I have been eyeing this recipe for a long time because the picture in the cookbook and the ingredients tell me that this is a rather exotic oxtail soup.
I love beef, so anything to do with oxtail will interest me. It's not that easy to find frozen oxtail where I shop. But one day I got lucky and found some nice ones at Cold Storage. I bought two packets and stashed them into the freezer for a day when I had time to work on them.
As usual, my enthusiasm comes and goes. Being the fickle minded auntie that I am, one day I might decide I want to cook oxtail soup and on the day proper, I change my mind.
Then one day, I found some organic lemongrass in the fridge. I don't usually buy organic lemongrass (it's more expensive) but I was desperate because the regular ones were not available. I had better use them up before they dried up.
All the other ingredients were available in the pantry, thanks to the stocking up during Chinese New Year. So I got busy. As I was batching up the powdered spices, I discovered that I had barely a tablespoon of coriander when I needed three. Arrgh!!
Luckily for me, I had another packet thanks to my bad habit of overstocking on kitchen ingredients. For once, my bad habit worked in my favor.
The recipe called for 500g of oxtail. Since I was going to let the soup simmer for 2 hours of more on the stove, it made more sense to cook more. Both packets of the oxtail I bought added up to almost 1kg.
I didn't eat the soup immediately on the day it was cooked because I reckon it would taste better the day after when all the flavors had time to develop.
Well, this is a very exotic tasting soup and it was quite thick, more like a stew. It was delicious and I enjoyed the soup over four days.
It's so convenient to have soup (a tasty one at that) ready in the fridge during the weekday. All I need to do when I come home from work is zap the soup in the microwave and I am all set to eat!
Chef Wan's Oxtail Soup
Recipe source : Adapted from Simply Sedap! (page 36)
- 1kg oxtail
- 3 tbsp powdered coriander
- 1.5 tbsp powdered cumin
- 1.5 tbsp powdered fennel
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1.5l water
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- freshly cracked blacked pepper
- coriander leaves
- crispy fried shallots (I omitted but this is highly recommended)
- 4 cardamoms
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 2 star anise
Finely ground paste
- 2 big onions and 8 shallots (why? because I did not have enough shallots hah..hah... I would have used 15 shallots)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1 thumbsized ginger
1. Heat oil in pot and brown the oxtails in batches. Set aside.
2. Using the same oil, saute the whole spices and ground paste until aromatic.
3. Add powdered coriander, cumin and fennel and continue to saute until fragrant.
4. Add tomato puree, oxtail and water and bring to a boil.
5. Add carrots and celery.
6. Simmer over medium heat for 1.5 to 2 hrs until the oxtail is tender.
7. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with coriander leaves and fried shallots.