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This is my version of Indonesian Sop Buntot, which is a deeply comforting oxtail and vegetable soup. Rich in collagen and filled with complex flavors, I always serve this with steamed rice and extra sliced tomatoes, fish sauce, shallot flakes (or French-fried onions), and lime wedges on the side.


Recipe Summary test

45 mins
5 hrs 27 mins
5 hrs 72 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine shallots, 2 onion quarters, ginger, and garlic in a food processor; pulse into a paste.

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shallot paste and fry until fragrant and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oxtails; stir until completely covered with spices and paste and browned, about 5 minutes.

  • Stir remaining onion quarters, 2 carrots, and celery into the pot. Pour in enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until oxtail is tender, about 5 hours.

  • Stir salt, black pepper, potatoes, and 3 carrots into the pot. Increase heat and simmer soup until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Add sugar and fish sauce; stir well to combine.

  • Ladle soup into large serving bowls and top with tomato wedges and French-fried onions.

Cook's Notes:

You can make the shallot paste with a mortar and pestle or mince everything finely instead of using a food processor.

Substitute vegetable oil for the canola oil if desired.

You could also cook the spices and shallot paste in a small saucepan and then place everything in a slow cooker, cover with water, and cook for the same amount of time.

Nutrition Facts

520 calories; protein 38.2g; carbohydrates 34.6g; fat 25.9g; cholesterol 124.8mg; sodium 1217mg. Full Nutrition