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Authentic Vietnamese Bo Kho – Braised Beef Stew

Authentic Bo Kho is a traditional Vietnamese stye beef stew that is easy to make at home. Learn how to make this delicious stew right at home.

Vietnamese Bo Kho is a delicious stew that is great on a cold day. The broth melds together the flavors of star anise, ginger, shallots, and so many other aromatic herbs. This stew is often served with rice noodles and baguettes (my favorite).

This dish is different than it’s American counterpart because of the bolder flavors due to the various spices and seasonings.

If you are wanting another dimension of flavor to beef stew, this is one of the best recipes that packs a delightful punch. 

authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90

All About Vietnamese Bo Kho

Vietnamese Bo Kho is a cooking technique in Vietnamese cuisine meaning “to braise”, “to stew”, or “to simmer with beef. Other proteins that can be “kho” include fish, shrimp, poultry, pork, beef, or fried tofu. Bo Kho is typically braised on low heat in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, and water or a water substitute such as young coconut juice or Coco Rico.

All About Vietnamese Bo Kho

Bo Kho is a hearty, delicious stew that hails from Vietnam, but has influences from France. 

How do you eat Bo Kho?

Vietnamese Bo Kho (beef stew) can be served three different ways. It can be served with sliced french baguettes that are dipped before eating. The Vietnamese stew can also be served with a bowl of jasmine rice. It can also be served atop rice noodles.

What does Bo Kho taste like?

Vietnamese Bo Kho is a flavorful dish with ingredeints like carrots, herbs, spices, broth and tender beef meld to form a savory dish that is rich in flavor served with bread, rice, or noodles. 

How do you pronounce Bo Kho?

Bo Kho is Vietnamese and means beef stew. Bo is pronounced “ball” without the Ls. Kho is  pronounced like a crow cawing, like caw.

Asian Grocery Store List for Vietnamese Beef Stew, Bo Kho

Bo Kho requires various different ingredients that you’ll definitely want to grab at your local Asian market. If you are going to your first Asian market, check out my best tips and tricks for navigating an Asian market.

Coco Rico

This provides the sweetness of the dish. You’ll definitely want to pick this up.

premade coco rico

Oriental Beef Spice Powder Packet

This is a packet that you’ll find near the soup jars or by all of the dry spices in your super market.

authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90

Spicy Stewed Beef Flavour Paste (Gia Vi Bo Kho)

For my recipe, you will only need one tablespoon of this, so this will last in your refrigerator after opening for at least 7 more days. 

 

Tips and Tricks Before Making Vietnamese Bo Kho Beef Stew Simple and Easy

My recipe is an easy recipe that calls for a multitude of ingredients, but I love use spice jars and prepackaged seasonings to help the recipe along. This includes not having to measure out cinnamon on my own as well as star anise. You’ll see in my recipe that I use a prepackaged packet for some of these aromatics to make it simple for meal time preparation.

authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90

If you don’t have Coco Rico or can’t find it at the grocery store, you can substitute 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Note that the Coco Rico allows the meat to tenderize a little faster. I’ve also heard that using Kiwi can also help with this process, although I’ve never tried it myself.

Oxtail can take this recipe out of this world and definitely worth it. If you decide to use oxtail, you will need to increase the cooking time because it is a tougher cut of beef.

Browning your beef will allow you to get extra flavors and textures because of how it develops the crusty char bits. I know my kids absolutely love it when they are browned. However, I prefer my meat to be tender all the way through. 

This is can also be a make-ahead dish that once prepared actually gets better over a few days in the refrigerator by allowing all of the flavors to blend.

My version does not use lemongrass, and you might find that some do. However, I find that lemongrass brings a tartness I do not prefer.

How to Make Authentic Vietnamese Beef Stew Bo Kho Recipe

Ingredients for Vietnamese Bo Kho

  • 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Spicy Stewed Beef Flavour Paste (Gia Vi Bo Kho)
  • 2 pounds of beef, cut into 1-inch cubes (shank, oxtail, boneless rib, chunk or sirloin tip)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of Oriental Beef Spice Powder packet
  • 1 tablespoon of Coco Rico 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 cup of water

authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90

Instructions for Making Bo Kho Vietnamese Beef Stew

  1. Heat a pot on medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. 
  2. Once the vegetable oil is heated up, stir in garlic and shallots until slightly golden.authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90
  3. Add in a tablespoon of the spicy stewed beef flavor paste jar. Mix thoroughly. Cook over medium high heat for five minutes.
  4. Add in beef and carrots. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Next, add in salt and fish sauce. Continue mixing over medium high heat.
  6. Add in the whole can of Coco Rico along with water until boiling. Once boiling, turn the temperature from low to medium heat. 
  7. Allow the mixture to simmer for 45 minutes until the beef is tender.
  8. Serve with sliced baguette, noodles, or bowl of rice.

Preserving Vietnamese Bo Kho

After cooking, Bo Kho should be transferred into an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the stew and simmer until heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vietnamese Bo Kho

authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90

How do you eat Bo Kho?

Bo Kho is a stew that can be served with a bed of rice, noodles, or sliced french baguettes.

What type of food is Bo Kho?

Bo Kho is a Vietnamese beef stew that includes a variety of aromatics of common Vietnamese ingredients including star anise and fish sauce.

Summary About Vietnamese Bo Kho Recipe

Vietnamese Bo Kho is such a versatile dish because of it’s ability to be served several different ways. The cinnamon and star anise will take an old beef stew recipe and transform into a flavor packed stew that you might just keep in your online recipe box.

Did you make this recipe?
If you made this recipe, don’t forget to leave a 5 star review! Please share on social with #cookingwithlane or the “I made it” feature button on Pinterest!

 

Other Vietnamese Comfort Recipes You Might Love

Here are some additional authentic and delicious Vietnamese recipes that you will love:

authentic vietnamese bo kho recipe-90

Authentic Vietnamese Bo Kho

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Flavorful Vietnamese Beef Stew that can be served with noodles, rice, and dipped with French baguettes!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Spicy Stewed Beef Flavour Paste (Gia Vi Bo Kho)
  • 2 pounds of beef, cut into 1-inch cubes (shank, oxtail, boneless rib, chunk or sirloin tip)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of Oriental Beef Spice Powder packet
  • 1 tablespoon of Coco Rico 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 cup of water

Instructions

  1. Heat a pot on medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. 
  2. Once the vegetable oil is heated up, stir in garlic and shallots until slightly golden.
  3. Add in a tablespoon of the spicy stewed beef flavor paste jar. Mix thoroughly. Cook over medium high heat for five minutes.
  4. Add in beef and carrots. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Next, add in salt and fish sauce. Continue mixing over medium high heat.
  6. Add in the whole can of Coco Rico along with water until boiling. Once boiling, turn the temperature from low to medium heat.
  7. Allow the mixture to simmer for 45 minutes until the beef is tender.
  8. Serve with sliced baguette, noodles, or bowl of rice.

Notes

After cooking, Bo Kho should be transferred into an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the stew and simmer until heated through.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 893mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 46g

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