I’d like to say that I’m not exactly sure what makes people a little squeamish when it comes to various foods… but even I was a little squeamish here… Though I seem to get over it quickly. I think actually that I’ve been brainwashed very well by society’s endeavour to commodity food and distance it from the actual animal. I will admit that. I also think that growing up with parents who would eat just about anything and a mother whose motto is – anything can be eaten if it’s cooked properly – also certainly has had an impact on me. This is probably also why I’m so willing, often eager to try new things and unusual foods don’t phase me… except to make me very curious to try them. That being said it’s certainly not lost on me that some folks aren’t quite as willing to try different things… take for instance duck tongues.
Living in the Canadian Prairies my food landscape can often feel a little limiting. Though because I’m a food blogger I follow various other food blogs and seek out new things, most of which I can often times find in my speciality store wanderings regardless of the most obvious of foods. I first found duck tongues on Jules‘ blog. Needless to say I was intrigued. So when I came upon them at a little Asian store behind my office I just couldn’t resist. The description was interesting, crispy, buttery and not really fatty and not really meaty, certainly not gamey. They didn’t seem to be a challenge to cook so why not give them a whirl?
I have to say that they were interesting. I can definitely see how they could become addictive on a hot summer day, with a nice cold beer — as a snack. Because I like my food spicy whenever there’s an opportunity when I marinated them I added some hot pepper flakes and also added them to the cornstarch batter though admittedly that didn’t actually make them spicy at all so I was a little disappointed. I think I’d make these again though I would change up the recipe. I’ll give you the directions to the ones pictured and eaten because it’s been a bit of an experiment that I think anyone with an adventurous soul should try but I’ll also suggest that maybe just breaded simply with flour, egg and fine breadcrumbs they might actually be much better. I found that the batter didn’t stick very well and they looked a little dark due to the marinating which I’m not sure was necessary.
Still they were good… they were addictive and they were interesting…. if you’re up for it… try them this way or you can bread them the way I breaded pickerel cheeks a few posts ago… I’m going to try them that way next time… maybe with some cajun seasoning sprinkled on them after frying? Some of my cooking can be a work in progress… But these were worth sharing just the same.
I knew going in, from various internet searches that they have a little bone in them. Some people say you can eat it but I was not so inclined. They are easy enough to eat, hold the blunt end, put in your mouth and bite down scraping all the silky goodness into your mouth as you pull out the bone with your fingers. Simple. I was a little concerned that they might be like pig tails in their fattiness, which admittedly I’m not so fond of but they really weren’t. They were a little fatty in texture but really more buttery, so if you dislike fatty parts of meat don’t scratch these little babies off your list of things to try. They are a flavour and texture all unto themselves.
- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/8 cup Sake
- 1/2 raw onion cut in quarter
- 1/2 inch chopped fresh ginger
- 2 (or more) sliced fresh garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Marinate the duck tongues for 1 – 2 hours in the refrigerator and then take out and blot them dry.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch (enough to make a paste that is a thick porridge consistency so that it will stick to the tongues)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Once the tongues have marinated blot them dry and coat them with the batter, throw into a deep fryer or a pan with oil and fry until the batter is golden brown. Put them in a bowl lined with paper towels and enjoy… you may want to salt and pepper or season as soon as they come out of the fryer… they need a little extra love. Enjoy!