Chinese Oxtail Stew

Oxtail stew over rice


Wow! This is really good!  We loved it a lot.  Make you cook it long enough and marinate overnite. This makes the oxtails fall apart. If they don't fall apart, keep cooking longer until they do.

Adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner.

Prep and cook time: 5 hours, plus overnight marinating


  • 5 to 6 pounds oxtails, cut into pieces, fat trimmed 
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper 
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • ½ cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry 
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken stock 
  • 1/3 cup dark or regular soy sauce 
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2 star anise, broken into pieces 
  • 2 whole cloves 
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and bruised 
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths, plus 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish 
  • 6 slices fresh ginger 
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 3-4 Thai chili peppers, cut into 1/2-inch lengths 
  • 10 ounces fresh or dried whole shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, re-hydrated if dried 
  • 1 lime, zested and cut into small wedges 
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving.

Directions:  1) Heat oven to 300 degrees. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, brown oxtail all over, removing each piece when done. Add oil as needed.

2) When done browning, pour off extra fat from bottom of empty pot and set pot over high heat. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. In a bowl, mix soy sauce and sugar with 2 cups stock and pour into pot. Add lemongrass, chili peppers, star anise, cloves, 2-inch pieces of scallions, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Return oxtails to pot and add lime zest. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 1½ hours.

3) Turn over pieces of oxtail, cover again and cook 1½ hours more, or until oxtail is very tender. Remove oxtails from pot and strain sauce into a separate saucepan; discard contents of strainer. Transfer oxtail pieces back to ovenproof pot. Cover oxtails and sauce and refrigerate overnight.

4) The next day, heat oven to 300 degrees; remove oxtails and sauce from refrigerator. Lift off any fat on surface of sauce and discard. Gently warm sauce until liquid, then pour over oxtails and stir in shiitake mushrooms. Cover with foil or a lid and bake 30 minutes.

5) Uncover, stir and raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir again and cook another 15 minutes, until hot and glazed thickly with sauce. Remove oxtails from oven and serve over rice. Sprinkle each serving with thin scallion slices and squeeze lime juice over oxtails.

Makes 4 servings