This Shkembe Chorba recipe will show you one of those dishes that taste really good but it’s better not to know what it’s made of. Shkembe Chorba literally translates to tripe soup in English. In case you’re not familiar with the term, trip refers to the thick lining of the stomach of a cow. If you can get past this, you’ll discover that this dish actually doesn’t taste bad. It’s a dish that’s served warm, seasoned with vinegar, garlic, and spicy red pepper powder and traditionally consumed with warm bread and either a shot of rakija or a beer.
But before we get to the actual recipe, you might be wondering about the origin of the shkembe chorba recipe; you’re probably wondering how something seemingly disgusting became such a popular meal and who even thought of eating trip in the first place.
Shkembe Chorba Origins
It’s not certain who invented the original shkembe chorba recipe or tripe soup recipe; the dish is popular on the Balkan Peninsula, across Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East. So, since most of these territories were a part of the Ottoman Empire, I suppose it’s safe to assume that the first shkembe chorba recipe has close ties to Ottoman cuisine.
In addition to this, throughout history, Slavic and Balkan cultures, as well as Ottoman and Middle Eastern cultures were majorly agrarian, which lead to the not-so-sophisticated “nose-to-tail eating.” That’s why in some of these countries, even today you can find dishes that not only feature but even base on the intestines of animals, fat, and even head parts.
About Shkembe Chorba
If you ask locals in some of the above-mentioned regions about this tripe soup recipe, they’ll tell you that shkembe chorba is a great natural remedy and the ultimate hangover dish. Namely, this soup has the perfect combination of water, salt, vinegar, and fats, all of which are ingredients that can ease up gastrointestinal discomfort that’s often associated with hangover.
The soup itself has a gelatinous texture (because of the tripe) and this accounts for the soup becoming solid relatively quickly. This is why shkembe chorba should always be eaten while it’s really hot. Once the dish cools off, it starts to become too jelly, and it develops a very strong and unpleasant smell. Believe it or not, some people can still eat it even like this, but the taste is very different, it’s unusual, and something that I wouldn’t recommend trying.
If you’re trying to prepare this for lunch/dinner to impress someone, note that your house will have a strong smell for at least a few hours because this tripe soup recipe requires a few hours of boiling.
Even though the shkembe chorba recipe varies per region, the main ingredients remain the same everywhere this soup is consumed. Some popular additional ingredients include tomatoes, tomato puree, yogurt, etc. Some of these tripe soups are clear, some are colored, others are creamy, but the main ingredients are beef tripe, oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, and spicy pepper powder.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a quick meal that features tripe, check out our lampredotto recipe (tripe sandwich).
Shkembe Chorba (Tripe Soup) Variations
If you’re planning to visit any of the countries we mentioned above and tried their local version of shkembe chorba, here are the local names of tripe soup in different parts of the world.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia: Shkembich
- Bulgaria and Macedonia: Shkembe Chorba (шкембе чорба)
- Croatia: Tripice
- Czech Republic and Slovakia: Dršťková polévka
- Greece: Patsas
- Hungary: Pacalleves
- Poland: Flaki (literally translates to guts)
- Romania: Ciorbă de Burtă
- Turkey and Middle Eastern Countries: İşkembe çorbası
- 1 lb (450 grams) tripe
- 1.5 Cup Sunflower Oil
- 3 Cups fresh milk
- 2 Tablespoon salt
- 3 Teaspoon Paprika
- 2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoon spicy pepper (or chilli) powder
- 3 Garlic cloves, diced into tiny pieces
- 1/2 Cup Wine Vinegar (red)
1. Clean the tripe.
2. Boil the tripe for 4-5 minutes and clean it from both sites until all marks and fat layers are completely gone.
3. Rinse the tripe and keep it in cold water.
4. Simmer for 4-5 hours and keep periodically adding water to make sure the trip is submerged.
5. Take the cooked tripe out and cut it into chunks or mince it, depending on your preference.
6. Add the tripe back in the same water (this is very important)
7. Add some oil, milk, salt, black pepper, spicy pepper powder, and diced garlic.
8. Leave it on low flame for another 20 minutes.
9. Before you serve, add some red wine vinegar into the soup.
10. Serve it with some fresh bread and enjoy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4.2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 107.3mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 2.1gNet Carbohydrates: 2.1gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0gProtein: 11.4g
A Few Things You Could Use
How did you like this shkembe chorba recipe? Would you consider trying it? Do you have your own tripe soup recipe that’s different than this one? Let us know what you do differently in the comments!
If you liked this recipe, then you might also like our Tavce Gravce recipe.
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