Enter the Dragon. I love spicy ramen style soups with a hearty, meaty broth. And I love watching the noodles being cut and dipped in and out of boiling water before being plunged into your soup. But unless you are an expert at cutting your own ramen noodles I would suggest using chuka soba. This is inexpensive as ramen should be, but it does take time. This should serve two, but if you double the amount of oxtail and lo mein there will be enough for four. You might consider serving with steamed pork buns on the side. —pierino
2 but can be expanded
sweet onions such as Vidalia or Maui, quartered
gochugaru (Korean hot pepper powder)*
Tough green leek tops from one medium leek (yes, really) thoroughly washed. Save the tender whites for something else, like a vichysoisses or whatever…
Rub the oxtail pieces with the gochugaru and place in an oiled roasting pan along with the quartered onions and roast at 400F until everything is browned nicely.
Use the leek greens to make a bouquet garnie; tie in a bundle with the parsley.
Heat the water. Salt it and add the tails, the bouquet, the ginger, the daikon and the star anise. How much water depends on the size of your pot. Enough water to cover. Bring that to a slow simmer on the stove top,skimming up rising foam. I would allow about four hours. The meat should separate easily from tail bone and cartilage. Refrigerate the meat and the stock in separate containers until the next day.
Discard the bouquet and strain the stock through a cheese cloth lined chinois and refrigerate that in a separate container and hold it overnight as well. On the next day skim off that fat cap which will have formed. Underneath that cap you should have a nice jelly.
Scrape as much meat as you can get from the oxtail spine. Set aside.
Soak the arbol chiles in boiling water for about an hour and put those aside.
Heat your jellied stock back up to a liquid state. You will need about 6 cups so add water if needed.
Roll your stemmed collard leaves into a cigar shape and chiffonade into wide ribbons. Add those to your simmering stock along with the daikon and the reserved meat.
Add in the arbol chiles and the lo mein noodles. Cook until al dente. Taste for salt.
Finish with sliced scallions.
*If you must, substitute a flavorful Spanish pimenton.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.