While I’ve no experience with Wang Yu’s grandma’s recipe, I do have fond memories of dropping in without notice on my parents with my school roommate one weekend. I hit the front door, slammed the doorbell and bolted in. My mother came out of the kitchen and cried out, “Oh no…we’re having TONGUE!” My roommate made a lifelong friend by calling out, “Wow! I love tongue!”
When I was a teenager my father brought home a foil wrapped packet from a family he had done some work for. He opened it up and asked my mother and I to try a bite. We were suspicious but did so anyway. The first taste was like corned beef, but then I sensed/felt taste buds and said omg this is tongue. We both spit it out in disgust and my father had a good laugh. I’m sure Chinese flavored tongue is really good though.
I can’t understand this aversion. Tongue is a tender, gently flavored meat. If properly prepared, there are no “taste buds”, which are removed with the skin. “Lengua” tacos are some of the most popular at taquerias. And in France, tongue in vinaigrette a standard starter. And here at home, dinner guests vie for marinated lamb tongue.
What you don’t know generally doesn’t hurt you. Some years back, a work associate used to travel to Florence at least yearly. He used to take fellow travelers to a place where he swore one found the best ravioli in Florence. After maybe a dozen years of fabulous meals and memories, he was shocked to read that his adored trattoria had been shut down for using trapped rats in their ravioli. Hm…they sure had a way with rats!
I was also going to say that it’s great in yakiniku, or Japanese BBQ, and of course Korean BBQ too. We usually do a hot pot Xmas dinner, which sadly we’ll forgo this year , and beef tongue is a must too.
Yet again I dragged two team members to Japanese BBQ at Gyu-Kaku 2 yrs ago (they chose the place), and made them try beef tongue. They both really enjoyed it, and ordered seconds. I swear I don’t spend my time just making my friends and colleagues eat new foods, but I admit to doing that a lot.