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13
Aug

testicles copy

Lamb testicles for sale in the souk in Damascus — these are a lot more veined than the norm; also it is not often that you find them hung like this. The butcher peels and discards the outer membrane before weighing and cutting them the way you want.

A few days ago, Serious Eats tweeted about yak testicles. I have never tried them but I love lamb testicles and have been eating them forever. Well, from when I could chew. They are considered a great delicacy in Lebanon and I find their soft, melting texture and subtle flavour irresistible. Of course, they need to be very fresh for that subtle, clean taste but this is not a problem in the Middle East where they slaughter lambs and sell the meat and offal the same day.

Often when I go to Beirut, I call my mother from London to ask her to prepare something delicious and she always gets me testicles. Except that last time I was there, the butcher had diced them instead of cutting them in wedges and my mother hadn’t noticed. A disaster, at least for me. It is more difficult to control the cooking time when they are cut so small and as a result, they can easily overcook and turn rubbery.

testicles - diced copy

So, I had to wait till the next day to call the butcher and ask him to send us some more, but cut in wedges this time. The funny thing was that the new lot was paler and a lot softer than the diced ones. Perhaps they were even fresher although I didn’t find out — I left Lebanon before I could ask him.

testicles - wedges copy

In any case, I dipped them in a little seasoned flour and fried them in butter for a minute or so on each side. Then I squeezed a little lemon juice over them as they finished cooking and enjoyed. They were just perfect, even if they don’t look like much in the picture.

testicles - cooked 2 copy

And then there was one…

The sad thing is that I can no longer find lamb testicles easily in London. My Lebanese butcher who used to have them no longer sells them, and the Turkish butcher I go to in Green Lanes only has themย  in winter. Luckily, I am going back to Lebanon soon and I will be calling my mother to place my order. But not diced, please!


There is 28 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I have never tried them but am hoping to visit Lebanon next year so am sure will do so then!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    you must. they really are very good.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I am still unconvinced.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    oh nanette, you should just take the plunge, and testicles are a very good place to start ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    anissa, I made a 17th c. English dish that called for lamb stones and tried to get them. Butchers in the US don’t get them as many slaughterhouses call them ‘inedibles’ and toss them. I am trying to wrangle some from a farmer … now I really want to try them!!! I can see from the picture why the recipe paired them with sweetbreads and oysters and served them floured and fried alongside pigeon… thanks for the 1st person review… now I know to make sure they are not chopped up!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    you should get in touch with the guy who wrote abt them on serious eats and ask him where you can get some. they look different on his photos, and perhaps it is to do with how fresh they are. i must ask my butcher when i go back to beirut. will update if he says anything interesting. and good luck with the recipe. it sounds really interesting. and testicles are even more delicate than sweetbreads. and just as sexy as oysters!!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    The are indeed very soft and pale when very fresh. When we slaughter a sheep for eid, the offal is cooked very soon afterward. We make a brochette out of the testicles. I am a bit squeamish to eat a whole skewer full, but can certainly taste them each time and admit that they’re good!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    squeamish? where you come from? hmm… by the way, where do you live? i am coming to morocco next year.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I will have to admit I am not a great fan myself. MY favourite lamb offal is spleen. Only when my dad prepare them, fresh, clean, and delicious.

    Many halal butchers this side of London (Acton, Sheperds Bush and West Ealing) sell them. I think even Damas Gate has them on offer.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks for telling me Kano. unfortunately, they are too far for me. i love spleen. my mother makes the best t’hal i know. with coriander, garlic and vinegar. sooo good. will have to ask her to make it for me. and congratulations on your baby.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Beautiful pictures. What a shame they’re not more readily available.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks. actually, i have heard from various friends here that they are more easily available. must go up to green lanes to get some.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Very popular among real foodies in Greece as well!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Thoroughly surreal! Though not necessarily terribly appealing as food, I find the idea otherwise (esp. visually) nourishing. (I grew up on visually tame, imagination-safe, puerile-looking food such as meringue cookies, alphabet soup and gummi bears)


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    what is alphabet soup? do you mean the past alphabet that is straight out of a tin? yuk.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    No, not out of a tin. A decent, often delicious home-made soup with useful-looking (from a parent’s viewpoint) alphabet-shaped pasta.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    that’s ok then. i thought it was tins like a friend of mine did with his children. i was shocked every time i saw them eat the stuff.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I butchered sheep today and am looking for recipes to prepare the testicles. I am curious to see how this comes out.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Yesterday my family was at an Eid al-Adha picnic at Halal Pastures outside of NYC and were taken under the wing of an Algerian family who taught us how to prepare (very fresh!) lamb testicles as well as making bouzalouff–searing sheep’s heads over a fire to get the hair off in advance of making a soup. My husband is prepping the testicles for lunch right now and we’ll be trying out your suggestions above!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    great. i hope you enjoyed them ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Great recipe! I’ve looked at so many now, trying to find the right one. After tonights dinner I know I picked the right recipe! In Quรฉbec, Canada, lamb testicles are an abundance in middle eastern grocery stores. Sometimes there are more testicles than any other meat! I finally decided to try them tonight after some hesitation (i have to admit i initially thought the idea of severed testicles being sold in a store to be quite unsettling, let alone consuming them) and now I’m a fan! Are you eating testicle as often these days? Or is it still just as hard to find? Thanks again!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hi, Iโ€™m very keen to try this recipe. Iโ€™ve tried testicles before, and it was delicious. Do you know where I can find it in London ? Do you always find it in the Lebanese butcher ? Cheers!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    at the Turkish shops in Green Lanes in London, or Green Valley in Upper Berkeley Street ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hi Anissa,

    What are the benefits of eating Lamb testicles, In Asia, there is a belief that it’s good for males for their sex life, but I don’t understand the benefit for female, couldn’t get any blog or good article on google as well!

    Just want to understand, if it is not too much for you, could you please share your thoughts.

    Thanks,
    Meena.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    none apart from the fact that they are delicious


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I just bought a kilo of lamb testicles in Finsbury park, on Blackstock rd! First butchers coming from the station

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