This is an easy, flavourful one-pot meal. Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho) is a hearty staple in home kitchens and a familiar flavour from my childhood. You can serve this with or without noodles, with a toasted french baguette on the side for dipping.
A lot of the recipes I’ve found online use tomato paste for colour, but Mum has always used Thai Red Curry paste instead (saves us a trip to the supermarket – you can bet on there being a jar of Thai red curry paste in the pantry, but not always tomato paste). I like also like to add fresh tomatoes for an extra touch of savouriness!
Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)
- 400-500 grams Beef brisket cut into small chunks
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1.5 tablespoons Ginger
- 2.5 tablespoons Fish sauce
- 1.25 teaspoons Five spice powder
- 0.75 teaspoons Brown sugar
For the rest of the stew
- 1.5 tablespoons Oil
- 2 stalks Lemongrass
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 Onion
- 2 tablespoons Tomato paste/Thai red curry paste
- 4 cups of Water
- 1 cups Coconut water or juice
- 1 Star anise
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground black pepper
- A pinch Chilli powder
- 0.5 tablespoon Paprika
- 4 large Carrots
- 1 tablespoons Soy sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons Chilli oil
- Rice stick noodles
- 0.13 cup Coriander
- 1 Tomato
- Handful Thai basil / Vietnamese mint to garnish
- Lime wedges
- Baguette optional – to dip into the stew
- First marinate the beef. Combine the beef with the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, five-spice powder, and brown sugar until each piece is evenly coated. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Next, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the stalks of lemongrass and allow them to infuse the oil for 1 minute. Next, add the minced lemongrass and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add all of the beef to the pot, and brown evenly on all sides. Add the tomato paste.
- Stir and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the water, coconut water, star anise, ground black pepper, chili powder and paprika. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
- After an hour has passed, add the carrots, soy sauce and tomato. Simmer for another 40 minutes.
- To serve, remove the large lemongrass stalks and any star anise pods you can fish out. Cook your noodles per package instructions, transfer to bowls, and ladle the soup over the top.
- Garnish with cilantro, Thai basil, and raw onion, and serve with some lime wedges on the side.