They’re plump and juicy and oh so tasty. This is by far my favourite meat dish that my mother prepares so well. I was at her house the other day and helped her cook this delicacy which many would cringe by just hearing the word “kidney” which I can completely understand especially when you’re aware of its main function in human or animal bodies. But if properly cleaned and cooked, it can be nutritious and so pleasant tasting.
Known for its pungent smell and taste, pork kidney has a very similar texture as liver when uncooked. It’s no stranger to Asian cuisine, and certainly not in my family’s kitchen. Although I have tasted kidneys cooked in different ways, I find it tastes best when cooked medium-rare with very little seasoning. When overcooked in overwhelmingly thick creamy sauces, often found in European recipes, the true taste of the kidney is completely masked…might just as well use regular meat cuts if you can’t taste anything but the sauce. The simpler its preparation, the better you’ll get out of the authentic taste of this wonderful dish. It’s eaten best when served fresh that same day.
This recipe has been, and still is a long time favourite in my household. It’s so simple and tasty that there never is any left over.
Preparation : 10 minutes, Cooking time : 5 minutes
Recipe « au pif » :4-6 pork kidneys
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 fresh scallion, sliced à la julienne
1 tbsp vegetable oil
* Ask your local butcher to clean it for you. They have the proper knives and technique to remove the impurities from the kidneys. *
How to cut the kidneys:With a sharp knife, make cris-crossed diagonal incisions on the surface of the kidneys. This will allow them to cook quickly while keeping them plump and juicy. Cut the kidneys in about 2 inch pieces.
How to clean the kidneys:½ tsp salt
¼ cup white vinegar
3 cups water
Boil the water in a large sauce pan, add the salt and vinegar and the kidneys. Don’t cook the kidneys, just let them sit for about 10 seconds. Discard water and put kidneys aside.
Heat oil in a hot Teflon pan, on medium-high heat. Add in the chopped onions and stir for about 10 seconds.
Add the pieces of kidneys and stir fry for about 20 seconds.
Add the fish sauce and stir fry for another 60 seconds, or until the kidneys have browned a little but they’re still a little pink in the center. * You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll be dry and tough*.
Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the scallions.
Serves 4 people.
Share and enjoy!