How to Cook Oxtail Asam Pedas

A Wok Around Asia Recipe by MasterChef Malaysia Judge Chef Jo

I had the privilege of meeting Chef Johari Edrus during my last trip to Kuala Lumpur, and I was intrigued  by the concept of his restaurant, Symphony By Chef Jo, located in Damansara City Mall. The cuisine is “eclectic”, meaning it derives ideas, styles, and tastes from a broad and diverse range of sources.

The oxtail asam pedas he shares here is an example of how the classically-trained Chef Jo uses the traditional flavours of asam pedas (literally, “sour/spicy”) – a popular Malay dish from the southern states of the Malaysian peninsula – in an oxtail stew, and serves it up with pasta.

Here’s the video showing how Chef Jo prepares the latter part of the dish as we talk about his professional experience –


This recipe for Oxtail Asam Pedas is courtesy of Symphony By Chef Jo; as with all the Wok Around Asia recipes, it is presented in its original form (hence why the units of measure might differ from my own) –

Oxtail Asam Pedas Pasta


0.25 pc bunga kantan (torch ginger flower)

4 to 5 pcs daun kesom (Vietnamese mint)

30 g ginger

50 g red onion

30 g garlic

5 g shrimp paste / belacan

30 g dried chilli (boil, then blend into a paste)

50 g tamarind paste

100 ml brown sauce 100g/LTR water

60 g tomato concasse

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

400 gm oxtail (braised in seasoned stock)

85.00 gm egg pasta, pappardelle (or pasta of your choice)


  1. Boil the pasta in boiling salted water for 7 to 11 mins – 7 minutes is the best for an ‘al-dente’ texture. Keep aside for later use.
  2. For the sauce, start by blending all bunga kantan, daun kesom, ginger, red onion, garlic, dried chilli and roasted shrimp paste in a food processor. Then sauté them in hot oil until fragrant.
  3. Add in tomato concasse, tamarind paste and brown sauce. Let boil, then simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt & sugar. You may add more tamarind juice to taste.
  4. When the sauce is ready, add in the braised (in-advance) oxtail. Let it continue to simmer.
  5. Toss in the blanched pasta. Add cold butter to monte the sauce.
  6. Dish out & serve.

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