oil(s), and serve immediately.

Special equipment

3-quart sauce pan or soup pot, 14-inch skillet, wok

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