It’s been a while! After my old traditional butcher shop closed down, and the farm I used to order from stopped delivering downtown, I had to find a new provider for pig’s blood. And let me tell you, summertime was not the best time for it! High temperatures make it difficult to transport blood in the proper conditions. After a lot of fruitless inquiries, and with the coming of Autumn, I finally found that I was looking for. I met a great couple at the local farmer’s market who raise free range, organic forest pigs, and they kindly listened to my request. Here I am, a week later, with my order of 6 liters of fresh, free range pig’s blood.
What is soondae? The word looks an awful lot like sundae (it’s even commonly transliterated this way), but I can guarantee that most people would be fairly shocked to receive a plate full of plump sausages filled with blood and pig’s snout, rather than the sweet, frozen treat of their dreams. Soondae is a traditional Korean blood sausage similar to black pudding, though the starchy filler used is glutinous (sweet) rice. It’s a true sausage in that it is stuffed inside a casing much like morcilla or boudin noir. The texture is amazing, folks. It’s light, chewy, bouncy – quite reminiscent of mochi due to the sticky rice and pork snouts. It’s something you can become addicted to far too easily..
Today, we bring you The Red Cellar version of a traditional Filipino street food : Betamax. Playfully named after, from what we’ve gathered, the popular Sony video cassette format of similar iconic appearance. Betamax is a highly sought-after snack food, traditionally made from solid pieces of marinated, skewered and roasted chicken (or duck) blood.
The blood curd itself tends to be pretty mild in flavour and has a texture resembling that of firm tofu. What makes it decidedly shine, however, is the beautiful combinations of seasonings and spices that are first used to marinate and then garnish the final product. It’s a simple, highly nutritive snack, rich in various compounds, vitamins, and minerals, such as iron and protein. Betamax can be enjoyed as an appetiser or, as they’re fond of in the Philippines, a tasty late night bite after a night of heavy drinking.
I’ll admit it, this is a weird recipe, somewhere between ravioli, russian pelmeni and gyoza. Just…With extra blood. They are a bit time consuming to make but definitely worth the effort as they only take a couple minutes to fry. Make a big batch (double or triple the amounts in this post) and keep them in the freezer for a quick lunch.
They go wonderfully well with steamed vegetables, parsnip or celery root puree, or simply some rice.
The original recipe was found on this post by Nordic Food Lab, among a couple other brilliant blood-based dishes, be sure to check them out. For a while, this was my go to site for whenever I had extra blood left in the fridge and needed to do some cooking.
After experimenting with this recipe quite a bit, I propose here my own take on it. Make sure to check the Notes and Tips at the end of the post, because this cake is surprisingly difficult to get right.
First in a series of blood pancakes recipes. Next up will be Veriletut, savoury Finnish pancakes, with beer, buckwheat and blood as the main ingredients, followed by a chocolaty, gluten-free, protein-packed version with cocoa (with blood, of course).
This is a version of the classic buttermilk pancake including pig’s blood. They are extremely easy to put together and delicious. As I was in a hurry, mine came out a bit denser than usual, but don’t fret, you can get them pretty fluffy. Ideal for a Sunday morning breakfast or a nice afternoon snack.