I have already featured here a recipe for “asadong dila or lengua” but to satisfy a reader’s request, particularly asking an even simpler way to cook the sweetish-salty Chinese influenced-Filipino dish using just basic and ordinary ingredients, I am posting this second version of preparing the dish. Whilst this is easy, simple and requires just a few common Filipino ingredients be surprised not that this still tastes great. With enough patience in slowly simmering the meat, tongue or “lengua”, until it is already succulent but still with the correct amount of sauce, you can’t go wrong doing the dish.
I usually prepare this dish in large quantity. Not only because I really love it but because there are many other uses of the already cooked “asado”, be it a straight beef asado or like in this case, using the tongue meat. It can be used as filling for “siopao” or Filipino-Chinese steamed bun; bread rolls or baked buns or empanada; and wrapped up foods like burrito, soft taco, tortilla and probably even like in a la “shawarma”. It also remains good tasting over a long period of time kept in the fridge and a handy source of quick food when in a hurry. During an unannounced visit of guests and relatives, it could well save you from stress thinking of what food to urgently serve. :-)
However in this preparation, where we are after a simplified process and short list of ingredients, I will only use a single piece of ox tongue to fully show the cooking method in details. If you will be serving it in a rather big family or group, just double or triple the quantities of the ingredients, depending on your requirement.
To cook the version number 2 of my Filipino-style ox tongue asado, or “asadong dila” as we call it in the Philippines, we shall need: 1 pc medium ox tongue from local beef, about 800 grams or 2 lbs. As usual, ox tongue from Sri Lankan market is already clean and skin covering removed thus, scalding, boiling, scraping and washing is no longer necessary. :-)
The other ingredients we need are 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered, 6 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed, 1 pc bay leaf or “laurel”, ½ tsp whole peppercorn, 1 pc star anise, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp natural vinegar, ¼ cup soy sauce and about 2-3 cups water (enough to cover) or unsalted broth if you have.
In a wok, heavy pan or casserole, place the tongue in the middle then add all the dry ingredients on top and around it. Pour the liquid ingredients including water on top of the meat. Over high heat, let the liquid boil. Once boiling, set the heat to the lowest setting and slowly simmer the meat.
Continue simmering until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hours or slightly less. Since I am using a wok, I cut the tongue lengthwise to have it fully submerged in the liquid for even cooking. Add broth or hot water, 1/2 cup at a time if the liquid is drying up. We need about a cup and half of the rich sauce at the end.
Separate the tongue from the sauce. Strain the sauce and discard the remnants of spices and other solid ingredients. Scoop out the oil that will float on the surface of the sauce, if there is any. Cut the tongue diagonally into ¼ inch thick.
In the same wok, heat about 1 tbsp of the oil collected from the sauce surface or if there is none or you don’t like it, use new vegetable oil. Slightly fry the cut up meat until it sizzles. Return the sauce in the wok and continue simmering. Taste and adjust the sugar level to your sweet-salty preference. Slightly stir for the sauce to fully coat the meat. When the sauce has slightly thickened, it’s done.
Transfer to a medium platter, pour the sauce on top and serve with steamed rice and steamed or buttered vegetables, if you have. Easy but yummy! Enjoy! :-)
As expected, the succulent ox tongue and its rich tasty sauce is truly delicious and satisfying. Try it. I believe this revised procedure and use of ingredients are now simple enough for everyone. c“,)