Pork Heart: Phnom Penh Noodle Soup from Sekong By Night
|Thin-sliced strips of pork heart afloat in a steaming bowl of Phnom Pehn Noodle Soup from Sekong By Night.|
This week: Phnom Penh Noodle Soup served up by the newly opened Cambodian restaurant, Sekong By Night.
The Ick Factor: Intestine and liver and heart, oh my! While this offal trifecta may sound a bit intimidating, it contains one of the best cuts o' beast out there for inducting someone into the realm of offal eats: Pork Heart. Chicken, beef and pork hearts are lean, mean, blood pumping machines.
Bloody disgusting? We prefer to think of them as bloody delicious. But if this noodle soup still sounds a bit on the strange side, just consider the fact that every time you snap into a Slim Jim, you're snapping into tasty, ground heart bits (among other questionable ingredients). Slim Jim or a delicate rice noodle soup? We think the choice is clear.
(bite into all the juicy details after the jump)
|A hearty pig pile, in the raw.|
|A close-up of the pork heart.|
The taste and texture of just about any type of heart makes it an ideal first-tier offal meat that should be familiar to many diners. It tastes like a pork-beef hybrid. It has a texture of a pork-beef hybrid. And if you cut it into thin slices, it even looks like...well, at least the taste and texture are familiar. Pork heart has some weird looking valves extending off the top.
You Know It's Cooked Improperly When: It tastes like gamey old shoe leather. The older the pig heart, the more pumping it did before going out of commission. It's like the difference between stringy mutton and succulent lamb chops. Since heart can be a bit tough at times, look for dishes or recipes that use either a quick sear or a long and low stew to soften up those hearty chunks of tough muscle meat.
Always been a DIY-er? Pork heart isn't as common as chicken or beef hearts, but can still be picked up at any Mexi-mart or a pan-Asian mega market. Snag a couple pig hearts and whip up some Cambodian noodle soup, with whatever extra meaty cuts your little heart desires.
Know of some offal that we just have to try? Let us know in the comment section.