Asian Inspired Recipe from Zion Market in Hawaiian Gardens

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I woke up this morning with the sudden urge to eat meat after five months of veganism. So I shaved my legs, chopped off my dreads, and hopped in my SUV to my local Asian grocer to find the most meatiest piece of meat possible. My quest ended at the The Zion Market, located at 12565 Carson Street in Hawaiian Gardens. Now let me just warn you, this market is like going to a college house party. Everyone is pushing and shoving and the smell alone can get you high, but I love the store all the same.

With my foodie sister, Nikol ZumMallen, by my side, we immediately made an a-line for the meat counter. Spread along the back of the store were multiple displays of fish, some dead, some alive, and countless cuts of meat. But it was the beef tongue that called my name and we knew we had just found the perfect summer recipe. We made our purchases, drove quickly home, and began drinking.

We consulted our cookbooks to find the perfect wine pairing for beef tongue on a sweltering July weekend and found that a raspberry wine spritzer over ice was the preferred choice. A few corks later we were ready to cook.

Before tampering with the tongue, we decide to warm up our culinary skills on a seaweed salad with sliced cucumbers and avocados. The seaweed comes prepackaged and marinated. Just slice cucumbers and avocados and gently place them in the bowl you just dumped the seaweed in. See our step by step pictures below for reference. We let this sit in the fridge to chill while moving on to the main course.

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Seaweed salad. All photos by Nikol ZumMallen.

It’s tongue time! This recipe is quick, easy, and perfect for a barbeque. The tongue we purchased came already thinly sliced. If your family has never tried beef tongue before, now is a great time to serve it up and tell them afterwards what they just ate. I can thank Nikol for getting me to try my first taste.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 1 lb beef tongue slices (you can purchase it at Market of Zion supermarket or most Asian Markets)

3 Tbsp. Soba noodle base sauce
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. sake
1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp. yuzu juice (or lemon juice)
1/8 large onion (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Prep: Combine seasonings to make marinade. Add tongue. After marinating to your desired level of saturation, grill about 1 minute per side.

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Note: All ingredients used in today’s recipe can be found at Market of Zion.

We completed this meal with a side of soba noodles (buckwheat noodles) made with ¼ cup of the soba noodle base sauce to every two servings of soba noodles (you can eyeball it). The noodles take about five minutes to cook after water is boiling. Since the beef tongue is thin and cooks quickly you can start this at the same time. As a garnish we chopped some leftover cucumbers from the seaweed salad and served on top of the noodles.

A few words on the final product: The texture of tongue is no different from any other thinly sliced meat, very similar to sukiyaki. Since the tongue is a muscle it is also very lean. Once combined with our marinade it was like an explosion of Japan on the tastebuds. The overall meal is light, fresh, and leaves your tongues wagging for more.

Bon Appetit!

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