What Is Pork Bung? (Fully Explained)

Pork bung – it’s a term that might make you cringe or raise an eyebrow in curiosity. But what exactly is it?

Is it a delicacy or something to avoid at all costs? In this article, we’ll explore the world of pork bung and uncover what it really is, how it’s prepared, and why some people consider it a must-try dish.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn about this unique and controversial ingredient.

What Is Pork Bung?

Pork bung is a part of the pig’s large intestine, specifically the rectum. It’s not a commonly known or widely used ingredient in Western cuisine, but it’s considered a delicacy in some cultures, particularly in Asian cuisine.

When you buy pork bung at the meat market, it comes in tubes that are about two to three feet long. It’s important to note that this part of the pig is where feces are pushed out, so it’s not the most appetizing thought. However, most supermarkets will have it cleaned, bleached, and prepared for consumption.

The History Of Pork Bung

The history of pork bung can be traced back to ancient times when people used every part of the animal for consumption. In traditional Chinese cuisine, pork bung has been used for centuries as a popular street food and ingredient in various dishes. It is also commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thailand and Vietnam.

In the West, pork bung is primarily used as a large sausage casing. It’s also been used in Mexican cuisine for making chorizo sausages. However, it’s not as widely consumed in Western cultures due to cultural differences and the perception of it being an unappetizing part of the animal.

Despite its reputation, many people who have tried it claim that pork bung has a fantastic taste and texture. It’s often marinated and used in dishes such as pseudo-calamari, sausage, and soup.

How Is Pork Bung Prepared And Cooked?

Before cooking pork bung, it needs to be washed thoroughly in cold water several times. Then, it’s recommended to soak the bung in a mixture of water and vinegar for about an hour. This helps to remove any remaining odors and impurities.

Once the soaking is complete, bring a large pot of water to boil and add the pork bung. Boil for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and drain the water away. Return the bung to the pot and cover with stock or water. Add vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and peppercorns to the pot and season well with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook for up to 2 hours until the bung is tender.

When the bung is cooked, remove it from the pot and allow it to cool until it’s cool enough to handle. Then, slice it diagonally into one-inch wide pieces. These pieces can be deep-fried or stir-fried and served with a dip. Some establishments even serve them on a skewer or in rings accompanied by something pickled to cut through the fattiness.

Alternatively, you can serve pork bung in noodle soups or with beans and tortillas as they are served from street vendors in Mexico. It’s important to note that pork bung is high in fat and not recommended for regular consumption due to its negative health effects.

Pork Bung In Different Cuisines Around The World

Pork bung is a versatile ingredient that is found in different cuisines around the world. In Chinese cuisine, pork bung is a common ingredient and is often used in stir-fries and braises. It’s also featured in the popular dim sum dish, where it’s served with pickles to cut through the fattiness of the organ. Cantonese cooking features sliced liver with onions and spinach leaves in wine sauce, while kidneys are deep-fried and pig ears are served crunchy.

In the United States, pork bung has been used as an imitation calamari, with some restaurants serving it deep-fried. However, this practice is not widely accepted and is considered fraudulent by the USDA.

In Southern cuisine, pork bung is also used and considered a delicacy. It’s often cooked by stewing it and then sliced into thick pieces to be eaten with noodles, broth, and vegetables. It’s also used as a filling for tacos.

The Nutritional Value Of Pork Bung

While pork bung may not be the most appealing part of the pig, it does have some nutritional value. It’s a good source of protein, with about 30 grams per 100 grams of pork bung. It also contains essential amino acids that are important for muscle growth and repair.

In addition to protein, pork bung is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, which is important for healthy blood cells, as well as vitamin B12, which is essential for nerve function and the production of red blood cells.

However, it’s important to note that pork bung is also high in fat and cholesterol. Consuming too much of it can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems. It’s best to enjoy it in moderation as a treat rather than a regular part of your diet.

The Controversy Surrounding Pork Bung

Recently, there has been controversy surrounding the use of pork bung as a substitute for calamari in restaurants. There have been rumors that some unscrupulous restaurant owners are using pork bung in place of calamari to cut costs and increase profits. While there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, it has become a popular urban legend.

In fact, a popular radio show called “This American Life” aired a segment discussing the possibility of pork bung being passed off as calamari. The show’s producer investigated the claim but found no actual evidence that this practice is taking place, or ever had. While the show repeated several times that they had “no proof that anyone, anywhere has ever tried to pass off pork bung as calamari”, the Internet conspiracy machine exploded, and people wanted answers.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has also weighed in on the controversy. A spokesman for the agency said that while the texture of bung is similar to calamari, he was unaware of it ever being passed off as the real thing. Additionally, it would have to be labeled appropriately, so restaurants would know what they’re getting.

Despite these assurances, some people remain wary of eating calamari for fear that it may actually be pork bung. However, it’s important to note that pork bung is a common ingredient in dry sausage, smoked sausage, and liverwurst. It’s possible that people have unknowingly consumed pork bung in these products without realizing it.