Oxtail Stew – Bejing Recipe

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Chinese
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
Residence: Beijing, China
Date of Performance/Collection: 04/27/2021
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Chinese

Context

The interviewee in this collection and I are both Chinese though we have very different backgrounds. I’m Singaporean-Chinese and she is Beijing-Chinese. We found common ground in many of the foods that our mothers made for us growing up, however always noticed that there were little differences in the recipe. The following is a recipe that she gave me that was a favorite dish for both of us growing up, but the recipe is the Beijing version of Oxtail Stew.

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Performance

The following is a receipt given to me by the interviewee.

1.Blanch the chopped oxtail over boiling water for 1-2 minutes.

2.Add in 2 spoons of yellow wine and 3 spoons of soy sauce.

3.Season the beef with rock sugar, chicken powder, aniseed, cinnamon, and dried chili

4.Add in water and keep braising the beef until the beef is well cooked

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Analysis

Food can be a very tricky thing. You can make two dishes of oxtail stew with practically the same ingredients, but once one of them has dried chili and aniseed, it becomes distinctly a Beijing recipe instead of one from Guangzhou or Singapore or Malaysia. Because the Chinese population is huge and many Chinese people have branched away from China to various parts of the world, recipes get changed and adapted to whichever country the chef resides in. It is always fun to see a classic Chinese recipe that is just slightly different.