Menudo soup is a traditional dish in the Mexican cuisine. The word menudo in Mexico refers to raw stomach meat, and the soup is also called as the tripe soup. It is a spicy clear broth that is made with beef tripe as the main ingredient. The tripe is the muscular lining of beef stomach, and the honeycomb tripe, which is most tender and resembles a honeycomb pattern, is recommended to prepare the dish. The flavor and smell of the soup is unique due to the tripe, which also has a chewy texture. Because of this tough texture, the soup itself takes a long time to prepare and requires time and effort. The menudo soup usually prepared on special occasions, with a lot of family members getting together to prepare it.
The menudo soup has been around at least since the 1930s when menudo parties were organized on Christmas, New Year, or other family occasions.
Menudo Soup - Ingredients and Method of Preparation
The regular ingredients required to prepare this dish includes the honeycomb tripe, water, hominy, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and coriander seeds. Beef feet or veal knuckles are also sometimes included. The seasonings and way of preparation can vary from region to region.
To prepare the dish:
The tripe, which is cut into pieces, is combined with the other ingredients and cooked for a minimum of three hours, until the tripe is clear and tender.
The soup can be garnished with lime wedges and served in large bowls. Crushed piquin pepper can also be added as required. Corn tortillas are good accompaniments to this soup. The dish is good to be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
A popular variation of the Menudo clear soup is the menudo Colorado, which is prepared using a red chili base. A similar white soup is called menudo blanco, which is prepared without the use of red peppers. Hominy is added in Northern Mexico, whereas other regions may omit this.
Menudo Soup and Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5 across United States and Mexico. In United States, the day is celebrated to uphold the Mexican heritage. In Mexico, it is celebrated to commemorate the country’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla. Regardless of the underlying reason, the day is celebrated with a variety of traditional Mexican dishes. With Menudo soup being a classic Mexican dish, it is good to be served at a Cinco de Mayo party.
A serving of Menudo soup approximately consists:
Calories – 180
Total fat - 5 g
Cholesterol – 55 mg
Sodium – 1130 mg
Carbohydrates – 19 g
Protein – 15 g
The tripe contains nutrition such as protein, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Protein is good for building of muscles and tissues, while zinc is needed for immunity and appetite. Calcium is essential for bones, nerves, and muscle function. Phosphorus helps maintain acid balance in the body, and potassium is necessary for muscle contraction. In spite of all these benefits, it should also be noted that the tripe also has significant fat and cholesterol, which are detrimental to the health. It can increase the blood cholesterol levels leading to heart disease. Therefore, the menudo soup should be reserved for special occasions.
It is believed that the Menudo soup can cure hangover from alcohol, when prepared with a lot of hot peppers.