Vietnamese Beef stew or Bo Kho is one of the ideal breakfast in Vietnam. It blends flavors of earthy spices and popular ingredients from all over Asia. The lemongrass, ginger, star anise star, curry powder all spice up this warm, aromatic, comforting unique flavored beef stew which was traditionally a French dish.


Vietnamese Beef stew


1.3 kg (3 lbs) beef

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chicken stock

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp five-spice/ bo kho powder

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 tbsp soy sauce

4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3-inch length and slightly bruised

3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1.5 cup tomato sauce (or 3 tbsp tomato paste)

300ml coconut water

6 cups beef broth (or water)

1 kg ( 2 lb) carrots

more salt, sugar, chicken stock to taste

optional: coloring oil from annatto seeds

French baguettes / rice noodle

Vietnamese Beef stew


pepper, fried red shallot

sawtooth herbs, Thai basils

thinly sliced onion, chopped spring onion, cilantro



Vietnamese Beef stew


-Marinade beef for 30 minutes with 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp chicken stock, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp five-spice/ bo kho powder, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp grated ginger, 2 tbsp soy sauce


-Heat a large wok/sauce pan on medium high, add 1 tbsp minced garlic, lemon grass, star anise, cinnamon stick and fry for 30 seconds to bring out the aroma. Add in marinated beef and stir-fry until it is no longer pink.  Add tomato sauce, coconut juice, water/ beef broth. Bring to a boil, cover and cook under medium heat until tender. You can also use pressure cooker.

– Optional: stir fry carrots with garlic, salt, sugar, oyster sauce to make them more tasty.

– Transfer carrots to the pot and cook until soft. Adjust to your taste with salt and sugar.

-Garnish with pepper, fried shallot, Thai Basils and sawtooth herb.

– Serve Vietnamese Beef stew with baguettes or rice noddle.