An easy Chinese braised oxtail recipe made with root vegetables and slow cooked in a rich tomato broth. It’s the ultimate comforting, hearty winter stew!
Oxtail is one of those foods I grew up eating that was ‘weird’.. until the rest of the world discovered it, ha.
It used to be a cheap cut at the grocery store that no one wanted, and I always looked forward to it whenever my dad would make it.
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Oxtail is literally the bones and meat of an ox’s tail.
The cut has bone, bone marrow, lean meat, fat and connective tissue so when you slow cook it, it creates a rich stew or soup and the meat becomes so tender that it literally falls off the bone.
Now that the secret’s out and oxtails have become popular, the price has skyrocketed! I think I paid $30 a pound for these and despite the sticker shock, I’d buy them over and over because oxtail is just the perfect comforting meal, especially in the winter.
There’s lots of different ways to make oxtail.
My family usually makes a soy-sauce braised version that doesn’t have much sauce.
But for today’s oxtail recipe, I’m showing you more of an oxtail stew or soup, made with lots of tomatoes. I’ve seen some people refer to it as a Hong Kong style oxtail borscht.
When I do make it, I make a big batch! This is one of those stews that tastes even better the next day when reheated.
Here’s how to make braised oxtail stew, Asian style.
Chinese Braised Oxtail Recipe Video
What You’ll Need
Oxtails are a tougher cut of meat.
But when you slow cook them correctly, they become incredibly juicy and tender and literally fall of the bone.
They taste a bit similar to short ribs, in my opinion! Oxtail has a bit higher fat content and more collagen though, so the meat literally melts in your mouth.
Serve it with a bowl of rice, or noodles.
How to Make Braised Oxtails
There are tons of variations on oxtail recipes and all of them are good. It’s one of those meats that as long as you cook it slow, on a low fire, with root vegetables and some Chinese sauces, it will taste good.
But here are some tips if you’re making oxtail for the first time:
Stove or Pressure Cooker
I recommend making this in a cast iron Dutch oven and slow cooking it for 2 to 3 hours on the stovetop.
I like to use my heavy bottom Staub pot. It makes enough for 6 to 8 servings and the cast iron retains heat well, so it’s perfect for long, slow simmers.
But, if you’re short on time you can also use a pressure cooker or Instapot! For that method, cook on high pressure for ~35 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
Water vs Broth
If you have broth on hand, you can use that for a richer soup. I typically just use water.
Asians don’t really measure when they cook.
And to be honest, I never measure when I make Chinese food. I know that’s frustrating to hear when you’re trying a recipe for the first time, so I did my best to put measurements in the recipe instructions below.
But just know you really can’t mess this up!
Taste the stew throughout the cooking process and feel free to adjust the sauce amounts to your liking.
Oxtail is one of those meats that will literally fall off the bone and melt in your mouth if you slow cook it.
So, once the liquid comes to a boil on the stove top, I turn down the flame until it’s a very low fire and then I leave it alone to slow cook for hours. If you like tender oxtails, let them cook for 3 to 4 hours.
If you’re impatient, you can eat them around 2 hours. But the longer the better (and the more tender) in my opinion!
Just check on the stew and make sure to top up with more water or broth if the liquid runs too low.
An easy Chinese braised oxtail recipe made with root vegetables and slow cooked in a rich tomato broth. It's the ultimate comforting, hearty winter stew!
- 2 lbs of oxtail
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1 daikon, chopped into squares
- 3 tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb size ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 star anise
- handful rock sugar
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons cooking wine
- pinch of pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- Soak oxtails in cold water for 2 hours to let the meat release any blood and dirt.
- Prepare a pot of boiling water. Once it's come to a boil, turn off the heat and place in oxtails. Let them simmer for ~30 minutes to let any impurities come to the surface. Drain the water and pat the oxtails dry.
- Heat oil or butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat. Melt rock sugar and when dissolved, brown your oxtails in the melted rock sugar.
- Remove the oxtails and set aside. In your pan, add ginger, garlic, star anise and cook for a few minute until you smell the aroma.
- Add in your onions and lightly sauté until golden brown. Then add your carrots, daikon, chopped tomatoes and sauté for a couple minutes.
- Place your oxtails back in the pot and add cooking wine, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and tomato paste.
- Add enough water to cover your meat and heat the soup until the liquid has come to a boil. Then turn down the flame to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours, until the oxtails are tender to your liking. Check halfway through and add more water if needed.
- Uncover and serve with rice!
If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can remove the oxtails and root vegetables, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes to let more of the liquid evaporate. Make a cornstarch slurry to thicken up the remaining liquid.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 643mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 32g
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