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Oxtail Soup for the Soul


October snow storm. Mountain roads closed. We were stuck in Banff. We cling to the hope that some restaurants stayed open so we can get sometime hot into us. In a strip mall decorated with footlong icicles we see an “Open” sign and promptly got into the doorway. After my glasses cleared up I see it is a Korean restaurant specializing in hot soups. Jackpot!

Now, in this long winter many years later. I am going to share the recipe with you so you too can enjoy a steamy hot soup that quenches your body and soul.

Name: Asian Oxtail Soup

Difficulty: 8 out of 10

Preparation time: 2 hours using Instantpot


Ingredients: Oxtail (two pounds, cut into chunks), 2 leaves of basil, clove (two pinches), 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 star anise, 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper, 2 chunks of ginger, 2 small onions, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 stalks of asian cilantro, 1 small daikon radish, 3 medium carrots, 2 cups of mung bean vermicelli (soaked), Himalayan salt.


  1.   Turn on instanpot to Saute for 7 min. When hot add avocado oil and garlic. Add oxtail and brown all sides. To prevent sticking I use oil spray.
  2. Turn setting to soup at high pressure for 1 hour. Before closing lid add all ingredients except radish, carrots and cilantro. do not salt at this point. Cook until done.
  3. Let off steam and open lid. Add cut up radish and carrots. Add 2 pinches of salt. Close lid and cook for another 20 mins in same setting.
  4. On stove top boil water and cook vermicelli for 7 mins. Strain and soak in cool water.
  5. When soup is done combine soup and drained vermicelli in a large ornate bowl. Garnish with cilantro. Serve steamy hot on a table facing a large window. Ideally during a violent winter storm.


Food and travel go hand in hand. Imaging you came back from India and all you ate was McDonalds. Life would have dealt you a cruel card. I love recreating dishes at home. They bring back wonderful memories that make you salivate. Sharing the exotic foods with family and friend makes the occasion extra special.


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