A week before arriving in Michigan for Christmas my oldest sister, Sonia, emailed me with the Hawaiian Oxtail Soup blog post from Elise on Simply Recipes, with a note, “Let’s make this while you’re home!” I enthusiastically agreed, as I had independently booked marked that exact post. Before my pickup at the airport, she had already stopped by the market to grab the fattiest package of oxtail she can lay hands on.
We used dried citrus peel as oppose to fresh, as it’s readily available in our household and commonly used for soups. In Cantonese soups, a handful of nuts, beans, as well as a fruit element (goji berry and dates, fresh fruit, or dried citrus peel) are often added for nutritional value and flavor. These ingredients are not the foreground of the soup, but an element of the broth.
Looking at the ingredients of the Hawaiian oxtail soup, I claimed: This recipe is obviously Chinese! Though the origin is indeed Chinese, the soup was made popular in Hawaii and is also truly a Hawaiian local dish.
In addition to using dried citrus peel for the oxtail soup, we also added cloves to compliment the anise and ginger, and hearty cuts of diakon for bulk in the soup. I love a good diakon beef soup in the winter.
Sonia and I were so proud of our delicious team-creation. We called our mom to share with her. My mom’s response: Oh… but oxtail is very fatty.
Hawaiian Oxtail Soup
Recipe adopted from Elise of Simply Recipes
- 2 lbs oxtails
- 2 piece of dried citrus peel
- 3 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 tablespoon
- 1/2 cup of shelled, skinned, raw peanuts
- 1 lb of diakon
- A handful of fresh mustard greens, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups, loosely packed)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Green onions, white and green parts, sliced on diagonal
- Freshly grated ginger
Bring a large pot (5-quart), over half filled with water, to a boil. Add the oxtails for an hour. Skim off the foamy scum.
Add citrus peel, star anise, clove, ginger, peanuts and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 hour, until the oxtail meat is tender and falling off the bone.
At the point, you can either skim the fat off the soup and proceed to the next step, or let the soup cool, and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day the fat will have solidified and will be easy to pull up from the top of the soup. The flavors will also have had more of a chance to blend and be absorbed by the oxtails if you let the soup sit overnight.
Bring soup to a simmer. Add the daikon and simmer for 20 minutes, until the diakon is soft. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the mustard greens are tender.
Serve with garnishes of chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, and freshly grated ginger.
Other Hawaiian Oxtail Soup Recipes: