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Welcome to our quick and easy Thai Oxtail Soup recipe, perfect for those who crave authentic Thai flavors without the fuss. With only five simple ingredients and the help of an Instant Pot, you can enjoy a hearty and comforting bowl of this delectable soup in no time. Let's get right to it!Jump to Recipe
Background content: It's often eaten at special events like New Year's Day. Thai oxtail soup, known as "Tom Kha Ngae," is a popular and flavorful Thai soup that features oxtail as its primary ingredient. The soup is known for its rich and aromatic coconut milk broth, which is infused with a blend of Thai herbs and spices, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
The dish is believed to have its roots in traditional Thai cuisine, which emphasizes the use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Oxtail, the key component of the soup, is the culinary name for the tail of a cow, and it is renowned for its gelatinous and tender meat when slow-cooked.
Oxtail soup offers several potential health benefits due to its nutritious ingredients and cooking method. Here are some of the health benefits associated with consuming oxtail soup:
- Rich in Nutrients: Oxtail contains a good amount of essential nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. These nutrients are vital for various bodily functions, including muscle repair, energy production, and immune system support.
- Collagen and Gelatin: Oxtail is a collagen-rich cut of meat, and when slow-cooked, it releases gelatin into the soup. Collagen and gelatin are beneficial for joint health, as they may help reduce joint pain and improve flexibility. They also support healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- Amino Acids: Oxtail soup contains various amino acids that are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. These amino acids play a crucial role in maintaining muscle mass, supporting the immune system, and promoting overall health.
- Immune System Support: The soup's ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, and onions, have immune-boosting properties. Additionally, the presence of vitamin C from ingredients like lemongrass and lime leaves can further enhance the immune system's function.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some of the herbs and spices used in oxtail soup, such as turmeric and galangal, have anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming these ingredients may help reduce inflammation in the body and potentially alleviate certain inflammatory conditions.
- Digestive Health: The gelatin in oxtail soup is known to be beneficial for digestive health. It can help improve gut integrity, support the gut lining, and aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Hydration: The broth in oxtail soup contributes to hydration, which is essential for maintaining overall health and proper bodily functions.
- Satiety and Weight Management: Oxtail soup is a hearty and filling dish, thanks to the combination of meat, vegetables, and broth. It can help promote a feeling of fullness and satiety, which may aid in weight management by reducing overeating.
It's important to note that while oxtail soup offers various health benefits, it should be consumed as part of a balanced and varied diet. Additionally, the overall nutritional profile of the soup can vary depending on its preparation and the specific ingredients used. If you have any specific dietary concerns or health conditions, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian.
Use a clear shot of the ingredients for this recipe, prepped, and labeled if necessary. Add a paragraph of content describing why these ingredients were chosen. Insert the ingredients into the list below, omitting quantities.
- Red Curry Paste
- Light Coconut Milk
- Vegetable Broth (Whatever Broth You Prefer, Beef would be More traditional but I'm trying to make it a bit healthier.)
- Optionally: Lemongrass, Galangal (Thai ginger), Kaffir lime leaves, Shallots, Garlic, Thai chilies, Cilantro, or Parsley for Garnish, Salt, and Pepper, and any sauces like Sriracha you like, for seasoning.
See the recipe card for quantities.
As usual, I recommend preparing all the ingredients before you start cooking, in Mise en Place style. I use small bowls and make sure to clean the cutting board between ingredients. Especially with meats. Cut as much fat off the oxtail as you can. I made it really easy to get stuff together with this recipe.
1: Brown the oxtail
Set your Instant Pot to "Sauté" mode and add a splash of oil. Once the pot is hot, add the oxtail chunks and sear them until nicely browned on all sides. This will enhance the flavors of the soup.
2: Add Curry Paste
After the oxtail has been browned, add the Thai red curry paste to the Instant Pot. Stir it in with the oxtail, allowing the flavors to meld together. The aromatic spices in the curry paste will infuse the meat, creating a rich and fragrant base for our soup.
3: Pour in Broth
Next, pour in the beef broth, ensuring it covers the oxtail. The broth will add depth to the soup and tenderize the oxtail during cooking. Also, add in the potatoes. Close the Instant Pot lid securely.
4: Pressure Cook
Select the "Pressure Cook" setting on your Instant Pot and set the timer to 40 minutes. Allow the oxtail to cook under pressure until it becomes tender and succulent.
5: Add Coconut Milk
Pour in the coconut milk and gently stir everything together. The creamy coconut milk will complement the flavors of the Thai red curry paste, creating a harmonious blend of tastes.
Serve and Enjoy!
Hint: It's always a good idea to taste your dish before serving it. In this dish, I added a bit more coconut milk to cut the beefy taste down a bit. Just as my preference. Leaving out some options for your guests and telling them to customize to their taste increases the likelihood everyone likes it.
If you know how to make the recipe fit a certain diet, let the reader know here. Don't fake it - only provide guidance on topics you have actual experience with.
- Oxtail - instead of oxtail, use whatever protein you prefer.
- Potatoes/Keto- Carrots are a great substitute for potatoes in this dish
- Vegetarian - the meat can be replaced with a plant-based beef substitute for a similar effect without the meat. You will also want to double-check the curry paste and either get one without fish products or make your own from scratch using only vegan ingredients.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking or use 5 tablespoons of curry paste.
- Deluxe - add fried scallions, carrots, and celery and make fresh red curry paste rather than using a store-bought using this recipe.
If you don't already have an Instant Pot, here is the model of instant pot we use and love.
It's usually good for 2-3 days in the fridge. When in doubt, throw it out, but it's actually better after a day or two in the fridge.
Thai oxtail soup is usually served as a main course alongside steamed jasmine rice or as part of a larger meal with other Thai dishes. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a satisfying soup.
Oxtails are the tail sections of cattle. They are known for their gelatinous texture and rich flavor. You can find oxtails at specialty butcher shops, some well-stocked grocery stores, or Asian markets.
I mainly used red curry paste for the spiciness of this recipe. I put adding Thai peppers, fresh, or pepper flakes as an option. Thai restaurants often add curry paste or peppers for increased spiciness or coconut milk to cool it down. The level of spiciness can vary depending on the recipe and personal preference. Traditional Thai oxtail soup can be moderately spicy due to the inclusion of Thai chilies, but you can adjust the heat by adding fewer chilies or removing the seeds and membranes from the chilies.
Yes, you can prepare Thai oxtail soup in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two. The flavors often develop and improve with time. When reheating, you might need to add a little water or broth to adjust the consistency.
If you can't find oxtails or prefer an alternative, you can use beef shanks or beef stew meat as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may differ slightly from the traditional oxtail version.
Yes, you can freeze Thai oxtail soup. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Properly stored, it should stay good for up to three months in the freezer.
Thai oxtail soup goes well with various side dishes such as Thai jasmine rice, steamed vegetables, Thai cucumber salad, or even a side of fresh herbs like cilantro and Thai basil.
The basic ingredients of Thai oxtail soup are typically gluten-free. However, if you use any store-bought sauces or seasonings, make sure to check their labels for any gluten-containing ingredients.
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5 Ingredient Oxtail Soup In an Instant Pot
- 1 Instant Pot
- 2 pounds oxtail 1-2 pounds roughly will work fine
- 2 cups potatoes Cut into cubes, 2 potatoes more or less
- 2 cups light Coconut Milk 1 can is fine for simplicity
- 16 oz broth vegetable if you want it healthier, beef for more traditional
- 3 tablespoon Thai red curry paste Homemade for more flavorful or store bought for efficency.
- Brown the oxtail. Set your Instant Pot to "Sauté" mode and add a splash of oil. Once the pot is hot, add the oxtail chunks and sear them until nicely browned on all sides. This will enhance the flavors of the soup.
- Add Curry Paste. After the oxtail has been browned, add the Thai red curry paste to the Instant Pot. Stir it in with the oxtail, allowing the flavors to meld together. The aromatic spices in the curry paste will infuse the meat, creating a rich and fragrant base for our soup.
- Pour in Broth. Next, pour in the beef broth, ensuring it covers the oxtail. The broth will add depth to the soup and tenderize the oxtail during cooking. Add diced potatoes to the pot. This addition brings a delightful texture to the soup and balances the richness of the oxtail. Close the Instant Pot lid securely.
- Pressure Cook. Select the "Pressure Cook" setting on your Instant Pot and set the timer to 40 minutes. Allow the oxtail to cook under pressure until it becomes tender and succulent.
- Pour in the coconut milk and gently stir everything together. The creamy coconut milk will complement the flavors of the Thai red curry paste, creating a harmonious blend of tastes.
- Serve with your favorite extras and sauces!
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove