Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Tropics Hawaiian Brand Oxtail with Beef Broth
is available at Daiei, Foodland and Star markets.

The busy person’s
oxtail soup

Oxtail soup is a dish that rewards the patient cook. Simmering for hours and constant skimming of the fat turns this inexpensive meat into a hearty, soul-satisfying meal.

Now, Tropics, the local salad-dressing company, presents pre-cooked oxtails in a can -- a shortcut to a bowl of steaming, fragrant soup.

The oxtails are canned specially for Tropics in New Zealand, Alan Kobayashi, sales representative for Tropic Products, said.

The product allows you to satisfy a craving for oxtails when you don't have hours to simmer and skim -- but it's not an instant soup. You'll still need a 45- minute head start before dinner.

The instructions call for refrigerating the can, then opening it and removing the hardened fat. The meat and broth are cooked with water, anise, ginger, salt and peanuts. Mustard cabbage and/or other vegetables are added near the end.

Officially, according to the label, a can makes 3.5 servings, but that's an optimistic estimate.

The can we opened had 8 bones, 1/2-3/4 inches thick and moderately meaty. It would be enough for perhaps two servings, if you added a lot of vegetables. Kobayashi confesses that he could probably eat a whole can by himself, as he likes a meaty soup.

The broth was plentiful and tasty, but was better on the second day, after skimming the fat off one more time.

At first, sales were slow, Kobayashi said, but they're picking up now that Tropics has done some in-store demonstrations and advertising.

"When people buy things in a can, they're kind of skeptical," Kobayashi said. Price -- $6.29 to $7.29 a can -- may also be a deterrent. You are, after all, paying for convenience.

"A lot of people who grew up on oxtails will appreciate the value of it."

Betty Shimabukuro, Star-Bulletin

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