How To Cook Traditional Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)

Updated: Jul 1

Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho) is a dish that many people fall in love. The beef is tender and permeated with spices and herbs in the broth are the things that make this dish so attractive.

It seems simple dish, but that you know must be more complex given how flavorful and delicious it is when you’re enjoying the best possible version of it.

And, indeed, It is flavored with five-spice, lemongrass. Its familiar red color comes from annatto seeds which imparts a distinctive red color.

Vietnamese Beef Stew at its most basic is considered a “beef stew” given it can be prepared as a soup or a thicker stew.

Try this delicious dish recipe. It’s an awesome Vietnamese Beef Stew!


  • 1/2kg beef brisket

  • 1/2kg beef shank

  • 1 litre beef stock

  • 300g carrots

  • 300g white onions

  • 5g tapioca flour

  • 100g tomato paste

  • 50g chili paste

  • 50g oyster sauce

  • 13g white pepper

  • 2g turmeric powder

  • 2g curry powder

  • 20ml annatto oil

  • 30g galangal

  • 60g lemongrass

  • 20g shallot

  • 10g garlic

  • 15g salt

  • 65g rock sugar

  • 3 cloves

  • 2 star anises

  • 3g cinnamon

  • 1 dried cardamom

  • 3 pandan leaves


* Step 1: Begin by blanching beef in boiling water, then trimmed and cut into inch cubes

* Step 2: Combine the beef with 100g tomato paste, 50g chili paste, 20g oyster sauce, 10g white pepper, 2g turmeric powder, 2g curry powder, 20ml annatto oil. Mixed and marinated for 30 minutes.

* Step 3: Heat annatto oil in a large stockpot, add 30g chopped galangal, 60g lemongrass, cut into pieces, 20g chopped shallot, 10g minced garlic. Add the marinated beef at a time; quick stirring and turning the pieces until beef is browned on all sides about 5 minutes.

* Step 4: Pour beef stock to the stockpot and cook, add 15g salt, 65g rock sugar, 30g oyster sauce, 3 cloves, 2 star anises, 3g cinnamon, 3g pepper, 1 dried cardamom, 3 pandan leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a slow simmer in broth from time to time, until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

* Step5: Carrots peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces, soft-boiled. Onion peeled and sliced.

* Step 6: Add the onions and boiled carrots and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add broth or water if the stew is dry. Whisk 5g tapioca flour with water, add to stockpot until stew has thickened about 1minute. Then turn off the heat. Serve immediately with bread.


* I used mixed beef brisket and beef shank when cooked will have a soft and chewy that is so rich in texture and flavor.

* This dish will be more delicious when served with chopped basil leaves, cilantro and dipped in salt and pepper or salt and chili.

* Served with bread or noodles.

* This Vietnamese Beef Stew Recipe is perfect for the colder weather!

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