[Lamb Fries, Sheep Nuts; Testiculos de Borrego (Spanish)]
Lamb Testicles are eaten by pretty much every culture where lamb is a significant item in the diet. They're pretty good eating, but unfortunately they are a bit scarce in North America. Here most male sheep are castrated immediately after birth and their testicles are not yet developed. Allowed to develop to maturity they're of pretty impressive size.
The photo specimens were procured from a large multi-ethnic market in Los Angeles, just under 1-1/2 pounds packed in a foam tray of 5. The largest was 3-1/2 inches long, 2-1/2 inches diameter and weighed 5-7/8 ounces. The smallest was 3-1/4 inches long, 2 inches diameter and weighed 3-5/8 ounces.
More on Lamb Innards.
Raw sheep testicles feel like little balloons filled with jelly. Cooked they are tender, mild, and do not have any sheep meat taste or aroma. They have been compared to bratwurst.
They are always skinned and most often sliced and fried coated in a light batter. Around Lebanon they are cut smaller, fried without batter and served with parsley, lemon juice and/or sumac.
Buying: Lamb testicles are not easy to find in North America, but are most often found packed in trays of 4 to 6 in markets serving a heavily Middle Eastern community. They can be ordered from a specialty butcher, but you may have to buy a whole box. In Australia, New Zealand and the Balkans these are normal fare and more easily available.
Storing: Keep well refrigerated until used. Like other organ meats they degrade rapidly and should be cooked within a day or so from purchase.
Prep: Rinse. Cut just a little off each end, run a knife, sharp edge out, lengthwise just under the skin. Peel the skin off. This is the hard part because the skin is very tough and what you're peeling it off of is rather tender. They may then be sliced according to the recipe. An alternative method is to slice them in half lengthwise before peeling.
Cooking: Sheep nuts cook very quickly if sliced. The are most often fried and just a couple minutes in hot oil will do it.