Gyu Teiru Nabe: Oxtail Hotpot / by Alice Zhao

oxtail hotpot
(our attempt to mimic the photo that went along with the recipe in the book. hahaha)
Despite the brisk 8°F weather we woke up to this morning, we were really excited to get working on some food photography today because the sun was actually shining and not hidden behind layers upon endless layers of clouds. It warmed up and brightened our place which always makes me so happy. Hey, I will take any ounce of optimism any way I can get it in this bitter Chicago winter!
Jared's been inspired lately by the Shunju cookbook and decided to try out their oxtail hotpot recipe from their Winter section. Hotpot is a one pot dish usually eaten during winter months. Raw ingredients are added to the soup, which helps build up the soup as the night goes on. It is also a great way to gather friends and families around a boiling cauldron of soup to keep you warm and full.
I have found that as Jared makes more Japanese food at home, I tend to eat slower because the flavors are so delicate, yet so incredibly harmonious. I find myself trying to enjoy every piece of food in every inch of my bowl. Plus when I realize Jared's put a lot more meticulous effort into each part of the dish, I want to make sure I do his work some sort of justice by not scarfing it down. Today was definitely one of those days as he prepared this oxtail hotpot. The oxtail stock takes at least three hours and he peeled every strand of daikon noodle. How could I not appreciate this?
According to the description in the book, it is one of the restaurant's most popular dishes since it opened. The oxtail soup is nice and hearty, while the crispy daikon noodles absorb the delicious broth and lends its sweetness to the dish.

oxtail hotpot

Ingredients:

1 cup oxtail soup (see recipe below)
4 cups katsuo dashi (substitute with 2 tsb dashi powder into 4 cups water)
3 1/3 tsb mirn
3 1/3 tsb soy sauce
2 tsb milk
Daikon "noodles"
Korean pepper flakes (optional)
Salt to taste

Recipe (adapted from the Shunju cookbook):

  • In a large pot, combine the mirin, soy sauce, oxtail soup and dashi stock together
  • Bring the soup to boil, then add the oxtail and milk
  • Season to taste with salt
  • To make the daikon noodles, remove the ends off of the daikon
  • Peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Then use the peeler to peel the daikon to make daikon "noodles"
  • Place the pot on an induction burner/portable gas burner/portable electric burner
  • Once the soup is boiling, add a handful of the daikon noodle. Add more noodles when the previous batch is eaten. It is better to not put all the daikon noodle in at once, as the noodle will loose its crunchy texture as it continues to boil.
  • If the meat is not seasoned enough, you may dip the meat in soy sauce

At the end of the meal, it is customary to add rice or udon noodles to savor the soup. To do it, use a fine strainer to remove most of the bits and pieces left in the soup. Ladle most of the soup out, leaving about 1 cups worth. Add in 2 cups of cooked rice/ udon noodle and 2 beaten eggs with the heat on. Once the eggs are cooked, serve immediately.

oxtail hotpot
Oxtail Soup

Ingredients:

10 quarts water
1 tsb salt
4 lbs oxtail (disjointed)
2 medium onion
3 stalks celery
3 carrots (peeled and sliced)

Recipe:

  • In a stock pot, add 5 quarts of water and 1 tsb of salt and bring it to boil
  • Once it is boiling, add the oxtail and let it return to a boil
  • After 5 mins, drain the oxtail and rinse it until cold water
  • Wash the pot to remove any meat particles stuck on the side
  • Add 5 quarts of water, oxtail and the vegetables.
  • Heat on high heat until the stock begins to boil, then reduce the heat to medium to keep a rolling boil. Skim the foam and fat off as it boils
  • Boil the oxtail for 3 hours or until the meat falls off the bone
  • Remove the oxtail and strain the oxtail stock through a fine sieve
If you're interested in more Japanese hotpot recipes, check out this collaborative book by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, Japanese Hot Pot.