Although tripe can be cooked in a variety of ways to minimize its chewy texture, steaming is one of the easiest methods. The honeycomb form of tripe, taken from the second stomach in a cow, is considered the most tender and meatiest form of tripe. For best results and quicker steaming time, purchase cleaned honeycomb tripe that has been pre-rinsed to remove the stomach contents. Steamed tripe is tasty on its own, but makes a versatile ingredient to add to other dishes.
Use a sharp knife to trim visible fat from the tripe and edges that may still appear unclean. Cut the tripe into pieces of a uniform thickness, removing any remaining interior membranes.
Wash the tripe thoroughly under cold, running water. Place tripe in a bowl and cover with enough water to submerge the meat. Soak the tripe in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, then discard the soaking water.
Season the tripe with desired seasonings, tossing to coat. Good complementary choices are salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, red chili peppers or cloves.
Add enough water or broth to a large pot so that it reaches a few inches below the bottom of your steamer basket or insert, but doesn't touch it. Place the steamer over the liquid.
Add the seasoned beef tripe to the center of the steamer basket. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid that will contain the steam and moisture and not allow any to escape.
Check the tripe after 10 to 15 minutes of cooking to make sure that the liquid hasn't boiled too low. Add more water or broth as needed. The tripe should steam for around 30 minutes to soften it and allow the seasonings to flavor the meat.
Remove the tripe from the basket and allow to drain thoroughly. Serve immediately as is, add it to a soup or stew or saute it along with some chopped onions and vegetables.
- Steamed tripe is a popular ingredient for Chinese dim sum dishes, placed inside pot sticker wrappings. Add Chinese spices to the tripe when you're preparing it prior to steaming.
- Be sure to wash your hands and cooking surfaces after handling raw tripe to avoid contamination with food pathogens.