My Attempts at Chinese Tripe

When I lived in London, I used to go, on my own, to Soho to the Chinese quarter to eat the sorts of things that other people didn’t eat, like tripe, duck’s webs, pig’s maw, and other such dishes. There was a restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue where they cooked the most delicious tripe dish, and I used to go there specifically to eat it. Then one day I came back from a trip abroad to discover, to my horror, that the restaurant had been bombed by the Triads and completely burnt out. I have never been able to find the same dish again in any other Chinese restaurant. This is my attempt to re-create it. It works quite well, and I hope that you will try it and like it too.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil (I use half sesame and half olive)
  • 1 bunch of green onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 fresh hot red chili peppers, chopped
  • A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped into thin strips
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 2 lb tripe, cut into squares
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (use the thick rich variety, not the lighter one)
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry

Method

In a wok or heavy frying pan, heat the oil, add the green onions, garlic, chilies, and ginger, and Stir-fry briefly. Add the five-spice powder and star anise, if using, and allow to cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the tripe and toss quickly in the oil, cooking for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sherry, and cook briskly over a high heat, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Then cover, turn down the heat, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

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