Ox-Tail (Fresh)


Ingredient Name: Oxtail (Fresh)
Traditional Chinese Name: 牛尾 (niu wei)
What is this?
  • Also known as beef tail, it is a bony, gelatinous meat, and is usually slow-cooked, often stewed or braised. It is a good stock base for a soup.
  • The oxtail is usually skinned and cut into short lengths for sale
  • They usually come with some fat attached

How do I prepare it?

  • When store bought, it is usually already cut into pieces
  • Wash with cold water first and then boil before usage.  Boiling it will remove excess dirt, broken bone pieces, and undesired fat.
  • After boiling, remove it from the water, rinse, and use as desired
  • To insure tender meat and the best flavor, cook the oxtail slowly. A crockpot is perfect, if available. If not, a heavy dutch oven on top of the stove produces the desired result.

Where can I buy this?

  • Look for pre-packaged oxtails at your local market. These will be in the meat section and are usually pre-sliced. If you don’t see them on the shelf, ask the butcher if they have them or can order them for you.
  • Try one of the specialty food stores if you have no luck at the local market. ey tend to have more exotic choices in all products including meat. They usually have a butcher knowledgeable in these items.
  • Call a local meat market. They tend to have any cut of meat you are looking to buy, but these markets ar not found in all areas.
  • Choose fresh oxtail if available. Buy the whole tail and have the butcher slice it for you into 2-inch slices.
  • In Asian supermarkets, you can purchase them by weight and request the size of cut you want


  • If oxtail if unavailable, you may consider substituting with veal or beef neck, shanks or short ribs.  However, don’t expect the flavor to be as intense.

What is the cost?

  • Depending on where you buy oxtail, it may be a pricier cut of meat.   In Asia, where many people enjoy oxtail,  it can cost approximately $70 – $100 HKD / tail
  • In western countries, oxtail are less popular and may be significantly cheaper (and maybe even free if from a butcher), but range around $7 – $10 CAD / tail

Any benefits?

  • Beef is an important source of 12 essential nutrients including high quality protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins
  • In general, it’s a good idea to eat from all parts of an animal because each part provides different nutritional value.

Any precautions?

  • Consumption of meat should be done in moderation.
  • Oxtail contains more fat and is not considered a lean cut of beef.