Alone in the Kitchen With a Pig's Uterus
Uteri, awaiting their fate
Of all the offal piled in bins at Fei Long Supemarket (6301 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn), the pig uteri are the most intriguing. Maybe it's their shiny, coiled, seashell-like forms, or maybe it's the fact that uteri somehow seem more out-of-the-ordinary than other guts, at least from my perspective. But if you eat sausage and tripe, why on earth draw the line at a uterus? If you really think about it, the reproductive organs are less objectionable than intestines (aka sausage casing). So I spooned some slithery uteri into a bag and toted them home.
Some sources say that uterus is believed to impart some sort of youthful, feminine energy to the eater. If nothing else, the uteri looked like one of those organs that lend crunchy texture and sauce-delivery-service to dishes.
It's possible that I've eaten uterus before, in the depths of some congee or unidentifiable in a hot dog, but I've never cooked it. My cookbook library doesn't have anything to say on the subject, and Epicurious politely replies, "We're sorry, we did not find any food recipe results for: uterus."
Some online scouring turned up this blog post, with a comment that suggests a stir-fry of uterus with garlic, dried chiles, dried shrimp, and soy sauce.
The uteri shimmied out onto my cutting board, shivering and jiggling as though they had minds of their own. Their texture reminds me of squid. I sliced them up, warmed canola oil over high heat, added sliced garlic, dried chiles, and then the uteri and dried shrimp. "Sizzle" said each uterus. A bare splash of soy sauce, and here we are.
The reproductive organs are slippery and crunchy--again, not unlike overcooked squid. But, like beef penis, uterus doesn't have much flavor, except a whiff of very wet dog, and an aftertaste of musky, murky piggishness.
Next time I find myself alone in the kitchen with a uterus or two, I'll probably throw in some Sichuan peppercorns and bean sauce, to give the dish more oomph. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my youthful feminine energy to kick in.
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