Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours 

Serves: 8

What you need: 

  •  2kg Cape grim oxtail 

  • 1L Ayam coconut water 

  • 1L water

  • 2 star anise

  • 8 cloves

  • 1-2 chillies

  • 1tsp black peppercorns

  • 1tsp coriander seeds

  • 5 cm piece Galangal, sliced

  • 5 cm piece of ginger

  • 1 bulb garlic, cut in half 

  • 5 Kaffir lime leaves, reserve 2 for garnish

  • 2TbspAyam fish sauce

  • 1 x 200g pkt Ayam pad thai rice noodles 


Nuoc cham sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed  

  • 3 small red chilli, finely sliced

  • 3Tbsp coconut or caster sugar 

  • 120ml water 

  • 2&½Tbsp Ayam fish sauce 

  • the juice of 2 limes 


To serve 

  • 2 handfuls of bean shoots

  • 2 fresh chilli, chopped

  • ½ bunch fresh herbs – Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, coriander

  • 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


 Step 1: To blanch the meat, place the meat in a large saucepan. Cover of cold water to cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes uncovered. This process, cleans up the meat, relaxes the sinew and gives a cleaner flavour. Skim intermittently. 

 Step 2: Using tongs transfer the meat from the pot into a large high sided baking tray. Discard the blanching water. 

 Step 3: Whilst the meat is blanching make the nuoc cham. Roughly chop the garlic and chilli and add to pound in a mortar and pestle. Add the garlic and chilli along with water, sugar and fish sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Take off the heat and when cool add the lime juice and fish sauce. Set aside

 Step 4: Preheat the oven 170C, fan forced

 Step 5: Gather the star anise, cloves, peppercorns and coriander seeds in a muslin cloth and tie together.  Submerge in the dish. Add the galangal, ginger, garlic, 2 kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce to the baking dish. Add the coconut water then cover snugly with sheets of foil, lined with baking paper to avoid sticking. 

 Step 6: Bake in the oven for 2&1/2 hours,

 Step 7: Remove from the oven, ladle most of the liquid (but not all) through a strainer into a saucepan. Add 2 more lime leaves to the saucepan and reduce the liquid over medium heat and simmer until the volume has reduced by two thirds. Take off the heat.

 Step 8: Increase the oven temp to 200C fan forced.

 Step 9: Rotate some of the meat and return the uncovered tray of meat back to the oven and bake to brown up a little, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and lift the meat from the baking dish into a bowl. 

 Step 10: Cook the noodles as per packet instructions, drain, toss in oil, snip with scissors a few times. Toss the noodles in 2Tbsp nuoc cham and then divide between 4 individual serving bowls. Top with some beanshoots and herbs

Step 11:Leave the meat on the bone or shred and place 1-2 pieces top of the noodles. 

 Step 12: Scatter over peanuts and extra chilli (if you like) and take to the table with nuoc cham and lime wedges on the side.