Recipe: Oxtail Soup

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If you’re not from an area that regularly eats oxtail, then oxtail soup might sound a little weird at first. But once you try it, you’ll fall in love with it I promise! I first tried oxtail soup after moving to Hawaii. It took me a couple of times before I finally ordered it, and once I did it became my go-to dish at a lot of restaurants.

Now that we’re moving away from Hawaii, I wanted to be sure that I could bring this delicious dish home so I could have it anytime I want. I found this great recipe online and wanted to make it even easier to make. See my version below where I also doubled the recipe to make sure we had plenty of soup for the entire week.

oxtail soup

Oxtail Soup Recipe


  • 4 lbs oxtails
  • 2 tbsp dried orange peel (you can find it in the spice aisle or online here)
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated (I use a zester to grate my ginger and love this one with a built in cover)
  • Salt, to taste (I used about a tablespoon)
  • 1 cup of raw peanuts (you can find these in the Asian section of your grocery store or can substitute plain roasted peanuts)
  • 1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste… my husband loves to add extra)
  • 4 cups of mustard greens chopped (can substitute 1 head of fresh mustard cabbage or even kale if you can’t find either)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts sliced


  1. Place oxtails in a pot and cover with water
  2. Boil for 30 minutes then discard water and let oxtails cool enough so you can trim the extra fat
  3. Place oxtails, orange peel, star anise, grated ginger, salt, peanuts, and red pepper flakes into a slow cooker and fill with as much water as will fit.
  4. Cook on high until meat is falling off the bones. I cooked my for 16+ hours. You really can’t cook oxtails too long. The longer you cook them the more tender they are.
  5. Just before you are ready to serve, chop up all your greens (mustard greens, cilantro, and green onions), and mix together in a large Ziploc bag or bowl.
  6. Discard the star anise. Place an oxtail or two and some broth into individual bowls and top with as much of the greens as you like and allow to slightly wilt before eating.
  7. Grate some more ginger into each individual bowl just before serving.

When I first made this recipe, I made the mistake of adding all the greens to the soup pot and they ended up being too mushy (still delicious though!). In the future I will keep the greens separate until just before serving. When this soup is served here in Hawaii, the greens are not cooked, they are simply wilted.


  1. If there is a lot of fat on top of your soup, you can use a turkey baster to skim the fat off. Oxtail soup should have some fat floating in the broth though as this is what makes is filling.
  2. If your slow cooker is not large enough to cook all the oxtails at once, you can cook them in batches once you have par-boiled them. Simply place half in the fridge until the next day when your crockpot is free for the next batch. I placed my finished soup back in the same pot I par-boiled them in to store in the fridge for the week. It also makes re-heating a breeze… just place the whole pot back on the stove (we’re trying not to use our microwave).

This soup is a great way to eat “nose-to’tail” and if you want to learn more about why this is the best way to eat, check out the book The Gelatin Secret.

What do you think? Will you try this soup?


Photo by by Jason Lam © Attribution-ShareAlike License


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Pamela Bruesehoff

Hi! I'm Pamela and I run Gym Free Fitness. Your one stop for real information. No bro science and no faux science. Just real healthy information.

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    • says

      I had never even heard of oxtail before moving to Hawaii… my husband was surprised that I tried it though I’m a pretty adventurous eater! It’s delicious… I don’t know why more people don’t eat it! Can’t wait to hear how you like this soup version versus the southern stew version!
      Pamela Bruesehoff recently posted…Homemade Fresca RecipeMy Profile

      • says

        Hello! I was born in Pinar del RIo Cuba. I came with my family when I was very young. My family and I came to USA due to political and social reasons. I am fasinated with the fotographs of the cockfights in Pinar Del Rio. I was wondering if i can upload them to my computer or I can send a money order for a reasonable price for copies. Also, do you have video of Pinar Del Rio and the cockfights. Thank you QUE VIVA LA PASION GALLERIL! MAY COCKING PASION LIVE! le Coq Sportif!!!Pasion au VIE!


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