How to Make Hawaii’s Oxtail Soup

The most craved and delicious soup to eat on a cold day.

oxtail soup 1

The oxtail

The oxtail comes from the cattle’s tail. Oxtail inherited its name from olden times when people used the tail of the steer. Oxtail is such a great cut to use in stews and soups due to its fattty contents and gelatin (from the bone). Because of those perks, it makes the broth rich in flavor!

Oxtail impurities


Parboiling the oxtail first is to remove any of the impurities. You will notice the impurities when it floats to the top and sticks to the sides of the pot. Don’t worry about dumping the water out and losing the flavor. It’s better to get rid of the impurities than eating it.

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Spices and broth

The beauty of this dish comes from the rich flavors. The oxtail is what fuels most of the broth with its gelatins coming from the bone. The spices that go in the soup comes from the star anise, ginger, and orange peel. Star anise is commonly used in Chinese dishes to bring more flavor to broths. An added local touch to the soup is adding in the peanuts. The peanuts are raw but will cook as the soup boils for the rest of the 2-3 hours. If you are prefer not to add peanuts to the soup, you can always omit it and it will still come out ‘ono!

Hawaiian-Style Oxtail Soup

An onolicious soup filled with a rich broth from the oxtail and different spices.
Print Recipe
oxtail thumbnail
Prep Time:8 minutes
Cook Time:4 hours 40 minutes
Total Time:4 hours 48 minutes


  • 2 lb oxtail
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 inch ginger piece, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup shelled raw peanuts (optional)
  • 1 whole kai choy
  • water
  • green onions (for garnish)
  • cilantro (for garnish)


Dried Orange Peel

  • Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  • Peel the outside of the orange, while avoiding the white pith. Lay the peels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The peels will start to curl and become slightly hardened. It can be stored for up to 12 months in an airtight container.

Oxtail Soup

  • Add the oxtail to a large pot and fill it with water until it covers the oxtail. Bring the pot to a boil and let it parboil for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the pot and rinse the oxtail with water. Clean the pot and add back in the oxtail.
  • Fill the pot back with water until there is an inch above the oxtail. Add in the star anise, ginger, dried orange peel, and salt. Bring it to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cover and let it simmer for an hour.
  • Add in the peanuts and cover and simmer again for another 2-3 hours.
  • Oxtail should be tender enough to fall off of the bone. Add in the kai choy and let it cook for 10 minutes until it is tender (it is optional to take out the kai choy because it is bitter). Serve in a bowl, garnish with cilantro and green onions and enjoy!


Servings: 5


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