If you think the only parts of the cow to eat are below the neckline, you’ve got some news coming. Cow tongue is delicious, versatile, and does not feel even one bit strange when it brushes again your own tongue. Give tongue a taste test of your own — you won’t be disappointed!
The most common way tongue is offered in Japan is grilled. It can be cut thick or thin, and, just as is the case with steak, there are grades of beef tongue. The more expensive cuts tend to be softer and more flavorful, even when grilled. A bit of salt-n-pepper and a quick squeeze of lemon is all it takes to make for a gustatory delight when it comes to grilled cow tongue.
Sendai is a city in eastern (or, depending on your disposition, northern) Japan, located about 350km above Tokyo. It’s the biggest city between Tokyo and Sapporo, but one of the things it’s most well known for is a love of beef tongue. Therefore it is not surprising that, while grilled cow tongue can be found all over the country, in Sendai you can easily find tongue prepared in a number of different ways.
Slow cooked tongue, either as a stew or in a clear soup, is a heaven to behold. The slow cooking makes the thick pieces of tongue fork-tender, and gush with flavor. Another popular tongue-in-cheek use is smoking. Smoked tongue is a fantastic otsumami, or something to eat while having a beer or some other relaxing beverage. Tongue curry, tongue jerky, and so much more is out there in the Sendai tongueosphere that you could make a whole vacation out of the adventure. Still, when’s all said and done, many will argue that nothing gets the proverbial cat’s tongue as the speechlessness experienced when eating a high grade, perfectly grilled piece of cow tongue. And after that, there’s simply nothing more than can be said!