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Oxtail Fried Rice: A taste of chef Alexander Smalls’ African heritage

Oxtail Fried Rice: A taste of chef Alexander Smalls’ African heritage

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Renowned restaurateur and cookbook writer, Alexander Smalls, is the curator of Expo 2020 Dubai’s African foods corridor, Alkebulan. The very first foods hall of its form focused exclusively on the diverse cuisines spanning the African continent, it’s the manifestation of Smalls’ dream to share the variety of African food stuff with the planet.

Oxtail fried rice is just one of Smalls’ favorite dishes. He does not follow a rigid recipe, but relatively results in a marginally diverse variation just about every time he helps make it – usually with leftovers.

“You can even substitute the oxtail with shrimp or any other kind of protein you have accessible,” says Smalls, “but you want to retain the spice profile since it gives it its vibrance.”

In addition to a liberal dose of bird’s eye chilli, the dish mixes African and Asian elements, including oxtail, collard greens, soy sauce and sesame oil. The ensemble speaks to the historical past of African communities in China, describes Smalls, as he splashes soy sauce into his skillet and aromatic clouds waft into the air.

Beforehand an opera singer, Smalls travelled the earth and was remaining wanting in just one metropolis after another that failed to present high quality African cuisine. Back at household in New York, Smalls set up the city’s 1st Afro-Asian American restaurant, The Cecil, to fantastic acclaim. Other dining establishments in his erstwhile portfolio integrated legendary jazz and supper club Minton’s, Café Beulah, Sweet Ophelia’s and Shoebox Café.

Currently, Smalls is focused on marketing Alkebulan in the hope of finding traders to assistance make long run African food halls, as very well as publishing his culinary memoirs. His most recent guide ‘Meals, Songs and Muses: Recipes from My African American Kitchen’ was launched in 2020.

To sample Smalls’ curation of African delicacies, check out Expo 2020 Dubai, working right up until 31 March 2022, or attempt developing a edition of his oxtail fried rice oneself – just don’t forget about the chilli.



§ 2lbs oxtails

§ 3 cups cooked black and white rice

§ 4 heads of collard greens

§ 2 cups of bean sprouts

§ 6 scallions chopped

§ 4 bird’s eye chillies sliced, some established apart for garnish

§ 1 clove garlic minced

§ 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder

§ ½ teaspoon salt

§ 3½ tablespoons soy sauce

§ ½ teaspoon rice vinegar

§ 4 tablespoons olive oil

§ 2 tablespoons sesame oil

§ 4 eggs – 2 comfortable-boiled to garnish

§ Smoked paprika, to style

§ 1 bunch coriander


1. Rub oxtails with salt and five-spice powder.

2. Go over and bake at 200C for 3 several hours till the meat falls off the bone, and then neat, shred and set apart.

3. Mix eggs with ½ tablespoon of soy sauce and rice vinegar, then incorporate to the frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Prepare dinner by way of. Shred and set apart.

4. Increase the remaining olive oil and scallions and chilli to the frying pan. Saute for 2 minutes.

5. Incorporate garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

6. Insert the relaxation of the vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.

7. Add shredded meat, rice and sesame oil and 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and then sauté until finally the rice gets a very little crispy.

8. Serve garnished with freshly chopped coriander.