Pig Ears
Two Pig Ears

Pig ears are eaten in almost every culture that eats pork - except for "regular Americans", who tend to be uncomfortable eating any part of an animal that resembles part of an animal.

The texture of pig ears is unusual. When cooked, the outside is firm but gelatinous, with a thin white crunchy core. The photo specimens were about 8-3/4 inches long, 6-5/8 inches wide and weighed a little over 3/4 pound each.

More on Pigs and Cuts of Pork.

Pig Ear Slices

The photo at left shows typical pig ear cross sections, after cooking. The outer layer skin can be cooked from firm to soft and the white cartilage will remain crunchy, but it isn't hard to chew.

Buying:   Pig ears can be found in markets serving Philippine, Chinese, Southeast Asian and Mexican communities. They should have little odor and the skin should be firm on both sides - if you can scratch it off easily with a fingernail the ear is spoiled.

Cooking:   Pig ears should be par boiled in boiling water for about 10 minutes and then rinsed. Clean the pot, fill it with plenty of water and the pig ears. Bring it to a boil, then simmer covered for about 1 hour. You'll need a big pot because they tend to curl a bit while cooking. Before slicing you can dig out any fat deposits at the root end.

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