Saturday, May 29, 2010

oxtail soup

I cannot tell you how much affection I have for my grandmother. Because of her, I now have a multitude of comfort-food dishes which I can draw on. But, more importantly, these dishes always bring back to me such fond memories of her.

And now, I have the pleasure of sharing these simply great food with my dear husband. But, I do hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.

Without further ado, I bring to you oxtail soup (sop buntut). There are a many different ways and a many different ingredient variations in which you can cook oxtail soup. But this particular one was my grandmother's version and one that I have known all my life and loved.

Oxtail soup
by my grandmother


  • 1kg of oxtail, cut into 5cm-thick discs
  • 6 tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • juice of 1kg of carrots
  • another 1kg of carrots, cut into 1cm-thick discs, after the outer layer is shaved off
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 4 stalks of spring onion
  • 1 slice of nutmeg seed
  • 1 handful of shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • white pepper & salt to taste

  1. If you have a pressure cooker handy, this would be the time to use it. Boil the oxtail pieces in a pressure cooked for 40 minutes. Or if you are just cooking them normally in a pot of water, then pour enough water to cover the oxtail pieces and bring to the boil. Simmer for at least 3 hours on a medium heat. Maintain the water level by topping it up with boiling water.
  2. After you've boiled the oxtail pieces, maintain heat on medium, then add the carrot pieces and the carrot juice
  3. On a frying pan, saute the shallots and garlic lightly until fragrant, avoid using high heat or they will burn. Add them to the oxtail soup.
  4. On the same frying pan, sauté the tomato quarters, until the skin is lightly charred, add these also to the oxtail soup.
  5. Add the nutmeg. Then season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  6. Lastly add the celery and spring onions and simmer until the carrots are cooked and soft. The celery and spring onions are here to help the dish by giving the soup their essence. After the carrots are cooked, you can throw away the celery and spring onions or leave them in the dish but not eat them.
  7. Serve on a bowl, as is. But, I usually have a bowl as an accompaniment to a plate of rice.

The soup should taste buttery and rich from the gelatinous oxtail. For balance, the carrots and tomatoes should help cut through that richness.

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