Chinese cooking makes frequent use of under-appreciated fattier cuts such as pork belly, pork shoulder, and oxtails. In this recipe, licorice-flavored star anise gives the meat its characteristic flavor. You can use oxtails from traditional grain-finished beef or grass-fed beef, which, though leaner, will have ample fat. This dish is best made ahead.
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Turn leftovers into chow mein: Remove the meat from the bones and cut into chunks or shred. Cook Chinese egg noodles until just tender. Toss the noodles with the meat, some scallion pieces, and slivers of yellow onion in a little oil in a wok or large skillet, moisten the noodles with just enough braising sauce to create a light sauce, and heat through. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and serve.
Possible substitutions: beef or bison shanks for the oxtails; snow peas, sugar snap peas, Napa cabbage cut into 6 wedges, Chinese broccoli (gai lan), regular broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, or Chinese mustard greens for the baby bok choy. Snow peas and sugar snap peas need only 1 to 2 minutes of cooking, while broccoli will need 5 to 6 minutes.
Great do-ahead meal. Guests really enjoyed the flavor.
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