Since I first tried noodle soups with dark, meaty broths I’ve been a big fan and a couple of days ago I had a discussion with some foodie friends about the more unusual cuts of meat you can get your hand on. They might not look so good and sound strange but they’re full of good flavors and are often cheap as well. So to combine these things - a slightly more unusual cut and an asian dark noodle soup, I decided to make an oxtail soup inspired by the great food at Tiny Urban Kitchen.
To make it even more fun I had the help from two of my foodiekids, David (9 yo) and Adam (almost 7 yo). The fact that we were cooking a tail for dinner was just as much fun as it was chopping vegetables.
- Clean the oxtail and pat it dry with some kitchen paper.
- Chop ginger, garlic, the shallot and the spring onion finely.
- Dice the carrots.
- Gently fry the vegetables on low heat in oil and then add the oxtail.
- Brown the meat all around and then add the soy sauce. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat and then add black bean sauce, soy sauce, star anise, tomato paste, sugar and wine. Let it cook for a minute and add cold water until it covers the meat.
- Bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat. Let it simmer for 4-5 hours and take away any foam on the surface. Be carful so it don’t dry out. In that case - add more water.
After 4-5 hours the meat is so tender it almost falls of the bone and you should have a rich, dark soup. If you like you can pick up the pieces of oxtail and take off the meat, or you can serve it as it is. Your choice. The soup can be a bit on the fat side, so you might want to dilute it a bit and season with some rice vinegar.
Serve with cooked noodles and bok choi you’ve quartered and blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds.