Embrace the nose to tail philosophy of sustainable eating with this Crunchy Buffalo Pig Ear Recipe. Strips of local farm raised pig ear are slow cooked, then fried until crispy and tossed in a spicy buffalo sauce!
Buffalo Pig Ear Recipe
A pig ear recipe is definitely a wtf moment and is probably what you thought after reading the title of this recipe.
When I told my own open-minded-about-all-kinds-of-foods Mother about this recipe, she replied "You can eat pig ears?"
Yes, you can eat pig ears. People eat them all over the world, but in America, only really cool people eat them.
Sustainably and what it means for everyone...
Sustainably to me has become much more important, since moving to an area full of local farms.
I try to purchase as much of our food as possible from farms (aka: within our budget) and that means we eat the less desired cuts often.
Let's face it, eating farm-to-table can't always be as pretty as these braised lamb shanks.
It's also completely normal to feel uncomfortable when thinking about eating unfamiliar parts of an animal that don't come in the nicely wrapped up packages at the grocery store.
Adopting a nose-to-tail approach to eating is a wonderful way to broaden your culinary horizons while also honoring the ultimate sacrifice made by these animals that are raised for our consumption.
It's more sustainable, less wasteful, and...from a strictly selfish viewpoint...the uncommon cuts can be the tastiest bits around (and the least expensive)!
It's so much better to appreciate the whole, not just the pretty pieces.
I'm no stranger to pig ears. I've eaten braised pig ear strips in Chinese restaurants numerous times and have always loved them.
Sliced thin and served cold tossed in a light sesame oil dressing, the strips have a chewy texture with a bite and are delightfully delicious.
After a recent trip to my favorite local farm, I bought some ears with the full intention of making my favorite Chinese salad at home.
Until I talked to my good friend Dawn and she told me about the crispy buffalo pig ear strips she ate one time.
Well, you don't have to tell me twice, I'm making spicy crunchy ears!!
How to make crispy fried pig ears
Pig ears contain lots of collagen, so they must be braised low and slow.
Cover the pig ears in water and cook until tender (about 3 hours).
The inside will never be fall apart tender, but the outside will be. When ready, just dry off the ears, cut into strips, and fry them as-is in hot oil.
No coating is needed! The outside of the ear strips get super crispy, just from the oil frying the skin.
What to serve with pig ears
- Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad
- Parmesan Pea Pasta Salad
- Paleo Pickled Eggs
- Raspberry Lime Gin Cocktail
Hope you give this crunchy buffalo pig ear recipe a chance and try them at home! Don't forget they are Paleo and gluten free too! Plus they make great game day eats all weekend long.
Crunchy Buffalo Pig Ear Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds pig ears (about 5 or 6), local farm raised, organic, and grass-fed preferred
- 2 whole garlic cloves , peeled
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- oil for deep frying
- ½- 1 cup buffalo sauce , homemade or store bought
- 1 cup blue cheese dressing , as a dip for the strips
- Wash 1 ½ pounds pig ears thoroughly and scrape off any hair, if necessary.
- Place pig ears in a large pot and add the 2 whole garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon black peppercorns. Fill pot with water until it just covers all the ears. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot with a lid and simmer until ears are fork tender, about 3 hours. Check the pot a couple of times to make sure the ears are completely covered by water at all times while cooking.
- Remove cooked ears to a cooling rack to cool and reserve stock for a later use. Once cool, dry the ears and place in covered container in the refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to fry, fill a large pot with 3-4 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 350F/176C degrees. While the oil is heating, remove ears from the refrigerator, pat dry with paper towels (if necessary), and cut into ¼" strips. Fry strips in batches (don't overcrowd) for 2-3 minutes, until crispy and golden brown, and remove to a rack or paper towels to drain.
- Place all the strips in a bowl and mix with the ½-1 cup buffalo sauce. Serve immediately with homemade blue cheese dressing.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Best served immediately. If have leftovers, store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Can serve with homemade blue cheese dressing or creamy feta dressing.
I had pig ears for the first time this past weekend. They were part of a Filipino dish (along with black beans and roasted pork belly) and ... even though I’m an adventurous eater, I’m afraid the ears were definitely my least favorite part of the food. So much so that I removed the pork belly and beans to eat later and discarded the ears after a few VERY chewy bites. But after reading this recipe, I have a good idea what to do the next I order their Baboy dish. Since the pork ears are already boiled, they might just need a good fry. I will let know how it comes out. Thank you for the recipe!
That's so awesome April and please let me know how it comes out!
LOVE LOVE LOVE TO INFINITY AND BEYOND ( Thanks for lettin' me borrow that "Buzz !" )
This recipe is OFF DA CHAIN TASTY!!!!
I've been using a KETO Lifestyle approach to reversing diabetes, high cholesterol and going from 568 miserable unhealthy pounds, to my current work in progress weight of 230 pounds.
Using lard, tallow, butter/ghee, coconut oil, olive oil and eating meats of alllll sorts, bits, pieces and parts have helped me still be alive and well 23 years after a "death sentence" of 6 weeks from my doc.
Girl...no matter how delicious these precious beasts put before us by our Creator are...it can get damn boring.
YOU! DEAR SOUL...have RESURRECTED my taste buds!!!!
I'm forever grateful!
Thank you for the Nutritional Chart at the end of the recipe.
That said...how much of these luscious treats as strips are considered 1 serving?
(Not that I will not ignore that and eat the whole pile ALL for myself...but, as a guess-timate?)
THANK YOU !!!!!
Recommending TastyEverAfter to everyone I know!
Hugs from NC!
lol! This has got to be the BEST comment anyone has left on the blog and thank you so much Beth! Soooo happy to hear you have changed your life and are now healthy eating nose to tail. That's AMAZING!!! If I had to guess-timate 1 serving, it's probably around 1/3-1/2 cup?? Next time I make them, I'll divide the finished dish into 4 servings and measure it out to update the serving amount. Hugs right back at you and really appreciate all your support! xoxo
Could this be made with pig snoots as well?
Hi Chris, I haven't tried it with snoots, but don't see why it wouldn't work. They shouldn't take as long it cook as ears, so only boil them for 1 hour and then test for correct tenderness. Please let me know how they turn out for you!
It works with snouts and with feet as well. In case of feet the bones should be removed after cooking.
Thanks for the cooking tips Panna!
Could this be done in an instapot? How long?
I haven't tried cooking the ears in an instapot instead of boiling them, but I would think you could cook them on high for 30-35 minutes with a cup of water. If you try it this way, please let me know how they turn out for you, Ronnie.
Yum, yum, yummy! Yup I guess I FINALLY made cool kid status...funny, I was poor white trash growing up because my family ate nose to tail out of necessity! What do you use the broth for? I was thinking maybe cabbage or greens. Any other suggestions?
karrie @ Tasty Ever After
Thank you Lisa! You were way cool before your time! lol! Yes, using the broth for green is a great idea. I also like to use it to cook beans too and it's perfect as a base for bean soup.
can i boil pigs’ ears for 20 minutes in a regular pot? thank you.
Hi Max, Unfortunately 20 minutes isn't enough to cook the pig ears because they need at least 3 hours to be tender.
We ate pig ears at Lardo’s of Portland. Now we have to make our own!!! Whole family is so hooked on these delicious morsels. Thank you for the recipe!!
So I just looked up Lardo's menu and WOW!! I need to plan a trip to Portland just to eat at that restaurant. Please let me know what you think of the recipe when you make them Bettie!
I have some pig Ears but won't eat them. Someone gave them to me. I'm going to make them for my dogs and let them enjoy it
They will love them Denise, but minus the buffalo sauce, right? lol!
I love you. Yes I do. However. Nope. Can't do this one. I don't eat pigs (well, except wild boars).... So this is a no go for me. Although, if it were wild boar - then I probably would try. I am so freakin' weird. Wild boar = pig. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Dumb ass. Common GiGi.