Secret Chinese Ingredients: Chung Choi and Go Pi

One of the pleasures of attending farmers markets every weekend are the conversations I have with customers. Many show up still half asleep because they wanted to make sure they got their eggs for the week. My regulars usually stop to talk about everything from local weather to how they are cooking this week. It makes for a better day when I am standing in freezing weather. Helen, one of my Del Ray regulars, is originally from Hawaii and never fails to brighten when I mention some stray fact about food. She loves to get our oxtail for a soup that she learned to make from her mom. With the chilly morning frosts this week, I thought it was time to post her delicious recipe. Helen was also kind enough to share some of the ingredients that are hard to find in the greater Berryville area: chung choi and go pi. These ingredients do make a difference in the taste of the soup and are well worth the extra effort to head over to Eden Center or another international shop that carries spices from abroad.

Here is the recipe, and you can look for others on our recipe page .


Hawaiian Oxtail Soup from Simply Recipes

Chinese Style Oxtail Soup (from Hawaii via Helen Scully)
8 servings

1 2-3lb oxtail
Cut into 2” pieces, parboil about 10 minutes, drain and clean. Brown all over in the soup pot with a little oil and soy sauce)
6 cups water
1/2 cup raw peanuts
You can use up to 1 1/2 cup or 1/2 lb
1 roll of chung choi
Salted mustard cabbage root, rinsed
1 small go pi
Dried orange peel about the size of a half dollar. Soak in cold water until soft, then scrape most of the white pith off.
3-4 cloves of garlic
Crushed or minced
1 knob of ginger root
Peeled and crushed, minced or sliced (if you want to removed it later, slice it).
Salt to taste
Or you can use oyster sauce
Chinese parsley
To garnish (optional)

Combine parboiled, cleaned and browned oxtail, water, chung choi, orange peel, garlic and ginger in soup pot. Simmer for about 1/2 hour and then add the peanuts. Simmer an additional 2 1/2 hours or until oxtail is tender. Remove chung choi and, if desired, sliced ginger. Add salt and/or oyster sauce to taste. Garnish with Chinese parsley if desired.

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