Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spicy Pork Intestine Stir-Fry with Pickled Mustard...

Kowabung-a! Innards, intestines, bung, chitterlings, chitlins... all words that describe this you-love-it or you-hate-it exotic delicacy. I am in the l.o.v.e it camp-- so much that I decided to try cooking it at home. Typically, I love intestines Chinese-style, sliced and flash-fried until crispy on the outside and chewy on the interior-- often enjoyed with a bowl of plain congee (jook), especially for late night eats (siu yeh), but lately I`ve really appreciated them stir-fried with chillies and loads of garlic. And that was my goal tonight. At Asian markets you'll find this part of the large intestines labelled as bung. Its unusual taste can be described as meaty, porky but definitely offal-ly! To me, bung`s texture is the main attraction-- tender with lots of fatty tissue inside, and some chewy resistance owing to the mass of tissues unique to that region. But first things first, to get to the finished dish, I must get crackin`on the cleaning! And that is a feat in itself... Pheeeew, with the plastic off the intestinal package, its aroma instantly hits you full-on of foul digestive matter. With the help of a thorough flour and vinegar bath, those putrid tubes were no longer singing the blues. And my stir-fry dish with chillies and pickled mustard greens turned out delishush! I suppose, it`s right to say here No Guts No Glory :) !

Enjoying a Chinese lunch of hot and sour soup, green onion pancakes and stir-fried intestine with onions and chillies a week ago that inspired my foray into bung debunking... 

Lunch with my sister at Chinese Dumpling House

Spicy Pork Intestine Stir-Fry with Mustard Greens
Makes 6-8 Servings

1/2 lb. pork large intestine (different from the small which looks like a string of macaroni bunched together)
4 to 5 ginger slices
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped
2 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
2 sweet pepper chillies or 1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 fingerling green chillies, chopped
1/2 package (250 g) pickled sour mustard, rinsed and chopped

all-purpose flour (for cleaning)
white vinegar (for cleaning)
1-1/2 Tbsp. cooking oil, divided
1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1/2 tsp. dark mushroom soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp. sugar
sesame oil

Prepare all your ingredients and set aside before cleaning the intestines.

Start by filling a basin full of cold water and submerging the intestines to first rid of its initial funky aroma and residues. Cleaning is not for the faint of nose... be prepared for stink! And look for areas of the tubes that may contain nasty bits. I had to cut off an assuming grey-looking chunk to discard. 

Pour out the water and add some all-purpose flour-- about 1/2 cup and work and rub it into the intestines. Rinse with cold water, open the tubes and let the water run through. Then, pour vinegar into the tubes and let it drain out the other end. Pour vinegar into the basin and smoosh the intestines around. Let it sit for ten minutes to an hour if you can to really clean and remove the stench. Wash and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Meanwhile, boil water in a pot with a little salt and add ginger slices. Add intestines and boil for ten minutes until cooked through-- they will firm into solid cylinders and a chopstick will easily pierce through.

Carefully slice hot cooked intestines on a 1/2-inch angle.

Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in skillet/wok on medium-high and add onions; stir-fry until aromatic and translucent, then add the sliced intestines and 1/2 garlic. Cook for two minutes, and add soy sauces. Cook another minute and transfer onto plate and set aside.

Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, remaining garlic, chillies and peppers. Stir-fry for two minutes, then return intestines to the skillet/wok. Toss ingredients together, add sugar, drizzle the cooking wine and let simmer for another minute or two. Finish with a touch of sesame oil.

Voila-- savoury, pickle-ly and spicy-- the combination of flavours, and crunchy & chewy textures was insanely delish!

Served with steamed rice, Cilantro Chicken Wings, Chinese greens with oyster sauce, Steamed Fish with Ginger and Onions and a side of kimchi. What a complete and delicious meal!

For the leftover 1/2 package of sour pickled mustard, try using it in my Pork Rib Soup with Pickled Mustard Greens.

Cleaning was a bit tedious and took some time but it's not mission impossible. I challenge you, the next time you're at a restaurant enjoying some delicious but less common cut of meat, offal or ingredient, do a bit of recipe research and learn how the dish is put together-- it'll either make you appreciate the efforts of the dish more, or if you are adventurous in the kitchen like me, could it nudge you to give something new to add to your cooking repertoire.... remember-- no guts no glory (pun intended-- lol)!


  1. I love offal! Pork and beef intestines, pork uteri, heart, liver, kidney, sweetbreads, book tripe, pig stomach, tongue, feet, tails, pig's head, etc. I'm half-Japanese so eating "weird" food is not unusual (like fermented squid, fish, vegetables). Some of my Western friends won't touch the stuff I eat. This recipe looks delicious! I am particularly fond of fermented greens, turnip, and radish. I recently stir fried some spicy beef intestine with Chinese broccoli and onions! Ate the leftovers for breakfast. Within 5 minutes of me are 2 Asian markets and a Latino market. All stock various types of offal so I have access to a variety of wonderful ingredients. You know, sometimes I get tired of plain old chicken, beef, or pork. Give me a silkie or a duck any day, some chicken or duck feet. Thanks for this! I hope people are inspired to try offal! Psst...some Super Walmarts carry offal. Usually tripe, tongue, beef intestines, trotters to name a few. Worth checking out especially if where you live has a big Latino population. I even found an entire pig's head there! Once again, thanks!

    1. I wanted to add that the offal at Walmart is well cleaned so it makes prep time a lot easier!

    2. I made the comment about plain old chicken, beef or pork. That's regarding what can be found at the typical American grocery store. On occasion, I can find a find a farm raised chicken with the head and feet. That's good eating. Leaner and healthier than the factory-farmed chicken. It tastes like "real" chicken as I remember from my younger days before food additives, antibiotics, etc. were added to the feed. My great-grandfather had a farm so everything was fresh and just tasted so much better. He also made the best roast pork from the pigs he raised. I can't eat the pork from the grocery store. I try and I always end up giving the food away. It just tastes wrong. I love goat and lamb, though! They're not factory-farmed. Neither are Cornish hens which I love! Ok, I will quit ranting and raving about food and go to the Asian market to see what I can find for dinner! Lol!

    3. Hi Paizley! Thank you for taking the time to comment and for all the information. Love me 'em offals, and so happy to hear you enjoyed this post. Have you tried making the recipe? It is so wonderful with the pickled mustard greens. Thank you for the tip about where you can find these kind of cuts and guts (pardon the pun :D)-- who knew Walmart?... I shared it with my audience on facebook! Do keep me in the loop of new recipe ideas you are trying. Would like to cook more with these delicious parts from nose to tail... waste nothing right? Cheers!

  2. I'll have to ferment some some fresh mustard greens and make my own pickle. I love all kinds of pickled greens. That will go great with intestines like your creation above. Just made some lacto-fermented daikon radish with some added brine from fermented plums that I'd made. It's not going to last long since it lives by my sink and it keeps staring at me. Lol!

    Early this morning I started a batch of pork liver for eventual dry curing. I found a nice Thai cure for meats. Right now it's going through the process of having the water drawn out. I'll do that for 3-5 days. I'm not following a recipe; I'm just winging it. I do this with beef and salmon and they come out delicious. There's a lot more liquid in the liver. I'll have to let you know what steps I do next.

    Happy offal-ing!

  3. Hi Paizley, I love fermented and pickled foods! So very good for our digestive health and metabolism. Wow, curing pork liver... yes do tell :)

    1. I will keep you in the loop! Also would like to share a Japanese recipe made from raw squid. Totally nose to tail but squid don't have noses! Very tasty and featured once on Fear Factor as squid guts. When I saw that, I knew exactly what was being proffered. I would have guzzled it! Not for the Western contestants! LOL!!! Might not be for some of your followers but you shared large intestine! What could be worse/better? Open mind, open mouth, hungry belly! No WASTE!!

    2. Hi Paizley, I think I know the exact squid recipe-- is it Ika no shiokara? Oh my I love that stuff and the like. My brother lived in Japan for a decade and married Japanese. I visited 3 times and fell head over heels in love with everything-- food being #1. This is the kind of off-the-cuff food finds I adore and crave. They live here now with their son, and there's always some kind of Japanese dish we are enjoying over at their place. I also cook/share lots of Japanese dishes but raw squid would be the first. Would you be interested in being a guest blogger here with this very recipe? Let me know and I will send you what I'm looking for-- including photos:)... You can also email me at!! I hope you say yes! Cheers! :D