Scallion pancakes with braised oxtail and bone broth

So I was inspired by birria tacos, but knowing that I cannot make them authentically, I figured, why not take dishes and ingredients from my own culture, but just serve them in the same fashion? So I took the concept of a wrap with a dipping broth, and essentially made it Chinese/Taiwanese. I still remember one of my absolute favorite soups is this ginger-oxtail broth, which just felt like a giant hug. What I love about oxtail is that is has this natural sweetness to it that just makes any liquid you cook it in taste like liquid gold. I used to make oxtail broth all the time in college, then with that broth, I’d make risotto, then arancini, so that I could stretch that amazing broth out as much as I could. For the case of this recipe, I wanted to do a broth that more traditional Chinese spices, namely cinnamon, star anise, and ginger, just to give that broth a lot of flavor beyond just the simple beef notes. Bone broth is a huge thing in Los Angeles right now, so I wanted to take that trend and combine it with the birria taco hype to make something truly my own. I also made scallion pancakes in lieu of a tortilla, since I criminally don’t have a scallion pancake recipe on this blog, and that needs to change STAT! That and I love scallion pancakes. They are similar to a Singaporean roti in that it’s thin layers of flaky dough that is fried off in oil. And they also have scallions, which adds the sweetness of a caramelized onion to the dough as well. They’re just delicious, and with the shredded oxtail meat and this deep, sweet and fragrant bone broth, it’s just a winning combination.

For the broth:
1 pound oxtail
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 scallion, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
canola oil
1 sheet of kombu

Sear off the oxtail in a large stockpot with a little oil first. Then remove the oxtail. Sweat out the remaining ingredients in the same stockpot with a little more oil. Place on top of the ingredients the oxtail and the kombu and pour on enough water to fully submerge the ingredients. Cover with a lid and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender and just falls off the bone. Shred the meat off of the bone and cool down the meat in some of the broth. Strain the rest of the broth to remove the solids. If there is an abundant amount of beef fat, you can refrigerate the broth first so that the fat solidifies, skim that, and reheat the broth.

For the pancakes:
8 scallions, mined finely
1 1/4 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons canola oil, with more for rolling
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt

Toss the scallions into the flour first. Pour into that the canola oil, water, and salt. Mix and knead for 10 minutes to form a springy dough. Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle, about 1 foot by 6 inches. Brush the surface of the roll with a thin layer of canola oil. Roll the dough along the width(longer and thinner) into a coil and cut into four pieces. Stretch the dough out as long as possible. Roll up each dough log into another coil and rest each piece for at least 10 minutes. After this, roll out the coils into flatter disks, about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Sear the pancakes in a generously oiled pan, about 3 minutes before side, then drain on a paper towel. Fold the pancakes in half, then place the shredded oxtail meat inside. Re-sear the stuffed pancakes on each side for 30 seconds before serving.

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