My mom makes a hearty and oh-so-delicious soup that I love. It’s a traditional Okinawan recipe so you know it’s healthy. (Okinawans who live the traditional life enjoy some of the longest and healthiest lives on the planet. –It’s a different story for young Okinawans who have adopted the North American fast food diet, just a generation later. They are Japan’s unhealthiest people.)
Like peasant food world wide, my mom’s soup is healthy, low-cost and easy to cook. Our ancestors were busy folks after all! The food they ate had to count ’cause they didn’t have pills and doctors, nor time to sit around contemplating their health. (My mom stresses to me that traditional Okinawan soup is made with pigs feet. I have had both and they are similar and excellent.)
My mom made me some of her oxtail soup when I caught the flu a while back. It tastes so good, and every bite and sip are packed with goodness. I recently realized that she quietly made it her mission to keep her family healthy through fresh cooking. Though I’ve long since left home, a little of her philosophy has rubbed off. Cook it yourself and your health will take care of itself! Take care of your health and your weight will take care of itself.
Note: My mom stresses to me that traditional Okinawan uses pigsfeet instead of oxtail. I have made both and they are delicious. Nowadays my mom uses oxtail.
- 1 kg Oxtail, cut into approx. 2 inch slices
- 1 large Onion, chopped into medium-sized pieces
- ¼ to ½ cup Ginger, peeled and grated or very thinly sliced. (Flavour dissipates as it cooks.)
- 2 sheets Kombu Seaweed
- 2 tablespoons Japanese Soy Sauce
- 2 large Carrots, cut into ½” pieces
- 2 stalks Celery, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 Daikon radish, cut into ½” pieces
- 1-2 cups Snow Peas, sliced into 2-3 pieces.
- 2 handfuls Baby Bok Choi
- 1 inch bundle of Udon Noodles (optional)
- Cover oxtail with cold water in large pot and and simmer for 5 hours – until meat falls off the bone.
- (Do not cut the meat off the bone.)
- Soak kombu in water to cover. Do this the night before or while soup simmers. Cut softened kombu into 1.5” squares.
- Add all remaining ingredients except bok choi to the pot after you've finished simmering the meat.
- Cook 2-3 minutes, just until the veggies are tender firm.
- Add bok choi to the soup pot 1-2 minutes before serving.
- Boil the noodles separately, until al dente.
- Spoon your noodles into your serving bowls along with soup. (If you leave noodles in the soup pot they quickly get mushy and absorb all of the soup liquid.)
- Buy kombu seaweed and udon noodles in an Aisan store, in the Asian section of your supermarket. Shanghai noodles are similar to udon noodles.
YOU next year Principle
Home cooking is love. You can’t buy love.
Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.