Shortly after my wife and I got married, my mother-in-law taught me how to make this soup, which I have been making ever since. Making a clear, flavorful soup is the main objective of this recipe. There is nothing difficult about it, but you will need several hours of boiling oxtail pieces on high heat for it to be done.
When making a Korean soup it is extremely helpful to have a “clear broth”. It is important to understand that this does not necessarily imply that you can see through it. It is ideal for a broth to have a milky appearance and a rich flavor. A clear taste is what they mean when they say clear. To achieve this we need to get rid of the Myoglobin, the bloody-looking stuff. It is also important that fat does not emulsify into the broth in the course of the rapid boiling process.
Now to a large pot add your oxtails and cover with cold water. Let them soak at room temperature for one hour. Pour off the water, and wash the bones and the pot. Put the pot on the stove and return the bones then cover with cold water. Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil.
Allow the pot to come to a rapid boil for ten minutes, turn off the heat and pour off the water. Afterward, wash the pot and the bones. Place the pot back on the stove, add the bones and cover with cold water. Add ginger, garlic, and a whole onion (it is easier to remove later). Bring to a slow boil and reduce the burner to medium heat. Ensure the pot stays at a slow boil. From time to time skim off any fat or foam that accumulates on the top of the soup. Continue until the oxtail meat is just tender. This normally takes about two hours. If your water level falls below the top of your oxtails add a few cups of water to bring the level back up.
After two hours remove the oxtails (in my case I also removed the chuck roast). Reduce the burner to low heat, and remove the onion. Allow the oxtails to cool down enough to handle them. Pull the meat and connective tissue from the bones. Place the bones and meat into separate bowls. For presentation, you can save a few large pieces to serve in the soup. I only save one for the photo. We prefer to season the meat and serve it with ox bone soup.
After most of the meat has been removed from the bones, return the bones back to the pot and bring them to a rapid boil. Now to achieve a rich broth we need to boil the bones for a long time. The long boiling will extract the bone marrow along with calcium and magnesium from the bones, giving you a milky broth. While the oxtail broth is boiling, skim off the fat and keep an eye on the level. Normally I boil the bone broth for six to eight hours, but this time I only boiled it for four hours.
While the bones are boiling, we can season our oxtail meat. First, shred the meat. Then season the oxtail meat with soy sauce, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, salt, and Korean red pepper flakes. Give it a thorough mix and place it into the fridge.
When the soup is finished it needs to be strained before serving. Straining removes chunks of fat, tendon, garlic, ginger, and bone fragments.
This Korean-style oxtail soup is served at its best when it is served hot with chopped green onion garnishing it, along with some of the seasoned meat, coarse sea salt, and black pepper on the side. Since this is Korean cuisine, the dish is usually served along with rice, kimchi, and a variety of side dishes including cucumber salad. There are some people who like to add somen noodles to the soup before eating it.
If you found this recipe delightful, you might want to give my Busan daeji gukbap Recipe a try. It’s prepared in a very similar manner and promises another delicious journey into Korean flavors. Happy cooking!
- 5 pounds oxtails
- 3 gallons water Not sure how much I used
Oxtail meat seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 each green onions
- Trim excess fat from the oxtails.
- Soak the bones in cold water for one hour, pour off the water wash the bones, and the pot.5 pounds oxtails, 3 gallons water
- Place the bones in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.
- Discard the water, and wash the bones and the pot.
- Return the bones to the pot, cover with water and bring to a slow boil. Boil until the oxtail meat is tender. Add water as needed.
- Remove the bones from the pot and allow them to cool down.
- Remove the meat from the oxtails and save it in a large bowl.
- Return the bones to the pot and bring them to a rapid boil. Boil 4 to 8 hours.
- Shred the oxtail meat. Season with soy sauce, red pepper, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, black pepper, and green onion.1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 cloves garlic, 2 each green onions
- Your soup is now ready to serve.