In Vietnam, ‘bo kho’ is beef stew. ‘Bo’ means beef while ‘kho’ means braise or stew. It is comfort food when the weather turns cold and deeply loved by many. Nobody knows the origin of ‘bo kho’, but the French did rule over Vietnam in the late 19th century.
So, the French might have introduced their own version of beef stew, and the Vietnamese tweak it and make it their own. Often serve with French bread or baguette, another of French influence; ‘bo kho’ also tastes lovely on its own or with warm rice.
Below you can find the recipe to make your very own ‘bo kho’ and don’t worry as all the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. The dish does take quite the time in making it, but with all those hard-work being put in, it will positively be worth it.
- 1 kg Beef (cut into chunks)
- 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 3 tbsp Fresh Ginger (minced)
- 2 ½ tsp Five-spice Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 3 tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
- 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 3 stalks Lemongrass
- 2 Star Anises
- 3 cups Coconut Water
- 3 cups Water
- 4 large Carrot (peeled and cut into chunks)
- 3 large Potato (peeled and cut into chunks)
- ¼ cup Cilantro (chopped)
- Mix 1 tsp of five-spice powder, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1 tsp of black pepper. Set it aside.
- Combine the beef, fish sauce, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ginger, 1 ½ tsp of five-spice powder, and 1 ½ tsp of brown sugar.
- Evenly coat the beef and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
- Put oil in a pot (preferably a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the beef in small batches. Transfer to plate and continue with the next batch until finished.
- Put in onions and cook until fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir with onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in the spice mix, lemongrass stalks, and star anise.
- Stir and let it cook until the spice can be smelled.
- Return the beef to the pot and add in water and coconut water
- Bring it to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat.
- Let it simmer for about 1 hour or until beef is tender.
- Add the chopped carrots and potato, and let it cook uncovered until the vegetables are tender.
- Add salt or fish sauce to taste.
- Remove the lemongrass and star anise.
- Garnish with the chopped cilantro.
- Serve with a baguette and ready to dig in.