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What Does Lengua Taste Like? A Strangely Underrated Meat

If you enjoy Mexican cuisine, you are aware that the country does not skimp on the meat.

Lengua is a wonderful and wholesome meat which is composed of beef tongue.

It’s a fantastic way to include meat in your diet without having to consume a lot of it or worry about the negative effects that meat production has on the environment.

This is a fantastic source of protein as well. Lengua meat does, however, provide a variety of other health advantages.

What Does Lengua Taste Like? A Strangely Underrated Meat

Famous Mexican delicacies such as Menudo, tacos de Cabeza, tostadas de pata, and tacos de Lengua demonstrate how Mexican cooks can use any part of the animal to make delectable food.

Tacos de lengua, also known as lengua tacos, are a delicious delicacy that use lengua as the main filler.

Mexican recipes often call for the little dice with a unique flavour and odd texture. What is Lengua and how does it taste, then?

Our article has the solution. Keep reading to find out what lengua tastes like.

What Are Lengua Tacos?

Cow tongue is referred to in Spanish as “lengua.” The cow tongue is diced and shredded before being used to make this dish.

After that, the meat is wrapped in a standard corn tortilla with onion, lime juice, salt, and cilantro.

Anyone should try the delectable mix of tender beef tongue, crisp crunchiness of the tortillas, freshness of the veggies, and tartness of the salsa verde at least once.

If you’re still curious about how beef tongue tastes, keep reading. You may learn more about this peculiar meat.

What Exactly Does Lengua Taste Like?

Lengua may not be what comes to mind when beef is mentioned.

The tongue flesh is unquestionably a hidden treasure for your dish, though, when prepared properly.

What flavour does cow tongue have then? Overall, the texture of beef tongue is comparable to that of a normal beef steak: it is meaty and springy.

The lengua has a peculiar flavour reminiscent of cow meat when it is cooked.

But what does lengua actually taste like? Here is a more thorough explanation.

Since lengua is essentially a large tongue, it may not initially look very delicious to many people, much like porcupine and snail.

On the meat, you can see various muscles, connective structures, and taste buds.

The tongue has a black skin that can be readily peeled off after blanching. The tongue is among the toughest muscles, so it has a much harder texture than beef steaks.

For this reason, people frequently braise lengua for a long time in order to soften the connective tissues and muscle fibres.

The twisted tongues are transformed into incredibly soft and tender flesh once they have been broken down.

For serving, cow tongue is often chopped or thinly sliced. When you bite into beef, you can taste its rich, umami flavour and supple, springy texture.

What Are Lengua’s Nutritional Components?

Lengua is a delicious, juicy cut of beef with a high nutritional value.

You ought to think about including lengua in your dishes if you’re on a diet.

Lengua is a fantastic source of energy for your everyday diet. You can receive approximately 240 calories from just 3 ounces.

With only a little quantity of saturated fat, it also has a lot of beneficial fats.

The cow tongue also contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals.

You might discover that 44% of your everyday zinc intake comes from lengua, which is necessary for your immune system and cell growth.

A piece of lengua also contains potassium, iron, and phosphorus.

In terms of vitamins, fresh lengua contains a significant amount of B vitamins.

By generating all the required energy from the fats and proteins, this vitamin enhances your metabolism.

You can get your recommended daily allowance of up to 2.7 mcgs of vitamin B-12 from 3 oz of beef tongue.

How Is Lengua Eaten?

What Does Lengua Taste Like

Lengua is a wonderful meat, but few people are familiar with how to prepare it.

It is less prevalent in American kitchens because of their harsh texture and strange appearance. But the world is well aware of its use in cooking, particularly in Mexican food.

To achieve its soft and supple texture, lengua must be peeled and simmered for a lengthy period.

Lengua can be served on its own with a few slices on the dish, some salt, and a glazing of sauce drizzled over it.

This will allow you to fully appreciate its chewy, rich, and meaty flavour as well as its buttered and crispy texture.

There are numerous variations of lengua-based dishes around the world, prepared using a variety of cooking techniques.

The beef tongue is cooked the traditional Chinese way, spending the night in a broth made of soy sauce with fresh herbs like Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, and cloves.

It is then served chilled with sauce.

Another well-known delicacy in Belgium and France is boiled beef tongue.

To mask the taste of the uncooked meat, the boiled meat is paired with vinaigrette and mushrooms.

The tongue can also be grilled and prepared as gyutan.

Does Lengua Taste Gamey?

Lengua has a meaty, thick texture that can bear a savoury, gamey flavour.

The taste of cow tongue can vary from mild to very meaty based on how it is prepared and presented.

Lengua should be combined with sharp flavourings like lime, cilantro, or salsa if you desire something less gamey and meaty in flavour.

When combined with various components, cow tongue can have a variety of flavours depending on how it is prepared.

Cow tongue on its own has a bland, gamey, and strong meaty flavour. You can make a terrific Lengua dish by properly braising it with a fantastic sauce.

Can You Eat Raw Lengua Meat? 

A Mexican delicacy, lengua is the soft, flavorful meat from the cow’s head and neck. 

It’s considered a delicacy because it’s a cut of meat that is very tender and has a distinct flavor that is unlike any other. 

This can be eaten raw or cooked differently, but many prefer to use it in tacos or tostadas.

Lengua is a type of meat in the cheek area of cattle. The heart is generally eaten raw or sometimes cooked in a stew. 

The taste of the meat is similar to that of beef, and it is tender and moist.

Downsides To Lengua Meat

Lengua is the tongue from a cow, and it resembles the tongue in terms of appearance, size, and flavour.

Given how readily it can be harmed compared to other meats, the tongue is among the most challenging to prepare.

The tongue is often discarded or used to make sausage and salami because of its substantial fat content, which makes it spoil extremely rapidly.

The meat is very nutritious despite the fact that the taste is thought to be disagreeable.

You may find lengua beef at your neighbourhood grocery store. Try to get meat that has been grown organically because it will be leaner and fresher.

How Can You Store Lengua Meat? 

The meat is sold in small packages and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Raw lengua is a flavorful and tender meat that can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days before cooking. 

To store, you can slice the meat, wrap it in plastic, and put it in a resealable plastic bag. The key to keeping raw meat is ensuring it is scorched before storing it.

 It prevents bacteria from forming on the surface of the meat. To dry the meat, use a paper towel or a clean cloth to pat it dry.

To store raw Lengua meat, place the beef tongue in a container with an airtight lid, and cover it with a brine made of equal amounts of salt and water. 

Ensure the beef tongue is completely submerged in the brine to avoid contamination. 

The salt in the brine will help preserve the meat, and the water will help the meat to keep moist. 

After the meat has been in the brine for about two days, rinse it with cold water and pat it dry. Then, place the beef tongue in a container with a lid, such as a glass jar, and add salt and pepper. 

Cover the lengua tongue with this mixture and store it in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Can League Meat Go Bad? 

The dish can be found on many restaurant menus. But what happens when the sauce is left over and not eaten with the meat? 

The sauce can spoil and become dangerous if not stored properly. Lengua meat can go bad and cause illness if it is not stored correctly.

The delicious, succulent meat on a cow’s tongue is said to be some of the most delicious on the planet. However, when you have a cow tongue in your refrigerator, it can go bad and taste horrible. 

It is because tongues have many bacteria on them, and bacteria can multiply rapidly in the fridge.

Lengua meat can go bad if it is not stored correctly or exposed to heat for too long.

Nutritional Value Of Lengua

Total Fat19 gm 
Cholesterol112.2 mg
Sodium55.2 mg
Potassium156.4 mg
Carbohydrates0 gm
Protein16.4 gm 

RELATED: How To Keep Your Corn Tortillas From Breaking

Quick Table: Lengua Recipes

Recipes Calories (Per Serving) Preparation Time
Spicy Beef Tongue  228  1 Hour 10 minutes
Beef Tongue Tacos  365 4 Hours 
Lengua Stir-Fry 384 3 Hours

1. Spicy Beef Tongue Recipe

The crock pot is an ideal cooking method for the beef tongue because it allows the meat to be cooked right. 

In addition to adding flavor to the meat, the seasoned cooking liquid helps tenderize it.

In addition to yielding tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat, this simple beef tongue recipe is also fast and easy to prepare. 

It is optional to serve the mushroom onion sauce with the dish, but it dramatically enhances its flavor.

If you have leftovers, you can microwave them gently until they are warm or serve them cold.

The dish is flavorful and tender, and it’s also surprisingly easy to prepare.

Calories Per Serving: 228

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

2. Beef Tongue Tacos

Preparing and cooking the beef tongue carefully is vital to ensure that it is tender.

Mexico’s tacos are famous for a reason, and you’ll understand why when you try them.

Classic Mexican tacos de Lengua consist of chunks of tender braised beef tongue wrapped in warm tortillas. 

After slow-braising in liquid, home cooks can fry this tough muscle in pork fat to add a crispy, browned exterior layer, transforming it into juicy, succulent meat. 

There is nothing better than beef tongue in a taco. It is tender, flavorful, and an excellent base for a delicious meal.

Calories Per Serving: 365

Preparation Time: 4 Hours

3. Lengua Stir-Fry

The lengua with red chile is best served as a tostada since there is so much flavor. 

Pan-fried tortillas are topped with cumin-spiced mashed black beans, red cabbage, and lime juice.

A cooked one can be found at the market. However, a Korean or Japanese BBQ restaurant is more likely to serve raw tongue since it is considered a luxury ingredient.

Tacos de Lengua is one of the most famous tacos. 

Slice the meat into small pieces, sprinkle some salt on it, and brown it in a hot pan whenever you’re ready to serve it. 

In addition to the rich beefy flavor, you also get a crispy crust and a buttery texture.

Calories Per Serving: 384

Preparation Time: 3 Hours

Final Thoughts

Lengua is an uncommon sort of meat that has a strange appearance when it’s raw.

A beef tongue is unquestionably a fantastic meat, perhaps even better than steaks, when prepared properly.

Therefore, the first step in getting to know this peculiar beef meat and using it in many of your dishes is learning about it, so that you can best enjoy it when it is prepared effectively and served with delicious garnishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Beef Lengua Taste Like?

To keep it simple, cow tongue will taste like most other beef cuts. It feels a bit chewy and may sometimes taste like liver, but you can avoid these problems if you cook it the right way.

What Cut Of Meat Is Lengua?

Cow tongues are called lengua de vaca or tongues of cows. A few recipes I’ve seen use pork tongue as well as beef tongue when making lengua dishes. Most often, lengua is prepared in Mexican and lengua tongue tacos as Puerto Rican cuisine–think. 

Is Cow Tongue Considered Red Meat?

You’ll get a lot of vitamin B, protein, zinc, choline,  iron, and other nutrients from beef tongue, but you should eat it in moderation like any red meat alongside a healthy mix of other foods.

Ultimate Lengua Recipes To Try

With our handy tips and tricks, you’ll be whipping up masterpieces of Lengua Tongue Recipe in no time!


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith