The Easiest & Quickest Wok Liver, Onion & Fried Potato Recipe Ever

Both my wife & I grew up eating a fair amount of liver & onions, often along with fried potatoes. It's a big chore and a big mess. My mother's method calls for everything to be fried in bacon fat, and you need a lot. If you don't have enough, you have to fry up a lot of bacon.

Both the onions and the potatoes require a lot of time if you want the potatoes nicely browned and the onions beyond slimy worms. So it really requires three fry pans if you want things done at the same time. Enter spatters all over—it's a big mess, a big production that takes quite a bit of time.

Enter the wok, a cookie sheet, and coconut oil. My interest in this is to give people easy options for getting liver into their diet if they can—the world's most nutritious food, ounce for ounce. Toward that end, I've also put up two other completely different liver preparations, Smothered Beef Liver and Barbecued Beef Liver. I particularly like the former and I think offers the best chance at liver not tasting so much like liver, given the tomato sauce.

So this preparation takes about 30 minutes and there's almost no mess. And, I think that the coconut oil instead of bacon drippings really balances things out wonderfully, surprisingly so. One other thing. Every time I do a post on liver preparations I get the folks who either eat it raw, or flash fry, with no flour dredge, etc. Knock yourselves out. I'm not interested in raw, though I would be intrigued to try a sushi-like preparation. I plain old like the flour dredge and the texture it affords. I use gluten free all-purpose flour (garbanzo & fava bean based). It's a very small amount and if it helps someone include liver in their diet, I'm all for it—even if its plain old white flour. The benefit to liver outweighs puritanism. So here goes.

Preparation

  1. Slice your liver into small strips & pieces and pat it dry
  2. Slice your onions
  3. Dice your potatoes
  4. Preheat oven to 400F
  5. Heat coconut oil in wok on medium high
  6. Spread out flour (gluten free if possible) on a plate

Now you're ready to go. First step is to toss your onions into the coconut oil, enough so they are deep frying.

IMG 1149
Onions

This is basically for the purpose of coating the onions in coconut oil, but I kept them in about 2 minutes to get them started. Then remove with a slotted tool of some sort onto the cookie sheet and really shake off as much fat as possible. Then do the same with the potatoes.

IMG 1150
Potatoes

Just a couple of minutes, those go on the cookie sheet as well, and then it goes into the center rack for about 20 minutes, or until both are brown. I prefer some part of the onions to be toasty, blackened. Now wait. Turn down the flame on the coconut oil but keep it hot. At about 10-12 minutes, toss your potatoes and onions and place them back in the oven.

Turn the heat back up on the coconut oil to medium high, then individually dredge each slice of liver and put it immediately into the oil. Have enough oil so you're basically deep frying them. This is why you use a wok. I turn them continuously in the oil and it takes only ~2 minutes per piece until the flour is browned. I let them drain on another plate on a paper towel. Note that because liver is so moist, you really need to dredge in the flour one by one and immediately into the oil, else your flour will become a gummy, yucky, clumped together mess (experience, here).

IMG 1151
Liver on a plate

You should be done with the liver about the time your potatoes and onions are done and they should look something like this.

IMG 1152
Yes, Bea & I like very crispy onions, almost burnt.

Now it's just a matter of plating.

IMG 1153
Wok fried liver, onions and potato

As another thing to try for those who like it or who are trying to acquire a taste, I very much like dijon mustard (Maille is preferred) as a condiment with the liver. Learned that in France where it's quite common.

Bon appétit.

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Comments

  1. Off Grid Dave says:

    I guess you really do like your onions blackened! lol

    Looks good and sure beats doing it the old school way. Nice idea on the wok!
    I hate liver, but I might actually try it this way especially with the coconut oil.

    • Yes, we both do. It’s how our moms did it. When Bea orders liver & onions in a restaurant, we always say “burn the onions. N…, we’re _serious_. Burn them.” They never get them done enough. Burning some of them like that gives a slight bit of “bitter” taste and we find it goes very well with the liver.

      • Off Grid Dave says:

        I’ll have to try it.

        And speaking of coconut oil and potatoes.

        I make sweet potato homefries using coconut oil, cumin, basil, bit of Italian seasoning, salt/pepper, garlic & onions. No need to measure… it’s all good. They are phenomenal. Try them out. Great with over easy eggs busted open on top.

  2. What’s your oven temp?

    Also, I was inspired by you to make liver tacos. Works out pretty great. I brown the onions, and then follow that up with the liver (no breading, just seasoning). While all that’s going on I chop up an onion in relatively thick chunks (half inch or so is how I like it), and that put them in a container I can use for the liver tacos or whatever. Once the liver is done, I put a corn tortilla in the pan and build my taco: add the uncooked onions, browned onions, liver, and maybe a little cheese with tomatoes. Doing this is really just to get the tortilla pliable and the cheese a little melted. If you find the taste of liver offensive, I think this way does a nice job of toning it down.

    Really, though, I think a lot of people’s issue with liver is that they’ve had it over-cooked. I’m like you, 2 minutes or so in the pan is enough and gets the liver a milder, more tender taste.

  3. David Nikoley says:

    Excellent blog Richard! This will be my next home made meal.

  4. Garbanzo flour is called Besan in Indian shops, and is pretty much the perfect flour for anyone who hates grains and soy.

  5. Lamb’s liver beats beef liver every time for flavour. I flash fry it in a wok on a mix of butter fried onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chillies, black pepper, turmeric, tomatoes, tomatoe pureé, with steamed spinach and brocolli, served on evoo soaked basmati rice. 200 grams at least every 5 days. With a side dish of 3 crushed and chopped garlic cloves and beetroot mixed into probiotic greek yoghurt. Done this for the past 5 years. One of my favourite meals.
    My spelling shows I’m from England, unfortunately moving towards shariah law faster than the US of A.
    I fucking hate islam.

    • oops “broccoli”

    • dr. gabriella kadar says:

      Just finished making something similar except mixed Shan meat curry powder with a bit of besan and yoghurt into the same combo but tinned tomatoes as you do. Haven’t tasted it yet though. Looks very creamy. Basmati rice with pigeon peas cooked with chicken broth is done. Hm.

      Cooking for the next week and containerizing. Haven’t made liver like this before. Hope it tastes good. If not, there’s liver with onion, red shepherd pepper, tomatoes and bacon.

      Just soaking bits of beef kidney in lime juice now and contemplating stir frying snowpea shoots.

      But first an internet break and a beer………………

      Sunday afternoon prep and cooking for the next week kills the appetite for a few hours.

  6. Is another good oil for fryings? The coconut oil makes me feel like with too much caffeine.

    Also, somebody ask couple post ago for good source of online oyster and nobody answer, is anybody can recommend? ~Thank you

  7. I love pounding liver with shitloads of coffee before morning workouts. It makes for terrible breath but a huge boost for early sessions.

  8. While I’m intrigued by your claim that liver is the world’s most nutritious food, ounce for ounce, the problem is my gag reflex responds by eating liver. I have tried seemingly every cooking method imaginable, but the taste, and smell of liver, well, gags me. I can eat, and love raw oysters, raw steak, and hamburger, but liver for some reason has an adverse affect. Maybe I’ll try a clothes pin on my nose, chew real fast, then wash it down with a fine choice of wine. Maybe a sweet wine.

    I like the idea of small amounts of roasted potatoes, and prepare them in this manner: Quarter potatoes length ways, and put them in a mixing bowl consisting of coconut, or olive oil, or melted bacon fat, with lots of garlic powder, finely chopped rosemary, and salt. Mix contents together until potatoes are well covered, then put contents on a cookie sheet, bake in an oven at 350 degrees, turning until product is golden brown. Yum!

    Liver, eh?

    • William

      I will encourage you as well to try this version of half burnt onion. You put a bit on your fork, along with the liver. The burnt offers a bit of sour and bitter, and it goes well. My suspicion is that a long time ago, this was developed as a way to get kids to eat liver because parents had to get their kids to eat high nutrition. No fast food around the corner.

      Give it a shot. Hell. You’ve tried everything else. But I emphasize, half burnt, half crispy brown.

      • dr. gabriella kadar says:

        He could try a rice pilaf type application. All cut tiny: Sautee bacon, onion, sweet red pepper, garlic, sliced brown mushrooms, a bit of liver probably veal because it’s the least flavour…….. orange cauliflower florettes cut small boiled until they are sweet and tendercrisp, french green beans also just boiled to the soft but sweet point,….

        Then toss it all gently together with lots of finely chopped fresh herbs of choice…. may need to add more olive oil so it’s not dry.

        Basically rice:veg/meatcombo 1:1

        Colourful and delicious.

        Tiny pieces of veal liver go down easier for the liver adverse and small amounts are not noticable.

      • Thanks, Richard, and Gabriella. I will try both of your recipes, as well as your recipe with basmati rice, Gabriella. In fact, seeing that I am known for my cooking skills, I’m determined to try everything in my culinary arsenal… even if it gags me!

        By the way, does liver satiate an appetite as well as, say, beef steaks, or bacon? I usually eat my first (and often only meal) around 1:00 pm. Often, I’ll have one or two steaks, and if I’m real hungry, I’ll throw in four or five eggs. This keeps me going, depending on how active I am during that time period, until the following day.

      • dr. gabriella kadar says:

        One time we were out for one of those ghastly all you can eat Chinese buffets. Just to experiment, I ate 60 shrimp and some crab legs. I could have eaten another 60 shrimp but considered the prospect to be ridiculous. It felt like there was nothing significant in my stomach.

        Then I ate a small serving of fried rice. Boom! Suddenly I felt like, that’s it. No more food.

        I don’t know what other people would report in regards to satiating effect of only consuming meat or eggs but it appears based on Richard’s food choices, that he’s adding a source of dietary starch to his meals probably for the same reasons: calorie control through addition of a highly satiating food in small amounts.

  9. YouJustDontGetItRichard says:

    And you wonder why you’re not losing weight after years on this paleo trip?

    Ever heard of fruits and vegetables? Or is there too much of that evil fructose and useless fiber in them?

    How long will it take for you to face the fact that high fat is not working for you?

    But of course, I’m anonymous, I can’t possibly have anything valid to say…

    • Richard just probably likes being fat, and fatties do love to eat their fat.

      • YouJustDontGetItRichard says:

        I’m noticing. Sally Fallon? Jimmy Moore? Robert Atkins? Jan Kwasniewski? So many of these high fat promoters are chubberoos.

        You’d think an intelligent person would be at least critical, unless of course he were pushing that crap in his ebook…

      • I think that the chubsters have invested so much time, and effort into the fat eating dogma, that they can’t even fathom that maybe backing down on the fat would help, otherwise all their time would have been spent in vain.

        It’s a sad situation, even though it is a bit funny how they promote their fat addicted ways as a weight loss solution to others, while being major fatties themselves.

        Also, the kwasniewski followers are dropping like flies from cancer, sally fallons hubby had a heart attack etc. so it’s not just a weight problem.

      • YouJustDontGetItRichard says:

        Wow, I didn’t know about Optimal Dieters dying of cancer or about Fallon’s husband. Not something these guys like to advertise, I guess.

        Good to know there are other readers here who think this blog is leading people down the wrong path.

        This macho experiment in being a bodyhacking maverick dont-give-a-fuck caveman toting an iphone 5 is pretty pathetic when you’re still fat after it’s all said and done…

      • When you two are done stroking each other like you have any idea of what you’re talking about, there’s this

        http://freetheanimal.com/2012/09/his-her-white-ferrari-phones.html#comment-212077

        It is precisely meals like this and now, one other element that’s making a big difference fast, for both Beatrice and I.

        It’ll all be blogged about in due time, but don’t let me interrupt your continued mutual stroking. By all means. Carry on.

      • YouJustDontGetItRichard says:

        So now you’re on the liver diet? That’s supposed to solve all your problems?

        Lotsa luck to you then, maybe you can slog an ebook after you’ve finished losing your 5 lbs…

      • Rob Beyerlein says:

        Remember what i said about the 12 inch internet penises? Case in point…

      • YouJustDontGetItRichard says:

        12 inches and with abs to top it off. Unlike you fat-asses…

      • You’re anonymous.

        You have a micro tiny one and weigh 300. And you blog from your daddy’s computer from your mommy’s basement while she’s out working on her back to pay for your Internet service.

      • …But to go more serious, it seems to me that you’re quite ingnorant, anon or not. You have no idea, apparentl,y of how I gained 20 pounds and why. You have no idea of how I’m not a just more fat advocate, that calories count, get starch in rice or potatoes.

        You saw an unflattering photo, which even someone with abs can do, though they have to make it unflattering. We used to do it as kids.

        It’s not to say that at almost 52, I’m proud of the appearance. I am proud of the thousands I’ve helped, while you have never helped a single soul in this realm.

        In the end, I suspect you will be embarrassed. Luckily, you’ll still be anonymous.

      • YouJustDontGetItRichard says:

        Embarrassed? I’m not peddling an ebook based on half-truths by internet scammers, con-artists and snake oil salesmen taking part in this macho, cargo-cult science you call paleo, bodyhacking, or whatall you may call it next. It is you who should be embarrassed, since none of this shit even works for you. You have some enormous gall to think you should be selling your “ideas” or “methods”.

        “Helped thousands”?? That sounds like just a bit of an overstatement. Maybe even a lie. We never see these “thousands”, we just hear about them. KimKims and other diet plans “helped thousands” too. So did Ayds diet pills back in the day. So does following the Food Pyramid.

        Basically, “helped thousands” is just another shibboleth you use to sell shit. Usually shit that doesn’t work. Your quasi-paleo trip is no exception.

        Your shit doesn’t work because you simply have it set in your mind that fruits and vegetables are bad. Not starch and rice though, because the Internetz says so, of course.

        You will sit in a tub of ice, or starve yourself all day and then eat like a pig, instead of simply substituting the amount of fat and meat you eat for fruits and vegetables. You will go to conference after conference and read study after study and observe Crosstraining, Leangains and Underwater Naked Cockring Throwing before you budge on meat and fat.

        What’s amazing about your blog and your “concepts”, is that you can’t see what’s right in front of your face. That you hold onto your beliefs with such tenacity even when they are so obviously wrong. You act just like the medical community you iPhone-Cavemen critize daily.

        So stuff in that fat-fighting liver and shun those fat-promoting apples and I’ll be waiting for those “After” pics. Maybe they’ll be like Jimmy Moore’s.

      • Rob Beyerlein says:

        Straw man at its finest. How about you start posing some proof about some of your claims. Just how many times has Richard had food posts that are basically a plate of meat and vegetables, countless, go back through all of his posts, not hard to find. You have taken a random blog post here and there, removed all context and rewoven to fit your current display. When ever has a post on this blog been made saying fruit and vegetables are bad. The vast majority of posts about starches have been to illustrate the fallacy in the paleo dogma that if you don’t eat low carb you are going to be a fat ass.

        Since you decided to reference lean gains…no where and i do mean no where in the discourse of Martin Berkhan is there a single thing about fruit and vegetables being bad. Martin is the antithesis of the low carb movement. Nor will you ever hear a true practitioner of lean gains spouting shit about fructose making you fat. So again, where are you pulling your facts that lean gains and Richard’s version of paleo are basically a ketogenic diet?

        I follow the lean gains protocol and i follow a primal style of diet, I have lost 50lbs using the stuff Richard and Martin talk about. I would be glad to post before and afters to prove this works. But, i bet you’ll take 2 words of what i say, follow it up with some bullshit, call me a fatass and stick your tongue out like a 2 year old, because that is just what trolls do.

        Many of us here would love to have a discourse with you on just what we have gotten out of this blog, both good and bad…but if your intent is just to be a lame ass and post stupidity, we’ll just tell you to STFU.

        I’m done feeding the trolls Richard…but the humanitarian in me needed to address the shot at lean gains, since it gave me my life back.

      • Well said and seconded.

      • GimmeABreakRichard says:

        Rob and Bill,

        Ok, actually I take back everything I say then. You two are great examples of why Richard deserves your money for his useless ebook. Because you are stupid sycophants looking for a guru to tell you what to do. Even if it isn’t working for the guru himself. You pop up to lick his ass whenever anyone tells it like it is here, so by all means, buy 10 ebooks each.

        And just because you were enormous fat-asses before and now you are slightly less enormous fat-asses does not mean anyone’s “protocol” worked. It just means you took out the obvious crap in your diet and started exercising. This is stuff that any high school kid could have told you, and they probably did until you got your first angina or erectile dysfunction or something and then took your health seriously for the first time. This has nothing to do with your guru’s shit working. Do I even have to say this?

        “It gave [you your] life back”? What a stupid twat as well as an asslicker. Go back to your jerkfest with your master here now…

      • Rob Beyerlein says:

        You are a worthless Troll. Yes, finding a dieting paradigm that allowed me not to wig out about food and not be stuck in a never ending cycle of gaining and losing weight that had me depressed and in a rut did in fact give me my life back. Richard is by no means my guru, you fucking retard. I am likely more educated than you, i can run circles around you in any area of science that i like and unlike the worthless piece of excrement that you are, I actually save peoples lives for a living. So you want to talk trash, go right ahead, you can hide behind your anonymous title and mouth off like the little bitch that you are. How about we compare stats, you say you have abs, so what, you’re 6′ and 130lbs with a 6 pack and biceps the size of my wrists. Your total in the bench, squat and deadlift are probably the equivalent of my warm-up deadlift. You want to argue my assessment of your pathetic physiology, post some pics, grow a set and say who you really are. Likely, your some piece of trash from a vegan website who likes to circle jerk with durian rider while eating your 10lbs of fruit salad. Since you like to keep calling me stupid, put up your academic credentials, lets see just how fucking smart you actually are. But again, you won’t, because you are a little bitch. You provide nothing but stupidity and refuse to do anything other than offer insults. I’ve wasted 5 minutes of my day with you that could have been spent doing something productive. So die in a fire, you worthless piece of shit.

      • “Embarrassed?”

        Absolutely. You don’t really do anything, and you’re not humble about that. I don’t require or care that you don’t and in fact, would never think to trash what you do where you’re effective. I’d be embarrassed of myself to do that.

        If you think Paleo, broadly stated, doesn’t work for a lot, then you’re simply delusional and dismissible on that basis alone. How it “works” for me is irrelevant. In fact, you’re assuming great adherence on my part—but I’ve blogged about that and commented but am not inclined to help you with your ignorance problem. I don’t cast pearls before swine.

        Yep, thousands. I get 200K page views per month, have been blogging since 2003, Paleo since 2007, and I get many emails every day. I’d say do the math, but I don’t want to put you in an awkward position.

        I see others have commented by now, so I’ll just add this. It is a true testament to my effectiveness in helping people that you’re even here. This is why I would never delete these sorts of comments, ban you whatever (and I do not agree that you’re troll FWIW—that’s a different character altogether). Rather, I appreciate them tremendously . So, instead, you have my thanks.

        You could fix your ignorance, you know.

      • RobTheLittlePeckerwood says:

        LOL Rob, now that was some hellfire. I’m shivering in my boots here, anonymously from thousands of miles away.

        Funny how fruits and vegetables get you idiots all riled up. Is it the big bad Agra Conspiracy giving you nightmares at night?

        And I’m sure you were doing nothing productive. Because you are a useless asslicker.

      • FreeTheGutNikoley says:

        Lemme see, 200k page views a month entitles you to boast that you’ve “helped thousands”?? I guess that says a lot about your level of honesty.

        And Cambridge Diet and Weight Watchers have been around longer than since 2003. Why would the blogging hours you’ve logged have anything to do with your credibility, or with any success at your diet at all? How do you have the nerve to say that people sending positive emails is any measure of success?

        And by the way, they’re pretty anonymous too. But since they kiss your ass, you overlook it.

        You banned me not too long ago on another post, so your assertion that you would “never delete these sorts of comments” or ban me is a complete lie.

        I’m not a troll. I’m just speaking my mind. Just like you do here. Can’t stand heat, stay out of kitchen, etc… Teach this to your little bitch Rob too.

      • “Lemme see, 200k page views a month entitles you to boast that you’ve “helped thousands”?? I guess that says a lot about your level of honesty.”

        It’s actually well over 10,000. I’m being modest.

        Banned you? How would I know? You’re anonymous and change usernames, oh “honest” one.

        But thanks for letting me know. I do ban trolls when it’s evident that they are not interested in discussion or, they turn their focus on other commenters, which you have done.

        Oh, hell, you’re banned. Just another wasted fuck and waste of time.

  10. Rob Beyerlein says:

    I dig this idea for liver, I have some in the freezer i need to utilize, this will get tried this week. Have you ever thought about doing you tube videos on some of these techniques and having your readers subscribe?

  11. Damn that looks good. Added to the recipe queue.

  12. Random question Richard: Is there a brand of wok you suggest or things to look for / avoid? I have never owned one and need to pick one up. Thanks

  13. Richard, have you ever tried liver with scrambled eggs? It is actually really good. I have it for breakfast 3-4 times a week. I fry the liver in butter for about a minute on each side on medium low heat. I also sprinkle the liver with some salt and pepper. I then cut it into small pieces and put it back in the pan along with some cut up bell peppers and tomatoes. I then scramble it with eggs which I sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. I usually use four eggs and about 6 ounces of liver. I can’t stand onions but you obviously like them so you can add some fried onions and that will mask the liver taste even more. On a side note, my son is 14 months old. He has been eating liver 4-5 times a week since he was 7 months old. He loves it. He has never seen a doctor and has never been sick. We get criticized by friends and family bacause of the way we feed him while their vaccinated, gerber fed babies seem to always be sick.

    • “We get criticized by friends and family bacause of the way we feed him while their vaccinated, gerber fed babies seem to always be sick.”

      Ever considered telling them to go fuck off? Just an idea. :)

      • I pretty much have said that to some people. I’ve told them to keep feeding their kids that processed shit and I’ll feed mine real food and we’ll see who turns out better. Its hard to talk to stupid people. These are the same people that think I’m crazy for feeding my dog raw meat and bones.

      • “I’m crazy for feeding my dog raw meat and bones.”

        Next time, just Google “wolves eating” on YT or something like that, then remind and show them how dogs were not actually created by god to be man’s best friend. They were created by man to be man’s best friend, through selective breeding of wolves.

  14. My apology, I not know where to put off topics, but this I find interesting, no? It sound like Paul Davies backing up the Kruze! What?! No?! Shut up!

    Speaker: Paul Davies, Ph.D., theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, Director of The Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Principal Investigator of the Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology.

    Abstract: I propose a new theory of cancer, drawing on insights from astrobiology. The central hypothesis is that cancer is an organized pre-programmed process driven by a cassette of highly conserved, deeply-evolved ancient genes which become inappropriately re-awakened in the adult form. In effect, cancer tumors are atavisms, recapitulating an ancient life form – “Metazoa 1.0” – dating back to the dawn of multi-cellularity. This hypothesis differs fundamentally from the popular notion that cancers are deregulated rogue cells running amok, and explains cancer’s well-known robustness and resilience. It also offers a well-defined target for therapy.

  15. I gave this recipe a shot on Sunday (sans breading the liver), but I wasn’t able to get the onions blackened by the time the liver was done. I’m thinking too much coconut oil on the onions may have been the culprit. Anyway, I really enjoyed the potatoes with the liver and onions, that was a first. The coconut oil was a nice change from the butter too… I think maybe next time I’ll increase the time the onions are in the pan to get them more cripsy.

    Oh, and definitely a lot less messy than the the ol’ skillet. That’s always a plus.

    • Todd:

      Another thing you can do is preheat the oven to 500, then put it to 400 when you put the sheet in. Another thing is if the potatoes and onions aren’t done at the same time, you can take the potatoes off and then a minute or two under the broiler ought to do the trick.

      Yea, I really like how the coconut oil works well with the flavors.

      • Using the broiler is a good idea, I think that will do the trick next time.

        Side note: In just the past week or two I’ve incorporated coconut oil into my cooking, and I’ve noticed that my skin is softer and smoother than it was previously. I don’t think it will replace butter as my preferred cooking fat, but it definitely will see it’s fair share of use now.