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Braised Spicy Oxtail


Braised Spicy Oxtail
1 oxtail, 2-3 pounds, cut into two-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons thin soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable oil
2 scallions
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
3 dried red chili peppers
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 pieces, about two teaspoons, of licorice pieces
4 whole star anise
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup one-inch carrot chunks, cut on an angle
1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, cut to match the carrots
3 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with two tablespoons cold water
1. Marinate oxtail in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and salt for half an hour. The remove and reserve the marinade.
2. In a wok or deep pot, heat oil and deep-fry the oxtail pieces until they are crisp on the outside. Drain them and set the oil aside for some other use.
3. Add oxtail, reserved marinade, and the scallions, Sichuan pepper, chili peppers, ground white pepper, licorice pieces, star anise and the chicken broth. Bring this almost to the boil, reduce heat and cover the pot, Simmer for two and a half hours or until meat is tender enough to be removed from the oxtail bones with chopsticks.
4. Remove oxtail to a bowl, then strain the liquid and discard any solids. Return liquid, the oxtails and the carrots and bamboo shoots to the pot, and simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes. Then add cornstarch water, stir, and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring until it thickens and clears. Then serve.

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