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Fermented black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, and ginger give an oriental flair to braised oxtails. Serve with Chinese rice or noodles.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


  • 3 pounds oxtails, cut at each joint
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans (dow see), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 slices ginger, the size of a 25-cent piece, cut julienne
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


Trim the oxtail pieces of excess fat. Heat a large wok or frying pan and add the peanut oil. Add the garlic and salt and chow (stir-fry) for just a moment. Add the oxtails and brown on both sides. Remove the oxtails from the wok and drain the oil, reserving the oil. Set the oxtails aside.

Heat the wok again and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the black beans and chow (stir-fry) for a moment. Add the onion, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, and sugar. Then add the reserved oxtails. Toss and remove the whole lot to a stove-top casserole. Add water to not quite cover. Cover the pot and simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours, or longer to taste. The pieces should be very tender and certainly flavorful.

Serve with rice or noodles as a main course for a Chinese dinner.

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

Source: The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines by Jeff Smith (William Morrow)
Reprinted with permission.

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