I am cooking lamb kidneys by frying them on a pan. If I do not remove the cores of the kidneys, that tissue in the core remains and is hard to chew afterwards.

Is there a way to cook the kidneys with the cores in place so that they become softer? this is because they are not easy to remove.

What is the easiest technique for removing the cores if needed?


The simplest way to remove kidney cores is to cut the kidneys in half (horizontally) then snip the cores out with a pair of sharp scissors. With practice this can be done in two or three quick cuts.

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    This Youtube video illustrates it. I'm sure there are others, too. – JoeFish Aug 21 '13 at 14:15
  • @JoeFish, super video link! :) – Vass Aug 22 '13 at 13:59

You're asking two questions here. (See Elendil's answer for how to remove the cores.)

Chewy connective tissues can be made tender by slow cooking. You will never be able to soften them up by pan-frying. If you want tender kidneys, and are interested in trying a different cooking method, you could make something like steak and kidney stew. (Disclaimer: I've never actually made steak and kidney stew, so I'm making a few assumptions.)

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  • so they can be treated like beef that need a long medium heat in a simmer? – Vass Sep 11 '13 at 13:22
  • Like I said, I've never actually tried it. That's the only way I know of to cook them that could make them more tender, though. – Bob Sep 11 '13 at 21:10

Put either oil or some butter in the pan. What this does is soften up the cores so they can be eaten. I personally enjoy the cores and don't remove them.

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    OP said they're frying, so they already have oil or butter in the pan. – Peter Taylor Aug 21 '13 at 11:25
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    Not necessarily, when you fry bacon do you put oil in the bottom? No, they create their own juices. – Young Guilo Aug 21 '13 at 11:26
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    @YoungGuilo, the cores still come out chewy and tough like tendon meat. how long should they cook for / what heat level / how much height of oil or butter in the pan (eg. 0.25 or 1cm) ? – Vass Aug 22 '13 at 13:57
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    The oil/butter probably has nothing to do with the softening - it's just your cooking time/temperature. – Cascabel Aug 24 '13 at 15:48
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    @Vass cook the kidneys for about 15 minutes on level 6. – Young Guilo Aug 25 '13 at 3:07

For anyone still interested in this, I soak kidneys overnight in lemon juice (or at least a couple of hours) then drain before cooking. I've never found them to be very chewy myself. Maybe that might help.

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