Hot and Sour Fried Tripe

Sri Owen is a brilliant Indonesian food writer. She’s also a friend of mine, and I know from private experience that her food is as wonderful as her recipes. This one comes from Indonesian Food and Cookery, her award-winning book. One does not think of people in Southeast Asia as being consumers of tripe, but, in fact, tripe is one of the best dishes in many Chinese restaurants. The Indonesians also do it very well. This is a totally unusual tripe recipe with its hot and sour flavorings, but the texture of tripe lends itself very well to the dish.


  • 2-2½ lb tripe
  • 5 shallots, unpeeled, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 fresh hot red chili peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground lemongrass
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp tamarind water (see note)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup oil for frying


Put the tripe into a large saucepan with the shallots, garlic, and chilies. Add the ground ginger, coriander, and lemongrass, the sugar, and salt to the tamarind water. Pour the mixture over the tripe. Add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer the tripe for 30 minutes.

Leave the tripe to cool in the cooking liquid. When cool, remove and drain the tripe, and brush away any pieces of herbs. Cut the tripe into small squares.

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the tripe, a few squares at a time, until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels.