Gyutan: Grilled Tongue

Serves 2 to 3 as part of a Japanese meal


  • 1/2 veal tongue (about 1 1/2 pounds, tip end), partially thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 small bunch of green onion brushes .
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (chili flakes)
  • 1 pinch coarse/kosher salt
  • 1tsp toasted black sesame seeds
  • Lemon or Lime wedges


  1. Use a razor sharp knife (and possibly vice-grip pliers) to pull the tough skin from the partially frozen meat. Yes, a very messy and somewhat scary necessity! Not quite so disturbing with a calf tongue as it would be with an ox or cow tongue. Re-freeze the meat, and slice as thinly as you can. Paper thin is the goal!
  2. Sprinkle salt over the tongue slices, then brush them with oil.
  3. Make the green onion brushes. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, oil chili flakes, and salt in a small bowl. Toss the onions with the mixture and garnish with the sesame seeds.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a batch of the thinly sliced tongue to the pan, in a single layer. Brush the slices with oil and turn over quickly. Cooking time is about 1 minute. #Transfer to a plate, and cook another batch. Repeat until all the meat is cooked.
  5. Garnish with the green onion brushes.
  6. Serve with lemon or lime wedges, dipping sauce, and plain white rice and pickles.
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