Lengua (beef tongue)

    4 hours 10 min

    "This beef tongue takes a little time to prepare but is very tasty served in some warm corn tortillas.

    21 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 1 beef tongue
    • 1 large onion, chopped, divided
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 3 tablespoons salt
    • 1 whole jalapeno or green chilli, stemmed
    • 3 whole tomatoes
    • 2 whole jalapeno or green chillies, stemmed
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:3hr25min  ›  Extra time:30min  ›  Ready in:4hr10min 

    1. Place the tongue, 1/2 of the chopped onion, garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons salt and 1 chilli into a large pot. Fill with water to cover the tongue by several centimetres, then bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until very tender, 3 to 4 hours. Remove the tongue from the water and allow to cool. Reserve the liquid. Once the tongue has cooled, peel off the tough outer skin, then shred the meat using two forks.
    2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the whole tomatoes and 2 chillies; boil until the vegetables are tender. Place the vegetables into a blender, and puree until smooth.
    3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
    4. Once the onion has softened, stir in the shredded beef tongue and tomato salsa. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then pour in 500ml of the reserved cooking liquid. Cook and stir until the liquid has evaporated, leaving moist, flavourful meat, about 20 minutes.

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    Reviews in English (18)


    It was my families first time with lengua and we are impressed. This recipe probably has a lot to do with our liking it. I used chilli peppers in place of jalapenos because the kids can tolerate it a lot better. We turned into tacos as well, with my husbands homemade salsa with tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, onions, lemon juice and garlic powder. I even chased the kids with the tongue before cooking, and they still liked eating it!!  -  19 Feb 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    My husband loves Lengua. We are currently in Hanoi Vietnam and I though why not while we are here to try this dish. I was about to get FRESH beef tongue which I think made the dish good. Instead of cooking the tomatoes, jalapenos separte I cooked it with the tongue and I added 1 cup of chicken broth. He said it was just like the kind he would get in his favorite restuarant in Texas. I have friends here now wanting the recipe. This is a keeper.  -  20 Jan 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is a tasty recipe. Try adjusting the cooking time and substituting with smoked tongue instead. Or better yet, apple wood smoke the tongue yourself. Simply delicious. Added a little fresh thyme, bay leaf, when cooking the tongue. Served the dish over rice, but I expect it would also be good with a side of boiled potatoes or over french fries.  -  11 Apr 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)