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Lemon Peel Papaitan from Georgia

There is exactly one Filipino restaurant in the Republic of Georgia, a country nestled between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains that attracts thousands of Gulf-based Filipino tourists every year. However, there are no Filipino grocery stores, so chef Don Palmero of Little Manila Grill & Resto has to improvise. To make papaitan, he bitters the broth with lemon peel instead of beef bile (or the powdered equivalent more common to diasporic chefs). The result is a brighter, more accessible take on the traditional hangover cure, with a citrusy flavor that recalls the lemon soups of the Caucasian region.


- 4 whole lemons

- 1/2 lb beef tripe

- 1/2 lb beef small intestine

- 2 tablespoons oil

- 1 lb chuck beef, cut into 1-inch pieces

- 1 onion, diced

- 1 inch knob ginger, minced

- 5 cloves garlic, minced

- 1-2 bird's eye chiles, sliced

- 4-5 cups beef stock

- Salt and pepper to taste

A shot from Chef Palmero's kitchen (Photo courtesy of Little Manila)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel the lemons and slice into strips. Reserve the fruit. Arrange the peels on the lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 2 hours, or until peels are dry but still flexible. Remove from oven and set aside. (You may do this ahead of time.)
  3. Clean tripe and intestines very well. Place in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until tripe and intestines are tender enough to pierce with a knife. Remove from the pot and slice into 1-inch pieces. Discard the cooking liquid and dry the pot.
  4. Pat the chuck beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in the pot until shimmering. Add the beef to the pot and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
  5. Add onion to the pan and cook, scraping up any leftover brown bits from the beef. When onion is translucent, add garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is slightly browned.
  6. Return beef, tripe and intestines to the pot. Add enough stock to cover.
  7. Place the dried lemon peel in a cheesecloth and tie off the top. Add the wrapped lemon peel to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  8. Simmer 1 hour or until meat and offal is all very tender. Add the juice of 1-3 lemons, depending on your taste.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with hot white rice.

This article also appeared in Positively Filipino Magazine.

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