How To Cook Tripas: Complete Guide & Awesome Recipes

“Tripas” is a Spanish word – and it translates to “small intestines,” in English. To be more specific, we are talking about cow’s small intestines here.

Tripas can refer to cow’s intestines (when raw) and to a dish (when cooked). Tripas dishes are very popular in Mexican and Asian cuisines – but people from other countries are already catching on.

If you are into exotic dishes, you will probably like Tripas. However, it’s important to understand that as intestines, Tripas need to be cleaned really well. The resulting dishes using Tripas as the main ingredient will actually depend on how well the intestines were cleaned and if they’re cooked properly.

In this post, I will show you how to cook Tripas. You see, Tripas dishes are really simple to prepare – you just need to know what you’re doing. Read on and you will know the many different ways on how to cook dishes using Tripas.

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4 Ways to Cook Tripas

Tripas Recipe

Tripas Recipe

Method #1 – Fried Crispy Tripas Over the Stove

Frying is always an easy way to cook food – Tripas included. For such a recipe, you will need to boil and fry the intestines to achieve your goal (Crispy Tripas). Follow these steps:

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    Cut the Tripas in manageable length (about 6 to 12 inches) and wash (clean) inside and out.
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    Cook in boiling water and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. When done, strain.
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    Chop the Tripas into small bite-size pieces (about 1 inch).
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    Heat a skillet (medium high) and fry a small amount of Tripas at a time (a larger pan will accommodate more Tripas).
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    Cook according to your desired crispiness.
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    Serve hot with salsa, tortilla, etc.

Note: The Tripas are already cooked when they turn golden brown. At this point, their insides are still moist and soft. Cooking the food further will result in crunchier Tripas that are also dry and crispy inside.

Method #2 – Grilled Crispy Tripas Over Grill or Open Fire

If you’re going to serve crispy Tripas, cooking the intestines over the grill (open fire is another option) would result in a delicious dish. Think barbecue and camping when you want to cook Tripas this way. Here are the steps to grilling Tripas:

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    Cook by boiling in water (this step will soften and clean the Tripas further).
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    Strain the Tripas and throw the water away.
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    Cut the intestines in manageable sizes (about 6 inches). This will depend on the grill’s design and your preference in eating the food.
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    Grill tripas until golden brown outside (turn the pieces occasionally).
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    Once cooked, remove from grill and allow to cool off.
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    Cut the cooked Tripas into serving pieces.
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    Serve hot as side dish or as tortilla topping.

Method #3 – Cook Tripas in a Disco

Cooking in a disco is actually one of the traditional ways of cooking Tripas. A disco is a disc-like cooking device that resembles a wok. Because of its design (and because Tripas have unpleasant smell), a disco is usually set up outside the house (in the backyard). Here’s a list of what you should do:

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    Clean and wash the Tripas thoroughly.
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    Put Tripas in boiling water and allow to cook until (very) tender.
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    Keep stirring until all the water has evaporated and cook the Tripas further in its own (fatty) oil. You can also add a little bit of cooking oil.
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    Season the dish during the final cooking stage.
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    Remove from heat and cut or chop into small pieces (depending on how you want it).
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    Serve hot as side dish or as taco filling.

Method #4 – Cooking Tripas in the Oven

When you cook Tripas in the oven, you can skip the standard steps of having to boil the intestines to cook them. This dish will take a long time to cook in the oven (about 5 hours), but it’s a handsfree way to do it (the oven does most of the work for you). Here are the steps involved in cooking Tripas in the oven:

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    Cut into small (manageable) sizes or in serving sizes.
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    Season with salt and pepper.
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    Get an aluminum foil and wrap the intestines inside. For best results, put some fresh garlic inside the foil. For this step, you can make several batches of foil packs if you have a lot of Tripas.
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    Get a roasting pan and arrange the foil-wrapped Tripas in a single layer.
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    Cook in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
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    Bake for about 4 hours.
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    After 4 hours, remove from the oven and drain off any oil or moisture from the dish.
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    Open the foil and return to the oven.
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    Cook for an additional 1 hour (or more). The additional cooking time will make the Tripas crispy outside but still tender and moist inside.

How to Clean Tripas

Since Tripas need to be cleaned thoroughly before you can cook and eat it, it’s best to do the cleaning part outdoors. This is especially true if you are making a lot of Tripas (they will shrink when cooked) as it can be really messy to clean a lot of intestines inside the house.

Tripas
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    Separate the Tripas into manageable portions to be able to clean them properly.
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    To further help you clean the intestines, cut them into smaller pieces (about 12 inches).
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    You need a water source nearby – a hose will be particularly useful as you need to flush out the insides of the intestines really well. Keep flushing (running water) until the water becomes clear (clean).
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    To effectively clean the insides of the intestines, you can turn each piece inside out. You can use a wire hanger for this. Just find one end of the intestine and use the hanger’s tip to push and turn the tube-like intestines inside out.
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    Soak the cleaned Tripas in a mixture of water, salt and vinegar to further clean and sanitize the intestines.
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    Boil the Tripas as part of the cleaning process (and to partially cook the intestines as well). Since Tripas are tough, the initial boiling can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
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    While boiling, you can add herbs and spices to the mixture so make the Tripas flavorful and pleasant-smelling. Here are some of your choices: Garlic, Onion or Bay leaves.

FAQs

Q: How do I cook Tripas?

Q: What is Tripas de Leche

Q: Are Tripas dishes healthy?

Raw Tripas

Raw Tripas

Top 3 Popular Tripas Dishes and Recipes

Top 1 – Tacos

Tripas dishes are really popular as taco fillings. And of course, you can also use tortilla in place of taco shells. The steps to making Tripas for tacos are as follows:

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    Clean the intestines and cut into 2-inch pieces.
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    Cook Tripas in boiling water.
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    Add lemon, garlic, bay leaves, and salt to the boiling water.
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    Allow to simmer until the Tripas are tender – about an hour or more.
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    Fry the boiled (cooked) Tripas until crispy.
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    Use as taco filling and garnish as desired.

Top 2 – Tripas with Guacamole

You already know that you can cook Tripas in many different ways, right? Well, know that Tripas dishes can be perfectly combined with Guacamole (an avocado-based spread or dip or salad). To make a Guacamole recipe, you need to combine the following ingredients:

Tripas with Guacamole via A Little A Drift

Tripas with Guacamole via A Little A Drift

  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Top 3 – Tripas with Pico de Gallo

Tripas with Pico de Gallo via Epicurious

Tripas with Pico de Gallo via Epicurious

Tripas can also be partnered with Pico de Gallo (a tomato-based salsa) – that’s why it’s important to learn how to prepare this recipe, too. To make Pico de Gallo, the following ingredients need to be combined:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cooking Tripas

Tripas

I am really glad you came here – because now you know how to clean, prepare and cook Tripas. As a taco filling, you can use it to substitute for the traditional fillings you have grown accustomed to (now you have another option). You can also partner Tripas up with spreads and dips (like guacamole) and salsa recipes (like Pico de Gallo).

If you are now fond of eating Tripas, do let me know in the comment section below. Also, share this post with your friends and introduce them to this exotic dish.

Lita Watson
 

Hi there! I’m Lita, and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and i try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so i keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and a wonderful husband.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Anna V

Thank you so much on how to cook tripas, my grandma and mom used to make them for us as young kids but i forgot how to make them. you are the only one i found that really explains very clear on how to cook them and different way. thank you again. Anna V.

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