Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 143

Steamed Pig's Ear: Ok, so today's post is a return to the stuff I enjoy the most: offal and any other related strange parts. I did some shopping today at the Super H Mart in Doraville, which is one of my fave places to browse. Their inventory is primarily Asian, and I always manage to find some great new foods there. After looking through the produce (which I've disturbingly eaten most of now), I wandered back to the prepared foods section to see if there was anything new. There was a long table where some cooked items were displayed, and I saw some tantalizing offerings, including pan-fried kimchi, some tasty looking fried mackerel, and the piece-de-resistance: this combo platter of pig offal. Aside from how awesomely interesting this looked, it was a way to score 4 new foods for less than $5. Nice. The platter included pig's ear, stomach, liver, tongue and some of the amazing Korean blood sausage that I love so much (but obviously won't count as new).

After a long day in the recording studio recording some bass tracks for a local producer, I ventured home to make some dinner, and I decided to try a bit of the pig's ear for an appetizer. I've eaten plenty of pig parts in my time, but never the ear. As far as I know, all the items in this package were cooked by steaming, and it also included a small container of the salt/spice mix that's common with many Korean dishes.
I grabbed a small piece of the ear (pictured above) and took a bite. Wow. I guess the texture could best be described as "squeaky." The ear was sliced thinly, and the fattier outer layer thinly covered the inner cartilage, which made a resounding "snap" when I bit into it. The "snap" kept happening as I kept chewing - this was a truly new texture for me. I can't say I enjoyed it, to be honest. It didn't have a lot of flavor on it's own, and it tasted more fatty than anything. I tried another piece, this time dipping it into the salt/spice mix, and that definitely added some flavor.

Maybe pig's ear is better when prepared other ways - a friend of mine has raved about a "crispy pig's ear salad" at a restaurant in Chicago. This was ok, but it was more about texture than taste. I'm looking forward to trying the rest of this platter over the next few days - stay tuned.


  1. i look forward to reading your blog everyday! i think it's amazing what you're doing! :) keep it up!!!

  2. Thanks! It's been a challenge, but I'm glad you're enjoying.