Make Ahead

Five-Spice Oxtail Stew

January 22, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 4 pounds oxtail
  • 2 tablespoons corn or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 4" knobs of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 8-12 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 4 stalks of green onions, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mushroom soy sauce (may sub 1/4 cup dark soy sauce)
  • 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 star anise pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground szechuan peppercorns (may sub white pepper)
  • 1 cup Chinese rice wine (shaoxing brand preferred)
  1. Combine flour and black pepper in a small bowl. Toss oxtails in just enough flour to coat them lightly.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nichole Carter
    Nichole Carter
  • vrunka
I love experimenting in the kitchen and learning new techniques.

2 Reviews

Nichole C. August 7, 2018
8 years later I've come across this recipe. I'm currently making it with turkey neckbones cuz they're cheaper. Didn't have any anise or dried shirataki. My home smells wonderful, will report results in an hour or so.
vrunka September 21, 2018
I hope this turned out well! I am curious to know how it turned out with turkey necks. They have so much less fat I'm not sure if it would be too dry.