Hong Shao Niu Wei (Braised Oxtail): Eating China

by Karen on Thursday, December 23, 2010

Post image for Hong Shao Niu Wei (Braised Oxtail): Eating China

I've completely given up.  I'd been trying to balance the holiday eating madness by showing a little discipline here and there.  But my mother's oxtail cannot be passed up let alone eaten with restraint.  It is love in a pot.

Happy Holidays!

Serves 2-3

– 2-3 lbs of oxtail
– 1 inch thumb of ginger, sliced
– 1 large onions, sliced
– 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
– 1 tomato, diced
– 1/4 cup of shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
– 1/2 cup of soy sauce
– 2 tbsps of vegetable oil
– 1 tbsp sized yellow rock sugar (or brown sugar)
– 3 tbsps of ketchup

First, parboil the oxtail by bringing a large pot of water to a boil (enough water so the oxtail will be completely submerged).  Put the oxtail in the boiling water and let it return to a boil while foam starts to build on the surface.  Dump out the oxtail in a colander and rinse off with cold water.  Rinse out and dry the pot and return to the stove.

Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat in the bottom of the pot and add the ginger and garlic and stir for a couple of minutes until fragrant.  Add the onions and stir frequently until onions start to become translucent, about 8 minutes.  Add the diced tomato and oxtail in the pot.  Fill with water until the oxtail is just covered (about 5-6 cups).  Stir in the soy sauce and rice wine.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 1 hour on medium heat.

After an hour, leave the lid ajar and continue to let it simmer.  If a lot of water has evaporated, add a little more.  Simmer for an hour or until the meat comes apart easily, about one hour.  Don't cook it until it falls off the bone though.  When it is ready, add the sugar and ketchup.  Taste the sauce and adjust to taste if you enjoy it sweeter.  This is even better the next day after you've had it in the refrigerator.  The thick layer of fat is easy to scoop off making this a little more healthy.  But who are we kidding here, it's beef.

Serve with rice and enjoy it with the thick delicious sauce!



Angela Chan December 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm

It looks delicious.


Bailey Benoit December 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Hello there.. I’m sorry for missing some of your posts, but I plan on catching up in between prepping for the holidays.

I was one of those girls who explored food, and different cultures, growing up in the big apple, I was able to.. I remember and fondly loved ox tail… in addition to “chicken feet”.. I know, some think that’s super gross, but so is my own foods culture.. french food can be gross too.. depends on who you ask.. for me, there’s nothing gross about any of it really, I approach food as I do with my personal life, open without judgement… (at least I try to).

I loved ox tail when I went to Chinatown and had it at Yumcha.. I was 14 maybe.. Photos look super.

Karen December 24, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Glad you’re catching up with us– I know how busy the holidays can get! Also, happy to see a fellow adventuresome foodie. O chicken feet, love love love. Couldn’t agree more about approach to food, some of my fav french foods are “gross” (for ex, pate) 🙂
Happy Holidays!

Shirley@kokken69 December 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Oh wow, Karen, this looks so comforting! Absolutely an heirloom recipe! Here’s wishing you and Valerie a very merry Christmas!

Dinners & Dreams December 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Karen, just by looking at the pictures and the ingredients I can tell how flavorful this oxtail dish is. I would love to visit China one day and experience its rich culture and cuisine firsthand.

I hope you had a nice holiday.


Margot December 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Yum! I am so going to make this. I love that it can be made ahead of time and reheated – perfect for a dinner party!

steven January 25, 2011 at 3:51 am

Hi Karen,

This looks amazing!

Question: Your ingredients list says 1 tomatoes and then in instructions it says add tomatoes (plural)… I’m getting ready to make this and i’m curious if it’s one can/box of diced tomatoes or is it just one tomato that’s diced?

Thanks in advance!

Karen January 25, 2011 at 11:00 am

Hi Steven,

Oops that must’ve been a type-o. That’s just one tomato. Glad you’ll be making this– you’ll love it! Let us know how it turns out…


steven January 28, 2011 at 5:20 am

Delicious! Karen, thanks for getting back to me on the tomato … i had actually started before i got the comment so i just used a small box of diced tomatoes, but no complaints on flavor! 🙂

This is serious comfort food. i adapted this and made it in my crock pot … (sauteed the ginger, garlic, & onions, then eliminated all the water and just used the soy, shaoxing, and juice from tomatoes as the braising liquid) … there was more than enough sauce produced.

I will definitely be adding this to my regular rotation of comfort foods 🙂

Thanks again!

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