Tendon is one of the less popular cuts of beef, especially in Western cuisine.
However, it is a very healthy option for those who are looking to lower their cholesterol.
Tendon is also an affordable cut that is used to create many delicious dishes.
In this blog post, we will go into detail about what beef tendon tastes like, why eating tendon could be beneficial for your health, and where to buy it.
Let’s check it out!
What are beef tendons?
Beef tendons are pieces of the cow’s connective tissue.
They are found between the bones and muscles of the cattle, with their important role is holding these two aforementioned parts.
This ingredient is often found around joints at any specific portion of the cow.
Beef tendon is tough and chewy, therefore, the best and most common way to cook it is to slow cook like in stewed, braised, or soup dishes.
When being cooked properly for hours, the beef tendon becomes tender and provides a very satisfying mouthfeel.
It is a rich source of collagen, which benefits our skin, nails, hair, and joint health.
In fact, the beef tendon has been used in cooking for centuries in Asian cuisine, but it is not really popular in the United States, or Western cuisine in general.
How many calories are in beef tendon?
Beef tendon is intermediate in calories.
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Specifically, a 100 gram serving of beef tendon will provide eaters with 150 calories.
To burn these 150 calories, is equivalent to either 23 minutes of cycling, 15 minutes of running, or 55 minutes of doing chores.
Beef tendon is also a wealthy source of protein, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Despite the fat mouthfeel, beef tendons are low in fat.
This makes it perfect for people who don’t want to gain more weight with no need to sacrifice flavors.
How to choose the best beef tendon?
Although beef tendon is sold much cheaper than other cuts of beef indeed, the selection process shouldn’t be underestimated.
If you want to try out beef tendon dishes, the first thing to do is choosing the best ingredient.
1. Buy beef tendon that doesn’t have any discoloration or weird spots
Beef tendon is typically sold at the raw version, which is pale pink in color.
When being rinsed and blanched, they turn white.
So when shopping for fresh beef tendon, you should stick with the one that looks bright and pink.
If the beef tendon is dull and stale, it might be left from yesterday.
In some cases, it is still safe to consume these kinds of the beef tendon if there is no weird and unpleasant smell, but the flavor is definitely not as expected.
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Even worse, you might have a foodborne illness.
Keep in mind that beef tendons that have any discoloration with black spots on the surface should be avoided.
2. Buy beef tendon from a reputable source
If you know a reputable butcher shop, why not buy beef tendon from them?
You can feel safer because the origin of the beef tendon is clear, and the quality of this ingredient is probably better.
Moreover, since the beef tendon is not sold widely, you can ask the butcher ahead and tell them to reserve beef tendon for you.
Isn’t it great?
Where to buy beef tendon?
Due to the less popularity in Western cuisine, beef tendons are not likely to be sold at any grocery store or supermarket in the United States.
So here are some common places where you can purchase beef tendon.
1. Butcher shops
Butcher shops are where you can find any cut of meat because the animal is slaughtered right here.
Beef tendon is not always sold on the market, but you can totally find it in a butcher shop because it is just a part of a cow, like other meat cuts.
Don’t forget to ask the butcher ahead for reserving this beef cut for you.
2. Asian supermarket
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Beef tendon is one of the staples in Chinese cuisine or Asian cuisine in general.
Therefore, it will be easier to purchase this beef ingredient in a somewhat Asian supermarket like H-Mart.
The beef tendon can be sold fresh or frozen in the meat section of these supermarkets, so keep your eyes on the shelves to look for it.
Beef tendon is a low-cost and healthy alternative to beef cuts like steak or sirloin.
Tendon has been shown to lower cholesterol and improve heart health as well!
If you’re looking for a new protein option that will help get your heart rate up but won’t break the bank, give beef tendons a try.
You can visit your nearest butcher shop or look for some Asian supermarkets to carry this overlooked but amazing ingredient home.
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