Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cooking with Chef Jo: One of My Wintertime Favorite Soups

I love the cooler or even cold nights because it means it's time for SOUP! Leigh over at 5 Acres and a Dream, wanted more ways to utilize Daikon radishes. So Leigh, here's another one.

Being half Japanese, I love Asian Cuisine. I could spend a small fortune at the online and local Asian market places. Even though I grow most of my vegetables here on this homestead. We grow Daikon radishes out in the orchard for deer forage and our needs. I end up with some 50 or more worth of radishes each year for my enjoyment and a lot more for everything else of this cool weather crop. The rest go to the wildlife and our rabbits. The seeds produce wonderfully and an abundant harvest can be expected for 4 oz of seed. It's a little over $1 at the local feed and seed.The radish roots also break up the clay soil in the orchard. The greens are loved by wildlife, rabbits, and I'll cook them up as you would any greens like turnips or mustard greens.I'll also replace this vegetable for turnips in a lot of recipes. It's an essential in my kimchi recipe.😁 The taste is similar to young purple top turnips.

Similarly, Ox-Tail is an under utilized cut of meat, but it's growing in popularity. I love the creamy, tender texture of this cut of meat. The Japanese in utilizing every part of an animal harvest whenever possible as did the American pioneers. You didn't have to tell them to find delicious recipes to make from these, now commonly cast off, morsels.

Although most of today's ox-tails, often come from butchered cows instead of oxen. The key is low and slow cooking to get the tenderness to form from the connective tissues and flavor from the bones. In many countries, it's a delicacy. There's not a lot of meat on the tails, but you're sure to enjoy this recipe. It's one of my favorite wintertime soups. It has abundant essential elements that prevent and stop a cold trying to catch you too. I've made changes to my mother's recipe to enhance these properties. Now, onto my Ox-tail and daikon soup with Ramen.

Ox-Tail and Daikon Soup with Ramen Noodles
 Serves 6 healthy, meal size servings

What you'll need
I fancy cut some veges for this picture
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped ginger (homegrown)
1 cup chopped ginger (homegrown)
1 cup chopped garlic (homegrown)
1⁄4 cup mirin, Japanese rice vinegar* 
2 cups beef broth beef broth,(home canned) I can my own
2 daikon large, chopped 2" chunks (homegrown 12"x6") 2 large carrots, chopped 2" chunks (homegrown dantes)
                                                                                      1 TBS  ground Turmeric (homegrown,                                                                                                 dehydrated and ground)
                                                                                       2 TBS soy sauce
                                                                                       1 cup daikon leaves or dried seaweed,
                                                                                        coarse chopped  (homegrown or                                                                                                         purchased online)
                                                                                      5 pounds oxtails
                                                                                      1 pound  Ramen (I make 
                                                                                       own with buckwheat flour) 
                                                                                      1 leek, large, sliced into 1" pieces 
                                                                                      1 large onion, chopped into 2" pieces 
                                                                                      4 shiitake or portabella mushrooms*  
                                                                                         (purchased dried from Asian Market)
                                                                                       Salt and pepper to taste

 3 eggs, soft boiled in tea and soy sauce*          
          3 tsp 5-spice powder
          1 black tea bag
          2 1/2 TBS soy sauce
          1 cup boiling water

Notes* -The mirin or rice wine vinegar helps tenderize the meat.
* If using dried shiitake  mushrooms are used rehydrate for 8 hrs before using.
* Tea and soy eggs are prepared a day in advance. Recipe to follow at the end of soup instructions.


Putting it all together

My bullet points went nuts here so will substitute numbers   1) Begin by heating the oil in a cast-iron Dutch oven. Season your oxtail pieces and then brown them all sides in the pan (about seven or eight minutes of cooking time total).  2) Then, transfer the browned pieces to a bowl and pour off any remaining fat. Ox-tails are loaded with fat.
3) Add the chopped ginger, carrots, onions, and garlic to the pan to cook until garlic and onions are golden (about five minutes). Remove vegetable and place in the another bowls.  4) Stir in your mirin and scrape up any remaining browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add your beef broth and bring liquids up to a simmer, then return the oxtails. 5) Cover with the lid, and cook for about three hours, or until the meat is tender.  6) If you want a broth that contains less fat, after the three-hour time period has ended transfer the oxtails to a baking sheet, remove all the meat from the bones, and discard all the bones, fat, and gristle. You should also strain the broth, skimming off any remaining fat. This is not a mandatory step, but does make for a clearer, cleaner, and lighter soup.  7) Return the broth to the pot, add the  meat, daikon, other cooked vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, and leeks. Cook covered for another forty-five minutes.  8) While the vegetables and broth are finishing up, cook the ramen. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the ramen, stirring often. It should take about three -five minutes.  9) Rinse and drain the ramen and place into the oxtail soup to absorb the flavors with the heat off. Place the soy-tea eggs on top to warm. About 4 minutes.
 Tea- Soy Sauce Eggs1) Start with room temperature eggs. 2) To a saucepan, add enough cold water to cover the eggs. Remove the eggs and bring water up to a rolling boil.3) Gently add the eggs. Turn off the heat.4) Let set for 6 minutes with cover on.5) Remove the eggs from the water and rinse until they are body temperature.6) In another saucepan, add 5 spice powder, water, tea bag, soy sauce,7) Bring to a boil.8) Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.9) Meanwhile, crack the ends of the shells against the sink, and then roll the egg all around the sink of the sink to crack the  egg shell. DO NOT PEEL THE EGG SHELL OFF.10) Place the eggs and tea/soy sauce mixture into a ziplock bag. You will turn this bag several times during the marinading process in the refrigerator. At least 8 hr, but 24 hrs is better.   11) Before placing the eggs into the soup discard the marinade and peel the eggs. For service- Remove the eggs from the pot and slice them lengthwise in half retaining egg yolk in each half. Spoon noodles, meat, vegetables, and broth in equal portions and place half an egg atop each serving. Serve and enjoy!
You can sprinkle chopped green onions on top for a festive touch.
Y'all have a blessed day!
Cockeyed Jo


  1. No Asian connection that I'm aware of but I love the food! Last year we planted Daikons for the first time and loved them. But I've never heard of ox tails! I'll have to look around and see if anybody has them, especially now that soup season is upon us.

    1. You've never heard of ox tails??!! They are in your grocer's meat counter by the soup bones. Cow tails get quite a work out so the are tough. There's little meat to them but loaded with fat and creamy connective tissues that lends itself to low and slow braising. Absolutely yummy!


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