Although prized for millennia, tongue is not eaten much today; for many, it is a delicious treat awaiting discovery.

Here we present three recipes for tongue. It can be eaten as a meal in itself or in sandwiches.

1 ox tongue
2 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch continental or flat leafed parsley, chopped
4½ oz | 125g butter or margarine
2½ oz | 75g plain flour
2 egg yolks
juice of 1 lemon

Clean the tongue by boiling it in water until the skin can be removed readily.

Discard all the water, refill with fresh water and boil with the salt, peppercorns and chopped onions until the tongue is tender.

Remove the tongue and place on a plate. Keep the water.

In another pot make the fricassee sauce. Melt the butter and bring to a boil, throw in the flour and stir to make a paste, reduce the flame, then add some of the liquid from the boiled tongue to make the sauce, a cupful at a time, until it thickens. Add the chopped parsley.

Add the sliced tongue

Just before serving add the beaten egg yolks and lemon juice to the sauce and tongue.


Ox tongue

2 tbsp crushed garlic
2 bay leaves
½ bunch of shallots, chopped fine
½ bottle of white wine
salt, pepper

Mix all the ingredients.

Boil the ox tongue for a short time until the skin can be removed readily.

Marinate the cleaned tongue and leave covered in the refrigerator for 1–2 days.


3 garlic cloves
½ bunch scallions or white globe onions, chopped fine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin of tomato soup
1 tsp of sweet paprika
¼ tsp of chilli powder
¼ tsp cumin
½ inch | 12mm ) ginger sliced into pieces
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins Brand)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tamarind paste

Fry the garlic cloves in a little oil until brown, remove the cloves and fry the ginger and onions for 1 min.

Then add all the other ingredients and fry for a couple of minutes until well combined.

Add the tongue and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the flame and simmer until the tongue is soft.

Remove the tongue, slice into pieces and place in a dish. Pour the gravy over the tongue.

Calf tongue from an unknown author, identified only as Mãe (Mother)

We have not yet tested this recipe. It is recorded here to allow experimentation and verification.

1 calf’s tongue, well cleaned *
lard for frying
1 medium onions
2 spring onions
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind juice (optional)
chopped chilli to taste (optional)
1 piece of ginger, sliced (optional)
2 tomatoes, diced (optional)

Proportions were not given in the original recipe. Quantities given here are guesses.

* Normally, tongue would be cleaned by parboiling and skinning.

In a saucepan just large enough to hold the tongue, gently fry the onions and spring onions, then add the tongue and the rest of the ingredients, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.

Scroll to Top