Stick Your Tongue Out and Say YUM – Grilled Veal Tongue Two Ways

Grilled Veal Tongue with Miso Dipping Sauce

So I know what you’re already thinking (if you’ve even dared to read this post at all!) – tongue?! WHA-WHA-WHAT!? I think i just threw up a little. Nasty. Or, maybe you’re thinking, “interesting… I’d give it a try… I trust these two.” And possibly you’ve been lucky enough to have tried tongue before and can honestly understand why we’re pressuring all of you out there to give this cheap cut of offal a try. Seriously, folks, trust us on this one. It’s cheap and it’s tasty. There’s one catch – as it is often with certain cuts of offal, tongue (both beef and veal) is high in saturated fat. But remember, tongue is to be eaten as a special dish – this is not a cut you’re going to eat twice a week.Many of you may have eaten beef tongue before as it is a popular cut of offal to eat in many types of cuisines such as Mexican, Jewish, German, Philippino, Vietnamese, Spanish Russian and Persian cuisine. One of the most popular ways of eating beef tongue is in beef tongue stew. But when I saw a nice piece of veal tongue for only $2 in my grocery store, I knew I had to pick it up and cook it at home. But how to do it? And then I thought about all the ways I have eaten tongue in the past and remembered my absolute favorite way to eat it – grilled like I’ve had it at my favorite Korean (Korean BBQ) and Japanese (Yakiniku) restaurant. So with that in mind, we cut the skin off our tongue, sliced it as thinly as possible, grilled it on high heat for about 15 to 25 seconds on each side ate it two ways: basted with sesame oil/sea salt and topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon and topped with the delicious Korean scallion salad (Pa Muchim) with a side of Miso dipping sauce. It was fun to eat and absolutely delicious.

Grilled Veal Tongue with Miso Dipping Sauce

Just as a note, getting the skin off of tongue seems like a daunting task to some. Often, people will buy it already cooked or smoked so the skin is already removed. Many times it is cooked in water at a very, very low temperature (UNDER a boil) as to not over-cook it and supposedly the skin comes right off. We decided to not take the amount of time it should take to make traditional Japanese grilled tongue which should be soaked in water for hours, cooked in water slowly and then salted for 24 hours before it is finally grilled or braised. We took a sharp knife and hacked that skin off ourselves. It really wasn’t as difficult to do as we thought – plus we don’t always have to go for perfect-looking food.

I hope you all won’t be scared to give some tongue a try. Tongue on tongue action is a flavor sensation.  Also, check our Nuria’s version of Veal Tongue in a Vinaigrette Sauce – she’s got an awesome picture of the tongue before it’s been cut!  We forgot to take that picture!



What to do:

  1. Take the skin off your tongue and then slice into very, very thin slices – as thin as you can get them.  Heat your grill up smoking hot. 
  2. Make your Pa Muchim and allow to marinate.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil and sea salt.  When grill is hot, brush one side of the thinly sliced tongue with sesame oil/salt mixture and put that side down on the grill.  Brush the other side with the mixture and after 15 to 30 seconds, flip over and grill on other side.  Do this with half of your veal tongue slices.
  4. With the other slices, brush a bit of your miso sauce (see below) on each piece before if you’d like and grill for 15 to 30 seconds.  Brush a bit of miso sauce on other side and grill again.
  5. Serve the first set of grilled tongue with a squeeze of lemon and the other topped with Pa Muchim.  Dip both in miso sauce if you’d like.  Enjoy!

MISO DIPPING SAUCE (Make another batch to brush on tongue before grilling if you’d like)

Ingredients Grilled Veal Tongue with Miso Dipping Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon of miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced

What to do:

  1. Add all ingredients together and stir all together.
  2. Marvel to yourself at how freaking easy that was.

Check out some other posts you may enjoy:

28 thoughts on “Stick Your Tongue Out and Say YUM – Grilled Veal Tongue Two Ways

  1. If I COULD eat tongue, this looks like a great recipe. Because of a traumatic experience from my childhood I don’t think I could. When I was 8, my parents sent me to a very posh Hebrew summer camp (We are Catholic) in Westchester. One day they served tongue for lunch in the cafeteria. I just couldn’t bring myslf to eat it. The counselors forced me to eat every bit and I promptly became violently ill. I haven’t touched it since.

    I will, however, eat liver, gizzards, hearts, kidneys, tripe and numerous other things, so am I forgiven? 🙁

  2. Can I get invited to your house? =)

    While I’m not a big tongue eater, I don’t find it offensive and will venture into eating it, especially this, which looks so beautifully delectable.

    Thanks for posting this. I just might get inspired to try a recipe with beef tongue sometime soon!

  3. When I was little My Mom always made me tounge and I loved it. Dont know why and how I was introduced to it. Then one day she stopped. I couldnt remember the taste if I tried.I have to get the guts again to try it.

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever tried tongue. I’ve come a long way, but I’m not all the way there yet. One of these days…you certainly make it sound and look delicious and I’m certain it is…I just have this nonsensical psychological hangup on it…

  5. Well, your photos look good, but personally, I would NEVER eat a tongue (except my boyfriend “Big Bear’s”. LOL

    Something about a cow’s mouth that turns me off. Of course, my daughter says my big mouth turns HER off. LOL

    Louise (chiff0nade)

  6. being the jew that i am, i grew up on cow tongue. my grandma made it in a sweet and sour raisin sauce and it was great and we loved it. one day, by chance i walked into her kitchem. and there it was. in all it’s splendor. and i’ve never gone there since…

    but i WOULD I WOULD I WOULD – now i would, given the chance. i just haven’t had it offered up to me, nor have i thought to make it.
    i can’t say it’s on the short list but i look forward to having some again. it really does make quite the deli sandwich…

    tongue on tongue action… nice one…

  7. Interesting post, as ever. Couldn’t possibly do it – you are far more adventurous than me. I have eaten pressed, cold, cows tongue though and enjoyed this. I’m still mentally scarred from watching my mum cook it! My husband finds it offensive and so haven’t eaten this for years now.

  8. “tongue on tongue action” – witty! 🙂
    thanks for this post. i honestly have never been a fan, but then again, all i’ve tried is beef tongue. veal tongue, especially the way you prepared it, sounds more of a “sashimi” type of meal than anything… so.. maybe i’ll have to give it a try sometime!

  9. I don’t cook much meat at home, but this site is making making me want to! Everything looks so succulent. You’ve got some great Maillard reaction going on. By the way, sorry to bum you out with the post on Grant Achatz. The amazing thing is he’s doing well and is still cooking. To your health and happy blogging. Thanks for checking in.

  10. GREAT comments! I love that many of you admitted to your fear. It is definitely easy to get grossed out by the idea of tongue. That’s kind of one of the reasons I think that slicing it thin is one way to help you forget what it actually is – Mark totally hit the nail on the head. I really hope one of you that was skeptical gives it a try. It really tastes like meat!

    Susan – MAN! I’m a counselor and I think we may need a session just you and I to help you get over your much-deserved fear!!!! That’s a horrible story! The fact that you’ll virtually eat any other type of offal restores my faith in the fact that there may come a time when you will give the old ‘T’ a try!

    JS: come on over! any time.

    claudia: can you do a post on grandma’s tongue recipe??? it sounds freaking delicious.

    Candyce: you’ve gotta give this way of preparing tongue a try. seriously… you’ll think differently about it. grilled with a dipping sauce, you’ll think you’re eating something else.

    annie: i’m still bummed about that story!! but it makes you appreciate what you got! like my tastebuds on my tongue (swear pun was not intended).

  11. OK, when I walk past the butcher counter, I don’t shout out, “Damn, that’s a fine piece of veal tongue…that’s what we’re having tonight”. However, I’ll try anything once. Present this to me, tell me it’s some kind of Paillard in sauce and let me at at. Afterwards, tell me I ate tongue and I most likely fall in love with it.

  12. Hola lovely couple ;-). Thanks so much for the link 😀
    Great way to cook it… all flavour staying there! I have never done it this way, but make sure that next time… it will be grilled!

  13. I used to love tongue when I was a kid. We used to have braised pigs tongue, one each, with a slightly acidic buttery sauce. Yummmm, the texture of tongue is so nice and soft and almost sweet. I’m sure many people would like it, once they get over the idea of eating tongue.

    So with this childhood memory in my head I read Fuchsia Dunlop’s recipe for Man & Wife Slices. And decided to make it with veal tongue. And really, it was a big succes. I can recommend tongue to everybody. Recipe on my blog :

    But I can’t really imagine eating grilled tongue, without it being cooked for a very long time first. Wasn’t it very chewy?

  14. What’s up , Robin. Thank you so much for giving us a link to your great recipe! I’m going to look around your blog which looks really delicious.

    The grilled tongue wasn’t really chewy at all and that is because of how thin it was sliced. The next time we do this I will probably cut the skin off and then re-freeze it so I can use the mandolin to slice even THINNER slices… we’re talking a bit more than paper-thin. Thank you so much for your great comment. Your recipe looks SO tasty. Oh, and thank you for the description – it is kind of sweet!!

  15. One question here,
    You used red miso or white miso?
    I’m guessing should be red right?
    Just wanna make sure before I start making this yummy sauce!

  16. Haha, I hate to admit it, but although the thought of a nice bowl of gyodon or bibimbop with savory little slices of tongue sounds like exactly the thing I want to eat, the thought of slicing papillae off a giant cow’s tongue makes me a wee squeam. ‘Tis the price of eating meat, though! 😀

  17. I haven’t eaten tongue in many years. We make stuff from tongue too in Azerbaijan, but not everybody likes it. I used to eat it as a kid, but for some reason I don’t think I’d dare eat it now:)) It is a tongue after all:) Your dish looks delicious though:)

  18. I will remember this option of slicing the tongue paperthin and then grilling it. When I’ll try I’ll let you know for sure. It sounds like something I would like to try.

    Only, probably not very soon. How often does someone prepare tongue? 😉

  19. My grandmother used to always have tongue in her fridge. I think we ate it in sandwiches. I always thought it was a type of corned beef, called tongue. I remember asking what the slightly strange texture of the meat was from. A bit grainy… I don’t know why I didn’t make the connection that tongue was in fact an animal’s tongue. I was slightly traumatized. But, if served this as a guest, I’d give it a second try.

  20. I’m showing my mom this post now and she’s totally drooling over the tongue! My parents used to have huge parties with tons of little tapas sized dishes. One of these was a spicy tongue dish with a sweet ginger dip!
    She says “Cam On” to you guys for reminding her of the good old days when she had time to cook and have her parties more!

  21. “So with that in mind, we cut the skin off our tongue,….”

    That’s kind of disturbing :-p
    I did grow up eating tongue stew. I thought it would be too tough to just grill it directly without boiling it for a long time. Nice post.

  22. I am going to be making some Tongue Stew next payday.

    However, I am not nearly as repulsed by that as I would a meal they like to serve in Arkansas…eggs and brains…yep, eggs and pigs or cows brains.

    Sorry…talk gray matter and I’m turned off.

  23. My mother was from Versailles, & dad was Canadian French. My in-laws were Hungarian. We always laughed at people’s disdain for organ meat. No wonder they use a word that sounds like “awful” for it !!! Seriously though, the pioneers in both of our great countries, and those who lived through the dirty thirties, knew that these items were nourishing & could be delicious, so most of them made use of every item that could be made palatable. Maybe the present downturn in economy will wisen our present generation ?!? P.S. It is so easy to peel the outer skin of the tongue once it has been properly blanched. Why HACK it off ??? Mother died in her nineties and always found tongue so easy to digest. the last time I checked we had 3 tongues in the freezer [all beef]. I find pork tongues to be less soft than beef tongues when cooked… Keep making tongue converts guys !!! Roger & Out

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