One afternoon, my boyfriend and I were eating at Flamingos, a cozy and underrated diner on Kamehameha Highway that we love. The only thing I get off their menu is their oxtail soup. It's one of the best on the island (IMO). Each time I eat it, I scoop to the bottom of the bowl and find long rice and every single time I am pleasantly surprised. This might sound like an exaggeration, but if you knew me you'd know that my memory isn't always that reliable.
On this particular visit, I was face deep in a bowl of oxtail soup enjoying the long rice surprise when Mark says, what if you make the oxtail soup version of chicken long rice-- all the good stuff about oxtail soup--the peanuts, mustard cabbage, long rice, and deep beef broth and added more long rice noodles? It's times like these when I know he and I are meant to be.
Oxtail Soup Long Rice
2.5 lbs spareribs (or oxtail, our supermarket was out so I used spareribs)
1 bunch bok choi or mustard greens
1 bunch green onion
1 can straw mushrooms
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth
1 hand ginger
4 cloves garlic
4 star anise (whole)
1 (3 oz.) bag raw blanched peanuts
1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bag bean thread noodles (dried)
1 T vegetable oil
cilantro and grated ginger for garnish
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil start to brown the spareribs. Add a healthy pinch of kosher salt and some ground black pepper. Brown all sides of the spareribs, about 2 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, cut off about 4" piece of ginger. Skin the ginger and slice into 1/4" slices. Smash the garlic. After the meat is browned, add the ginger, garlic, sweet onion, hydrated shiitake mushrooms, and the chicken broth + one can of water so the meat is submerged. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. As it simmers, skim the scum and fat off the top of the broth.
Next, pour in the beef stock + 4 cans of water and throw in 2 beef bouillon cubes, and the star anise. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for 45 minutes uncovered, while continuing to skim the scum and fat.
Add the peanuts and simmer for another 20 minutes. While that cooks away, bring a full kettle of water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the dry noodles, making sure the noodles are submerged. Set aside. Wash and cut the bok choi and green onions into 1" pieces. Separate the stalks of the bok choi from the leaves.
Before going further, use a large slotted spoon to fish out the large pieces of ginger and star anise from the broth. Then, add the stalks of bok choi and the white ends of the green onions since these take a bit longer to cook. Simmer in broth for about 20 minutes.
Finally, add tops of green onions, leaves of bok choi, and noodles. Stir and let cook uncovered until the noodles are soft and the meat is tender, about 20 more minutes. Taste broth for salt. If you like, add a couple extra pinches of kosher salt.
Serve with a lot of grated ginger and chopped cilantro.