How to clean a pig’s maw (stomach)?

I will not gross my dear readers out with a photo of a pale looking, limp pig’s maw.  It is like a scene from the forensic movie, sort of like CSI.  Funny how the stomach of animals (and human too?) are always pale, whitish and has funny texture.

I love looking at cows and goats stomachs.  They are like towels with their funny surface.  Must take a macro shot of them one day.  I also like to eat gulai and kerabu perut.  But the same cannot be said for pig’s stomach.

This one is stinky if not washed properly and super pukey.  So, never attempt to cook a pig’s stomach unless you know how to wash it, ok?  You don’t want your kitchen to smell like a pigs’ farm.

For the amateur cooks who want to make the famous too-thor th’ng, just buy one cleaned and prepared maw from the better know deli like Ed’s Deli because they had probably got rid of all the gunk.  However, you still need to do the following:

  1. Put lots of salt and leave them to stand for a while.  Make sure you put the salt inside the inner layers.
  2. You will get slimy juices.  Turn the stomach inside out and run through lots of water
  3. If you are paranoid, repeat a few more cycles
  4. Boil in water for a few minutes till it is a bit harden and stiff.  Wash again.
  5. Trim off the whitish layer that looks like fat (it is fat).  If you trim now, it is easier than if you do so before Step 1
  6. It is good to go into the cooking pot.  (recipe will be posted next time)

The thing is if you buy a prepared pig’s maw, the soup will not taste as good as the one you bought from the butcher.  If you get the pig’s maw from the butcher, ask them if they have cleaned it.  Anyway, to be on the safe side, clean in this manner:

  1. Rub lots of tamarind pulp and salt and leave the stomach for a while
  2. Slimy, stinky juice will come out
  3. Wash
  4. Turn it inside out
  5. Repeat steps 1-4
  6. If you have guava leaves, (which I bet you won’t), then rub with guave leaves.  Guave leaves are fragrant and their fibrous leaves
  7. Turn the stomach inside out and you will notice a yellow layer.  This is the stomach juices or wateva.  Use a knife and scrape them off.
  8. Boil the stomach
  9. Continue washing
  10. Smell.  If it doesn’t make you faint, then you can cook it.  If it does, you can go back to step 1 again.

Chinese eat pig’s stomach almost every day after they delivered a baby for a whole month.  I did that too because it is really great with peppers.    Of course, I did not consume 30 pigs stomach in a month but probably 10?

I will post the recipe when I had taken a photo of the pot of soup in my kitchen.  🙂

Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

11 thoughts on “How to clean a pig’s maw (stomach)?


    (May 20, 2006 - 8:51 pm)

    i remembered that my grandma used small amount of pang sar “boric acid” to clean the inner stomach.

    I dun know, wheteher we can buy “pang sar” nowadays….. maybe try your luck in chinese medicine hall.


    (May 21, 2006 - 2:57 am)

    Your method is out dated and “low yar”. How can you get rid of those dirty stuff INSIDE the maw without cutting & exposing it?

    The easiest, quickest and cleanest way to do it without even “pang sar” is:-

    1. Get a sharp knife and slit the maw into two pieces, along the edges please.
    2. Under slow running water, use a thick knife and really SCRAP OFF those slimmy yellowish stuff. Scrap and rescrap until you see no more on both halfes.
    3. Heat up a large wok (under maximun fire), sprinkle a generous amount of common salt and after 1 minute, place the inside layers onto the salt and let it boiled; use a spade to hold them down for maximum contact. After a minute or two turn them over for another minute.
    4. When almost dry, take the whole wok and place it under maximum running water and hand washed them. Rinse them dry.
    5. Meantimee, use steel wool to clean your stainless steel wok (but not onto a non stick on).
    6. Repeat step 3 & 4 and you can have a clean maw with no smell.

    Cutting them into small pieces, this is added to the boiling “Bak Kut Teh” soup with the Ribs and “Chee Chang Yok” added latter. Cost 8 + 5 + 8 + 7 = RM28 for 8, selling RM60


    (May 22, 2006 - 9:30 am)

    My grandma used to tell us they used papaya leaves in the olden days to clean pig’s maw. But now, my new-fangled aunt and mom swear by a can of coke poured over and inside it towards the end of the cleaning process for that final clean! It’s amazing…no more smell after that and when you wash it off, no hint of coke left either.


    (May 23, 2006 - 2:33 pm)

    I usually dares to visit this site after I had a full meal for if I come in here before I’ve eaten I get carried away during meals and order tonnes of food…hahaa..

    Anyway..with regards to pig maw..I recalled a shop I saw in my hometown actually soaking the thing in coca-cola to clean it properly…..and the whole pig maw was bubbling and curdling away….imagine what coca-cola does to our stomach lining…was put off coke….for about 2 weeks hahahahahah then went..what the cleans my stomach what..hahaha


    (May 23, 2006 - 3:53 pm)

    Yes, just pour oveer a can of coke and soak it for a while and da…da… it’s clean.


    (June 19, 2006 - 11:31 pm)

    We use tamarind to rub on the insides of the pig stomach, then wash and scrape with knife. Then turn inside out, dump onto dry wok and fry for a minute or two. After that, take out, scrap again and wash.

    Really, it doesn’t stink la. Smells like pork. If anything, prawns smell worse.


    (July 25, 2006 - 10:23 pm)

    We ate pig stomack all the time at home but I never watched anything. now my parents are gone and I wanted to try it. The pig stomack I bought didn’t have a pocket to fill. I did remember my dad soaking it in salt so I did that. then tryed getting all the lumps of fat off by scraping with a knife. then I tryed pulling the thick layed away from the thinner layer, it ripped into a mess. What do you do if there is not pocket to fill


    (July 27, 2006 - 2:29 am)

    Linda – I am not sure if you have bought a stomach that has been cut opened? ‘Cos if it is stomach, it looks like a bag. Normally, pig’s stomach has two layer. The inner one is darker and outer one, shiny. If you have no ‘pocket’, then just boil it like usual but don’t tear the two layers apart ‘cos they are supposed to be that way?


    (August 1, 2006 - 12:10 am)

    i’ve done it! thanks lilian… i tried using almost all the steps, and let’s see how the food would turn out 🙂


    (February 23, 2007 - 11:40 am)

    Hey guys!,

    i’m trying to clean a pig stomach not for eating.. but for doctors to practice their endoscopy on. I was wondering what’s the best way to clean the damn thing without cooking/boiling to preserve texture.. does Coke stain the stomach? I’ve previously just salted and scraped.. but realized that it still gets slimy. Thanks!


    (July 19, 2007 - 11:42 am)

    Hi! everyone, what I do is, mix and apply equal amount of sea salt,cooking oil & small lime juice to the stomach. Sea salt acts as abrasion too. And using the skins of the small limes, after squeezing the juice, to rub it all over to get rid the smell. Then prepare a pot of boiling water to blanch it and then use a knife to scrap off the lining of fats. Its now ready to add to the pot with port ribs,lots garlic, peppercorns. When ready garnish it with chinese celery.

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