In heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil. Sear beef on all sides. Add ginger, garlic, chiles and star anise; saete just until heat releases aromas. Add wine, mushroom soy sauce and enough water to cover beef. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Skim every 15 minutes, adding water as necessary to keep beef covered.
Add soy sauce; simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. Add sugar; simmer 10 minutes more.
Serving suggestion: Place shredded iceberg lettuce, firm tofu and spinach leaves in clay pot. Add one piece beef and beef cooking liquid to cover, making sure to include garlic cloves; bring to a boil. Garnish with cilantro and chopped scallions; serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Recipe created by Alexander Ong, Betelnut Pejiu Wu (San Francisco, CA)