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  • Writer's pictureJust a Tad Salty


The very first time I had oxtail soup was about fifteen years ago, in Hawaii. My husband took me to this simple, family-run restaurant located in a strip mall in Honolulu. He has gone there a number of times on his previous trips and recommended I try the oxtail soup. I did, and I loved it right away! Beefy, salty, spicy, the aroma and flavors of the star anise, orange peel, greens and herbs. Perfect with a bowl of steamed white rice. And a cup is not enough!

Give this recipe a try. Your family will love it and thank you for it.

You may opt to use beef broth for this recipe, instead of water. But the slow cook method will bring out all the natural juices of the oxtail there is no need for beef broth. The soup will be just as flavorful.

I like the sharp, peppery taste of mustard greens as it blends well with the flavor combination in this soup. But you may use other greens like Bok Choy, if you so prefer.



3 to 4 pounds oxtail (par-boiled)

4 cups water (or beef broth)

3-5 pieces star anise

1 dried orange peel

2 thumb size ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

½ cup raw peanuts, shelled

½ teaspoon chili flakes

Salt for seasoning

Bunch of mustard greens, chopped coarsely

Cilantro and green onions



Parboil the oxtail. Make sure to drain and rinse well to remove the scum.

In a pot pan, pour 4 cups of water (or beef broth). Turn heat to medium. Once water starts to boil, place oxtail into the pot pan. Add the star anise, ginger, orange peel. Stir.

Turn heat to low and let simmer until meat is tender, at least one and a half to two hours (time will vary depending on the quality of the oxtail). Or you can use a slow cooker, on low heat, set for 4 hours.

Mid-way, or thirty minutes into simmer, add the raw peanuts. If slow cooking, add on the third hour.

Once meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, turn off heat. (Turn off slow cooker).

Season with salt. Amount will vary, depending on your taste preference.

Add the chili flakes and mustard greens. Stir. Cover pot pan.

Let sit for about 5 minutes.

Serve hot in a bowl. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced green onions.

May serve with a dipping sauce of lemon juice, fish sauce and Thai chile pepper.


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