I was just speaking to someone in the sci-fi chat today when the subject of kidneys came up:

Kidneys aren't "bad" in that they have the consistency and taste of muscle/meat... but they're very bitter even after having been prepared. I think you're supposed to boil them.

I've never had boiled kidneys before, nor do I intend to. But the poster of that comment also mentioned that I should Think about what's in kidneys for a moment.

So here I am to ask, should I be boiling them to get rid of their previous contents or are they safe to fry etc?

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    ps: Shouldn't the posted question be titled as something other than "my kidneys" as if it's your own remains being cooked? – zanlok Dec 14 '12 at 21:37
  • @zanlok I understood that so, But some of the urine is still in the kidneys before reaching the urethers. And that makes kidneys have a huge urine smelling. – J.A.I.L. Dec 15 '12 at 0:22

It's perfectly safe to eat kidneys unwashed. But almost nobody enjoys smelling ammonia, urea or nitrogenous wastes in general when eating food.

You can boil them to remove that taste.

But a better alternative is to leave them covered with salt in a colander (so what everybody thinks there's in kidneys for a moment will fall off). Leave there for about two hours, and then rinse them with water with vinegar.

Source: I asked a nephrologyst who prepares one of the best Riñones al Jerez (in English kidneys in Sherry) I've ever tasted.

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  • And here I thought you had to put them in pie together with steak.... – SAJ14SAJ Dec 14 '12 at 22:33
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    @SAJ14SAJ Yeah steak and kidney pie or pudding, can't beat it! – spiceyokooko Dec 14 '12 at 23:02
  • Well, Riñones al Jerez is a typical dish where I am from. I've also eaten just fried when I was a kid (with liver: supposedly for being healthy). I'm sure there are many tasty recipes for kidneys. – J.A.I.L. Dec 15 '12 at 17:16

You don't need to boil them.

Skin them, split them lengthways without separating them in two halves and remove the cores. Soak in cold water for 5 or 10 mins.

Fry, grill or sauté them or braise/steam them with Steak in a pie or suet pudding.

Just to add, it's sheep's kidneys that generally get used.

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  • Why the soaking? – Pureferret Dec 14 '12 at 23:16
  • @Pureferret You should generally soak most offal (liver, kidneys etc.) in water or milk before cooking to remove some of the strong flavour from them. – spiceyokooko Dec 15 '12 at 2:05
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    I've seen recipes calling for pork, beef, lamb or poultry kidneys, besides sheep ones. It depends on the recipe (or on what you can get, I guess). I really don't know why ones would be preferred ver others (except that poultry ones fit whole in your mouth). – J.A.I.L. Dec 15 '12 at 17:02

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