İşkembe Çorbası: A Turkish Tripe Soup

Contains:  Offal.  Is:  Gluten-free, Paleo, Whole 30.  

I purchased two pounds of honeycomb tripe on February 6th; it was one of those lark things I discovered in the Price Chopper supermarket in Pittsfield, MA – that I will probably never stumble over again.   So, I bought it.  I’m my father’s daughter, who was nose to tail before that ever became a “thing”, or even an expression. Of course, this meant I grew up in a household where certain things were never broadcasted to me as being “unusual” or “weird”.   

recipe, tripe, Turkish, soup, Paleo, Whole 30, gluten-free, offal

Honeycomb tripe is the tripe or stomach lining from the first of the four stomachs of ungulate mammals such as cattle, sheep or goats.  Dad would prepare it Italian style, with a marinara sauce.  I even ate it once at a restaurant on Arthur Avenue. that bastion of traditional old-country Italian fare and culture in New York City.  I’ve always found it tender and able to take on the taste of the sauces it is prepared in.

Sort of, if you think about it, just like pasta.

recipe, tripe, Turkish, soup, Paleo, Whole 30, gluten-free, offal

A pound of beef tripe, after simmering 4 hours, but prior to slicing.

recipe, tripe, Turkish, soup, Paleo, Whole 30, gluten-free, offal

And, sliced up for the soup.

Divided it into half, and decided to delve into two different cuisines for the cooking thereof.  (I froze the other pound for later.  You may well see that someday…  Ahem, yes you will… planned for July or August…)

At any rate, there are a lot of cultures where tripe is cooked as part of their cuisines.  For this first recipe, I decided to make something where I effectively already had all the ingredients to hand, which left me with İşkembe çorbası, a soup hailing from Turkey.  If you want to know more about other cuisines that use tripe, check out this link:  From the Post-Gazette.

I made the recipe nearly exactly, except that to thicken the soup, I used arrowroot instead of wheat flour, in order to make it gluten-free, Whole 30, and Paleo.  Since that’s the demographic I prefer to write for as often as possible.  I also don’t ever have bouillon cubes in the house, preferring to use home made broth, or to use boxed low sodium substitutes.  We adapt for many thought-out reasons!

recipe, tripe, Turkish, soup, Paleo, Whole 30, gluten-free, offal

Preparing to serve. The minced garlic and the apple cider vinegar side bowls are to enhance at will this soup.  They do it well, too.  Great blend!  NOTE:  I like Chinese soup spoons to the exclusion of any other type, and will always use them for any soups I make.  No matter the soup’s ethnic origin.

Besides, The Spruce Eats has this to say about arrowroot starch used as a thickener:

“Arrowroot powder has twice the thickening power of wheat flour and because it contains no protein, arrowroot is gluten-free. Unlike cornstarch, arrowroot powder creates a perfectly clear gel and does not break down when combined with acidic ingredients like fruit juice. Arrowroot also stands up to freezing whereas mixtures thickened with cornstarch tend to break down after freezing and thawing.”


“Arrowroot powder can be substituted for flour thickeners at a ratio of one teaspoon of arrowroot powder for every one tablespoon of flour.”

I’ve never noticed a taste difference between it and flour as a thickener.

One thing I read once, is that tripe stinks when it is cooking/boiling.  I never remembered that from my childhood when my parents would cook it, nor did I notice anything “off” about the aroma here in my house for this recipe.  And I’d gone outside during part of the process to take care of the chickens.  I usually notice aromas upon return!  (Maybe their tripe hadn’t been properly cleaned before that was acquired!)

PS:  I am pretty sure lamb tripe won’t need 4 hours of boiling.  Indeed, I think my beef tripe would have been fine after three, but for certain things such as timings, I’m following the recipe.

Prep Time:  About 30 minutes, mostly while the tripe is cooking.
Cook Time:  About 4.5 hours.  Not for a workday night!
Rest Time:  None.
Serves: 4 adventurous souls.
Cuisine:  Turkish.
Leftovers:  Yes. Because of the egg, re-heat gently.

İşkembe Çorbası: A Turkish Tripe Soup

  • 1 pound/ 600 grams veal or beef tripe, cleaned.  Lamb tripe may also be used.
  • Water.  Recipe said 12 cups, but I think that’s a typo.  I didn’t measure but made sure there was always enough to cover the tripe, and added in another cup at the end.  And used my spoon to taste.
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth, low sodium.  Beef should work fine, too.  
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. hot red pepper flakes


Take your cleaned tripe (it should be white, scraped of fat and so forth.  If you find it in a supermarket, it will most likely have been “bleached” white in a baking soda solution.  Anyhow, rinse and wash it further under cold water.

Boil the water and salt in a pot that will contain them.  Once boiling, add the tripe and cover.  Simmer gently for four hours.  If scum appears atop the water, remove with a spoon.

Tripe will take a while to tenderize.  At about four hours, beef tripe should be ready to remove from the liquid.  Remove any extra fat, this will appear as soft blobs on the smooth side of the tripe.  Slice into thin segments, which should be about bite-sized.  I use kitchen sheers for speed.  Return this to the soup, and add the low sodium beef or chicken broth.  Simmer further, about 10 minutes.

In a small skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter, and add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder.  Stir gently until combined.  Whisk as you add a couple ladles of the broth.  Let the mixture thicken, then add to the soup, letting the soup simmer another 15 minutes.

Add salt to taste.  (I didn’t need any more.)

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice.  Then, beat it into the soup, slowly, with continual stirring.  Return heat to a high temperature, but don’t let this boil.


In a small skillet, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine and stir in hot pepper flakes.

Add the soup to each serving bowl, and then drizzle a taste of the butter/pepper flake mixture over each bowl, and serve.

Provide the minced or crushed garlic and the vinegar in separate bowls. Diners should spoon vinegar and/or garlic into their own bowls according to taste.

My source for the above Turkish tripe recipe:  https://www.thespruceeats.com/turkish-tripe-soup-hangover-cure-3274350. 

Keep in mind I DID adapt.

Turkish tripe soup, İşkembe Çorbası, recipe, soup, beef, tripe


Verdict:  I like this a LOT, especially when adding the garlic and vinegar, and yes, a pinch more hot pepper, but I am also looking forward to making an Italian marinara version of tripe later this summer, since that’s what I grew up with.   Or maybe I’ll do menudo (Mexican tripe soup), since I’ve never sampled that.  As noted, that other half of my tripe is in the freezer… run and hide!  At least, nothing is wasted…

This soup is supposed to be a hangover cure.  I didn’t test that function.  Any of my readers inclined to experiment, please do get back to me!!

Was in a rush to get on the road yesterday, so forgot to link to Fiesta Friday’s link party. before heading out.  Here we go!   Fiesta Friday Co-hosted with Fiesta Friday’s wonderful Angie, along with: Ai @ Ai Made It For You

And, since we are about not wasting the odd bits (or hiding them in hot dogs, yes, these things are there…) here we go, bringing this recipe to The Homestead Blog Hop.  

And also, sharing the wealth over at Full Plate Thursday!  




About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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7 Responses to İşkembe Çorbası: A Turkish Tripe Soup

  1. I think it looks delicious. I’ve had menudo, it was good. I’ve had tripe in other dishes, too (sometimes it’s in pho soup). It’s not bad seriously, just a little stringy. I’m sure if you cook it long enough, it’ll become tender. Good for you cooking nose to tail, nothing wasted! 👏👏

    • This wasn’t stringy at all, indeed very tender. Perhaps it is indeed the cooking time. PS, forgot to link to Fiesta Friday before hitting the road yesterday, it is so rectified – not that tripe would ever be featured in the face of everything else! (LoL.)

  2. My mother adored tripe. Although I eat a lot of odd things, the texture of tripe has put me off (and the smell) but maybe I haven’t had it prepared properly. This sounds good.

    • As noted, mine didn’t really have much smell, and what it did have was more of a mild meat than anything else. It may be a matter of how it is cleaned? Both my parents loved tripe. I am looking forward to trying the Mexican soup sometime in a month or so.

  3. Pingback: Filipino Kare-Kare with Tripe | Of Goats and Greens

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