Steaming Bowl of Romanian Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta) Garnished and Ready to Eat, Accompanied by a Glass of Traditional Palinca.

This Romanian Tripe Soup Recipe Will Make You Ask For More

Video Recipe

Tripe soup is a cornerstone of Romanian cuisine, embodying its rich blend of flavors, traditions, and tales. Known locally as “Ciorba de Burta,” this dish is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary voyage through Romania’s gastronomic legacy. In this article, we’ll delve into the essence of Ciorba de Burta, highlighting its cultural importance, the health advantages of tripe, and providing a detailed guide to crafting this delectable soup in your kitchen.


Key Takeaways

  1. Cultural Reverence: Ciorba de Burta, a Romanian tripe soup, is a cherished dish reflecting the nation’s rich culinary traditions. It symbolizes communal celebration, making appearances in family gatherings and festive occasions, thus holding a special place in Romanian culture.
  2. Nutritional Bounty: Tripe, the main ingredient, is a powerhouse of essential nutrients including proteins, vitamins B12 and folate, and crucial minerals like calcium and iron. This makes the soup not just a flavorful delight but also a beneficial addition to the diet.
  3. Economical and Environmental Choice: Compared to steak, tripe is a more affordable and environmentally responsible choice, promoting better utilization of the animal and reducing waste, while providing a unique texture and taste.
  4. Global Gastronomic Appeal: The growing interest in Romanian cuisine, led by dishes like Ciorba de Burta, is placing Romania on the global gastronomic map. The soup’s universal appeal is evidenced by its inclusion in restaurant menus beyond Romania, indicating its capacity to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries.

The Cultural Significance of Ciorba de Burta

Romania, with its diverse history and geographical location, has a cuisine that’s influenced by various cultures. From the Ottoman Empire to the Austro-Hungarian influence, Romanian food is a melting pot of flavors. However, amidst this diversity, Ciorba de Burta holds a special place. It’s not just a soup; it’s a celebration.

Historically, tripe soup has been a dish of both the rich and the poor. While the elite relished it for its unique taste and texture, the common folk loved it for its affordability and nutritional value. Over the years, this soup has become a staple in Romanian households, especially during festive occasions and family gatherings. It’s a dish that brings people together, a dish that tells a story.

For many Romanians, Ciorba de Burta is more than just a meal. It’s a reminder of home, of family gatherings, and of the warmth of Romanian hospitality. Whether it’s served at a local eatery in Bucharest or a countryside home in Transylvania, this soup is a symbol of Romanian culture and tradition.

The Nutritional Powerhouse: Tripe

Tripe, the main ingredient in Ciorba de Burta, is the edible lining of the stomach of ruminant animals, most commonly cows. While it might not sound appetizing to everyone, tripe is a nutritional powerhouse.

Rich in protein, tripe provides the essential amino acids required for muscle growth and repair. But the benefits don’t stop there. Tripe is also a fantastic source of various minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. These minerals play a crucial role in bone health, energy production, and overall metabolic function.

Moreover, tripe is a good source of vitamins, particularly vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin B12 is vital for nerve function and the formation of red blood cells, while folate is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division.

But what truly sets tripe apart from other meats is its unique texture and flavor. When cooked, tripe becomes tender and absorbs the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked with, making it a perfect base for soups and stews.

Ciorba de Burta: A Better Alternative to Steak?

While steak is often hailed as the king of meats, tripe, especially when prepared as Ciorba de Burta, can give it a run for its money. Not only is tripe more affordable than steak, but it also offers a unique combination of textures and flavors that are hard to find in other dishes.

Furthermore, tripe is more environmentally friendly than steak. Ruminant animals have multiple stomach chambers, which means that by consuming tripe, we’re making better use of the animal and reducing waste.

In terms of health benefits, both steak and tripe offer a good amount of protein. However, tripe has the added advantage of being rich in various minerals and vitamins, making it a more nutrient-dense option.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Ciorba de Burta

Ingredients for Romanian Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta)

Romanian Tripe Soup Ingredients.
  • Beef Tripe: 1 kilogram or 2 pounds (either fresh or pre-boiled and frozen)
  • Hamstrings (Tendoane): 1.5 kilograms or 3 pounds (cow’s leg area with mostly bones and tendons)
  • Beef Bones (Rasol): 500 grams or 1 pound (preferably from the shank area)
  • Onions: 250 grams or 9 ounces
  • Parsnip: 100 grams or 3.5 ounces
  • Celery Root: 100 grams or 3.5 ounces (can be skipped if unavailable)
  • Carrots: 350 grams or 12 ounces
  • Bay Leaves: A few
  • Salt: 4 tablespoons
  • Peppercorns: A few
  • Sunflower Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Water: Lots and lots

For the First Dressing

Romanian Tripe Soup Ingredients For the First Dressing.
  • Sour Cream: 1 kilogram or 34 ounces (with at least 30% fat)
  • Egg Yolks: 10

For the Second Dressing

Romanian Tripe Soup Ingredients For the Second Dressing.
  • Garlic Heads: 2
  • White Vinegar: 1 cup (with a concentration of 9 degrees)

How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta)

First of all, you need to figure out what you’re working with. There are two types of beef tripe: pre-boiled and frozen, and fresh. Depending on this, you’ll understand how much time the recipe will take to replicate.

In both cases, the tripe should be thoroughly washed before being added anywhere in the recipe.

Now in case you are using pre-boiled beef tripe skip to step no. 2.

1. Preparation of the Fresh Beef Tripe

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

If using fresh cow’s belly, put it to boil in 4 liters of water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 1 hour.

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Change the water and put the beef tripe back to boil in clean water for another hour with another tablespoon of salt.

2. Boiling the Bones

step for the Fresh beef tripe ONLY
Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

After you boiled the fresh beef tripe for a total of 2 hours, change the water again, the third time, but this time instead of 4 liters of water add 6 or 1 gallon and a half and also add the hamstrings and the shank to boil for 1 hour.

step for the Pre-Boiled beef tripe ONLY
Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

In case you are using pre-boiled beef tripe, put the hamstrings and the shank to boil alone for 1 hour. So at this step, no pre-boiled beef tripe is involved.

3. Preparing the Vegetables

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Set one big carrot aside for later.

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Cut the remaining vegetables into big chunks.

Step for Fresh Beef Tripe only
Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Add them to the boiling broth along with bay leaves and peppercorns. Boil together for 30 minutes.

Step Pre-boiled beef tripe only
Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

If using pre-boiled beef tripe, add it when you add the vegetables and boil them for 30 minutes.

4. Sauteing the Carrot

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Grate the carrot you set aside earlier. Fry it in 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for 3-4 minutes.

5. Straining and Cutting

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

After 30 minutes, strain the soup and remove the vegetables. Cut the hamstrings, meat from the bones, and beef tripe, and return them to the soup.

6. Final Boiling

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Add another liter of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sautéed carrot and boil for another 20 minutes.

7. Preparing the Dressings

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Mix egg yolks with sour cream for the first dressing.

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

For the second dressing, crush garlic and mix with vinegar.

8. Incorporating the Dressing

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Turn off the stove and add the sour cream dressing to the soup while continuously mixing.

9. Serving

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.

Serve the soup with an additional dollop of sour cream, garlic and vinegar dressing, and a side of fresh bread.

And if you’re interested in exploring more Romanian delicacies, don’t forget to check out this guide on Romanian Pork Legs and Knuckles Soup.

The Health Benefits of Ciorba de Burta

While Ciorba de Burta is a treat for the taste buds, it’s also a boon for the body. As mentioned earlier, tripe is a nutrient-dense food. But what does this mean for someone consuming the soup?

  1. Digestive Health:
    Tripe is known to promote digestive health. It’s rich in amino acids, which are beneficial for the stomach lining and can help prevent stomach problems, making it a wholesome choice.
  2. Bone Health:
    The calcium and phosphorus in tripe are essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, a fact well-documented in nutritional studies.
  3. Immunity Boost:
    The zinc found in tripe plays a crucial role in boosting the immune system, helping the body fight off various diseases, as highlighted by health experts.
  4. Energy Production:
    The B vitamins, especially B12, found in tripe are vital for energy production in the body. They help convert the food we eat into energy, keeping us active and alert, a benefit often discussed in health circles.

The Legacy of Ciorba de Burta in Romanian Festivities

Romania, a land of myths, legends, and vibrant traditions, has always held its culinary heritage close to its heart. Among the plethora of dishes that Romania boasts, Ciorba de Burta has a special place, not just on the dining table but also in the hearts of the people.

A Festive Delight

In Romania, no celebration is complete without a bowl of steaming Ciorba de Burta. Be it weddings, christenings, or the winter holidays, this soup is a must-have. The rich, creamy texture, combined with the tangy flavor, makes it a favorite among both the young and old. It’s not just a dish; it’s an emotion, a reflection of Romanian culture.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Ciorba de Burta

While the recipe might seem straightforward, like all traditional dishes, Ciorba de Burta has its secrets. Here are some tips to ensure your soup is as authentic as it gets:

  1. Quality of Tripe: Always choose fresh tripe. The whiter the tripe, the better. Fresh tripe has a mild aroma, which is key to a good soup.
  2. Cooking Time: Tripe needs to be cooked slowly and patiently. Rushing this step can result in tough tripe.
  3. Souring Agents: While vinegar is commonly used, some regions in Romania use lemon juice or even sauerkraut juice to give the soup its characteristic tang.
  4. Serving Suggestions: Always serve Ciorba de Burta with a side of hot peppers and sour cream. For those who love a kick, a sprinkle of horseradish is a must.

Ciorba de Burta: Romania’s Gift to the World

Romania’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its geography. From the Carpathian mountains to the Black Sea, every region has its signature dish. However, Ciorba de Burta transcends these regional boundaries. It’s a dish that every Romanian swears by, a dish that has put Romania on the global gastronomic map.

In recent years, with the rise of food tourism, more and more people are discovering the joys of Romanian cuisine. And leading this culinary revolution is none other than Ciorba de Burta. Restaurants across Europe and America now have this soup on their menu, a testament to its universal appeal.

Conclusion

Ciorba de Burta is not just a soup; it’s a story, a story of Romania’s rich heritage, of its people’s love for food, and of traditions passed down through generations. It’s a dish that embodies the spirit of Romania, a dish that, once tasted, is never forgotten.

So the next time you’re in the mood for something hearty, delicious, and steeped in tradition, remember Ciorba de Burta. And as the Romanians say, “Poftă Bună!” or “Bon Appétit!”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tripe?

Tripe is the edible stomach lining of a cow. It’s soft with a bit of chew, and has some texture to it. It’s usually washed thoroughly until it’s white and clean before cooking.

How can I substitute the tripe in the soup?

In some Transylvanian parts of Romania, a similar soup is made with chicken (skin and bones for ultimate flavor) called “Ciorba Radauteana”. So, you can definitely make this soup with chicken instead of tripe.

What does tripe taste like?

While sometimes tripe has a stronger smell before cooking, after you wash it and prepare it according to the recipe, the tripe will absorb the flavors of your broth. It will give the broth a beef flavor but quite mild.

How do you serve tripe soup?

Loaded with tender pieces of tripe, this soup is best served as a main course. In Romania, it’s often served with sour cream, vinegar, and lots of hot peppers, either pickled or fresh. Some prefer their soup a little more sour, while others like it creamier.

How do you clean the tripe before cooking?

Clean the tripe under running water thoroughly and remove any fat or extraneous membranes. It’s essential to be gentle and clean out any impurities. Some people also use vinegar and salt to clean and scrub the tripe.

Can I make this soup in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can easily make this in an Instant Pot by cooking for 30 minutes on high pressure. It can also be made in a Slow Cooker by cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

How long can I store leftover tripe soup?

After letting the tripe soup cool down completely, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze the tripe soup?

Yes, after cooling the soup to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It can be frozen for 3-4 months.

How do I reheat the tripe soup?

Reheating is easy! Use either your microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, or transfer the soup to a pot on the stove-top. Reheat, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until warmed through.

What are the main ingredients in Romanian tripe soup?

The primary ingredients include beef tripe, beef bones, carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, water, vinegar, sour cream, eggs, and garlic.

Authentic Romanian Ciorba de Burta in a Bowl, Garnished & Ready, Showcasing Romania’s Culinary Heritage.

Romanian Tripe Soup (Ciorba de burta)

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes

A traditional and heartwarming Romanian delicacy, Ciorba de Burta is a rich and flavorful soup made from tender beef tripe, robust beef bones, and aromatic vegetables. Infused with a unique blend of sour cream and garlic-vinegar dressings, this soup offers a symphony of tastes that dance on the palate. Often enjoyed on cold days, this comforting broth is not just a dish but a culinary experience that transports you to the rustic kitchens of Romania. Perfectly paired with fresh bread, every spoonful of Ciorba de Burta promises warmth, tradition, and a burst of authentic Romanian flavors.

Ingredients

  • Beef Tripe: 1 kilogram or 2 pounds (either fresh or pre-boiled and frozen)
  • Hamstrings (Tendoane): 1.5 kilograms or 3 pounds (cow’s leg area with mostly bones and tendons)
  • Beef Bones (Rasol): 500 grams or 1 pound (preferably from the shank area)
  • Onions: 250 grams or 9 ounces
  • Parsnip: 100 grams or 3.5 ounces
  • Celery Root: 100 grams or 3.5 ounces (can be skipped if unavailable)
  • Carrots: 350 grams or 12 ounces
  • Bay Leaves: A few
  • Salt: 4 tablespoons
  • Peppercorns: A few
  • Sunflower Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Water: Lots and lots

For the First Dressing

  • Sour Cream: 1 kilogram or 34 ounces (with at least 30% fat)
  • Egg Yolks: 10

For the Second Dressing

  • Garlic Heads: 2
  • White Vinegar: 1 cup (with a concentration of 9 degrees)

Instructions

First of all, you need to figure out what you’re working with. There are two types of beef tripe: pre-boiled and frozen, and fresh. Depending on this, you’ll understand how much time the recipe will take to replicate.

In both cases, the tripe should be thoroughly washed before being added anywhere in the recipe.

Now in case you are using pre-boiled beef tripe skip to step no. 2.

1. Preparation of the Fresh Beef Tripe

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.If using fresh cow’s bely, put it to boil in 4 liters of water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 1 hour.

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Change the water and put the beef tripe back to boil in clean water for another hour with another tablespoon of salt.

2. Boiling the Bones

STEP FOR THE FRESH BEEF TRIPE

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.After you boiled the fresh beef tripe for a total of 2 hours, change the water again, the third time, but this time instead of 4 liters of water add 6 or 1 gallon and a half and also add the hamstrings and the shank to boil for 1 hour.

STEP FOR THE PRE-BOILED BEEF TRIPE

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.In case you are using pre-boiled beef tripe, put the hamstrings and the shank to boil alone for 1 hour. So at this step, no pre-boiled beef tripe is involved.

3. Preparing the Vegetables

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Set one big carrot aside for later.

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Cut the remaining vegetables into big chunks.

STEP FOR FRESH BEEF TRIPE ONLY

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Add them to the boiling broth along with bay leaves and peppercorns. Boil together for 30 minutes.

STEP PRE-BOILED BEEF TRIPE ONLY

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.If using pre-boiled beef tripe, add it when you add the vegetables and boil them for 30 minutes.

4. Sauteing the Carrot

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Grate the carrot you set aside earlier. Fry it in 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for 3-4 minutes.

5. Straining and Cutting

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.After 30 minutes, strain the soup and remove the vegetables. Cut the hamstrings, meat from the bones, and beef tripe, and return them to the soup.

6. Final Boiling

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Add another liter of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sautéed carrot and boil for another 20 minutes.

7. Preparing the Dressings

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Mix egg yolks with sour cream for the first dressing.

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.For the second dressing, crush garlic and mix with vinegar.

8. Incorporating the Dressing

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Turn off the stove and add the sour cream dressing to the soup while continuously mixing.

9. Serving

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Tripe Soup.Serve the soup with an additional dollop of sour cream, garlic and vinegar dressing, and a side of fresh bread.

Notes

  1. The recipe can be made with either fresh beef tripe or pre-boiled and frozen tripe. Fresh tripe requires additional boiling to remove its strong smell.
  2. These are specific parts of the cow's leg, rich in collagen, which give the soup its rich taste and texture. If unavailable, they can be skipped.
  3. Preferably use bones from the shank area of the cow's leg, which is rich in marrow and meat. If unavailable, any meaty bone can be substituted.
  4. Use sour cream with at least 30% fat to prevent the soup from having a segregated texture.
  5. Use white vinegar with a concentration of 9 degrees. Apple cider vinegar is not recommended as a substitute.
  6. The soup is traditionally served with an additional dollop of sour cream, garlic and vinegar dressing, and a side of fresh bread.
  7. The soup has two special dressings. One is mixed with the entire broth, and the other is added to individual servings.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 400g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 2400mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 20g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and for reference purposes only. Actual values may vary due to factors such as product brands, preparation methods, and ingredient substitutions. The provided values may not include all nutrients and should not be relied upon as the sole source of nutritional information. Always read product labels and consider individual factors when making dietary choices. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies or adverse effects resulting from the use of this information.

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Author

  • Diana

    Hey! I’m Diana. a 30-year-old culinary enthusiast with a passion for creating mouthwatering dishes that tantalize your taste buds. With over 15 years of cooking experience under my apron, I’ve spent countless hours in the kitchen honing my skills, experimenting with flavors, and discovering the most delectable recipes.

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