Lengua Estofada

Ox (beef) tongue, while unfamiliar to  many, is widely used in many international cuisines. In the Philippines, ox tongue is the main ingredient in a popular dish called lengua estofada (Spanish for braised tongue).  For those who frequent taquerias, ox tongue is offered as one of the meat options for tacos and burritos.  It is also used in many European and Asian cuisines.

The consumption of beef tongue dates back to the Paleolithic age, where hunters preferred the fatty portions of carcasses.

A caution for those on a diet: A 1 oz serving size of ox tongue has more than 60 calories, about three-fourths of which is from fat. But if you were to occasionally indulge, nothing beats the flavor of ox tongue!

Lengua Estofada is  of Hispanic origin, dating back to the three centuries of Spanish colonization of the Philippines.


2 lbs ox tongue

1 cup tomato sauce

1 pc large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sclied

5 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into tiny cubes

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1 cup green olives

1 tbsp oyster sauce

2 cups button mushroom, cut into thin slices

3 tbsp canola oil

salt & pepper to taste

3-4 cups water


In a large sauce pot, bring 4 cups of water into a boil

Add the ox tongue and keep in the pot for about 2-3 minutes before removing from heat

Add cold water to the pot and let it cool before cleaning the ox tongue, removing the skin/outer layer. You could use a lot of patience during this process!

Slice into small serving portions

Set aside

In a large wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and saute the garlic and onions

Add the ox tongue and cook for about 3 minutes

Pour the tomato sauce, add 1 cup water and simmer for about an hour or until the ox tongue is tender, adding salt & pepper to taste. Add water as necessary.

Add oyster sauce

Add green olives and simmer for a few minutes

In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp canola oil and fry the sweet potato slices.  Set aside

Using the same frying pan, saute the mushrooms. Set aside

When ready to serve, place ox tongue, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, olives on a serving dish and garnish with green onions.

(Makes 4-6 servings)


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