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Appetizers, Breakfasts, Mains

Purple Pig's pig ears

Purple Pig's pig ears
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: We've just returned from a trip to Chicago, and I tell you, we were there for just five days, but we were at the Purple Pig three times. My fave is their fried pig's ears with crispy kale. ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes, plus 3 hours simmering time and overnight chilling | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 pound pig ears (about 2 ears)
  • 4 gallons water, divided
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup instant flour, such as Wondra
  • Frying oil
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch kale (about 10 ounces), torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 to 8 pickled cherry peppers, julienned
  • 6 to 8 fried eggs
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oil
  • Pepper

Step 1In a medium pot, cover the pig ears with 2 gallons of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Strain and return the pig ears to the pot. Cover with another 2 gallons of water and add the carrot, celery and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook, loosely covered, for 3 hours.

Step 2Strain the pig ears and place on a baking dish. Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight, flipping the ears midway to make sure both sides are dry.

Step 3Fill a wide, heavy-bottomed pot with oil until it comes up the sides of the pot by 3 inches. Heat the oil until a thermometer reads 350 degrees.

Step 4While the oil is heating, thinly julienne the pig ears and dip them in milk, then dredge in the instant flour. Fry the strips in small batches until lightly golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes, then strain, pat dry and place in a large bowl. Fry the kale until bright and crisp, about 30 seconds. Strain and gently toss into the bowl along with the julienned peppers. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, or to taste. Hold in a warm place.

Step 5In a shallow frying pan, fry the eggs in a light film of oil until the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny, about 3 minutes.

Step 6Divide the pig ears among 6 to 8 shallow bowls, and top each with a fried egg. Season the eggs with a sprinkling each of salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from the Purple Pig in Chicago. Pig ears can be found at Chinese and select Asian markets, and can be ordered from most butchers and meat departments.


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