• Deana Thai

Deana's Bó Kho - Vietnamese Tomato Braise Beef

Bó kho is a Vietnamese beef stew with a tomato, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon and sweet paprika based. A beautiful balance of flavors that compliments chunks of beef slowly cooked till tender. It’s another classic Vietnamese dish with French influence; very similar to the French pot au feu. The best part about this dish is the flavors develop even more the next day. That’s if you have any left over!

Bó kho is traditionally served with fresh baked baguettes. The bread soaks up the flavorful thick broth and the mixture melts in your mouth. But it’s also wonderful eaten with rice or noodles! My favorite way to enjoy bó kho is with a hot baguette!

Ingredients (15-minutes prep, 30-35 minutes cook time)

  • 1.5 lbs beef stew chunks (or any other cuts you’d like)

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • ½ red onion chopped

  • 2 tomatoes chopped

  • ¼ cup ketchup

  • 1 tbsp lemongrass finely minced

  • 1 tsp ginger finely minced

  • 1 tbsp 5-spice powder

  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika

  • 1 tsp packed brown sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp chicken/beef bouillon

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1.5 cup water

  • 2 cups chop carrots

  • 4 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)


  1. In a dutch oven or large pot on medium heat, begin sautéing the chopped red onions and garlic to begin developing the flavors.

  2. When onions and garlic are softened, add tomatoes, ketchup, lemongrass, ginger, five-spice, sweet paprika, brown sugar, salt, chicken/beef bouillon, fish sauce, and water.

  3. Mix till incorporated. Let the ingredients simmer on medium low for 3-5 minutes.

  4. Add beef and mix well. Cook on medium with lid slightly ajared for 20-minutes. Stir occasionally.

  5. Add carrots during the last 10-minutes of cooking. Cover with lid ajar and stir occasionally.

  6. Taste broth and if needed add additional salt or fish sauce until you’ve reached the saltiness you like. My suggestion is to add ½ teaspoon at a time so that the stew doesn’t become overly salted.

  7. When meat is fork tender, approximately 30-35 minutes of cooking, it is ready to enjoy!

  8. Serve with hot baguettes, rice or noodles! Bon Appétit!

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