I came up with this recipe when I found myself with a whole lot of oxtails (long story) and wanted something different than the typical tomato and wine braised version. I love how this dish fills the house with the beguiling scent of all the spices and flavors in this dish. It's now my favorite way to have oxtails. —vrunka
corn or canola oil
large onion, minced
4" knobs of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
stalks of green onions, minced
mushroom soy sauce (may sub 1/4 cup dark soy sauce)
dried shiitake mushrooms
star anise pods
ground szechuan peppercorns (may sub white pepper)
Chinese rice wine (shaoxing brand preferred)
Combine flour and black pepper in a small bowl. Toss oxtails in just enough flour to coat them lightly.
Heat the oil in a large, deep Dutch oven. Working in batches, brown the oxtails on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.
In the same pot brown the onions (add additional oil if needed) for about 8 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and green onion and saute until they release their aromas.
Add soy sauces, then put oxtails back in the pot. Add mushrooms and add enough water to cover all of it. Stir in cinnamon sticks, anise, clove and pepper. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.
When the tails seem quite tender, add the rice wine and bring up to a boil. Let cook for another 5 minutes then serve over rice, garnished with green onions.