What is Bo Kho
Bò Kho is a hearty and flavorful Vietnamese beef and carrot stew. It’s made with beef feed (sometimes beef tendons), carrots, and Southeast Asian aromatic spices, all slowly cooked to perfection in a savory, tomato-based broth. This stew can be made spicy or non-spicy.
Serve this delicious and comforting stew three ways: with a side of toasted baguette for dipping, with steamed rice for a simpler but filling option, or make the stew soupier to ladle it onto your favorite pasta.
what will you need
cuts of beef — The best cut of beef for bò kho or any stew comes from the hardest-working part of the animal. These include beef chuck (also known as chuck steak or gravy beef) and boneless beef shank (also known as banana beef because of its resemblance to a banana flower). Cattle feed comes from the back and neck area of the animal. While the beef shank comes from the thighs. These parts of the animal contain a lot of connective tissue that becomes moist and tender from low and slow cooking.
If you prefer to use beef bones instead, you can use oxtail. Oxtail contains a good amount of bone and meat. The bone part of the oxtail adds a richer flavor to the stew, but you’ll have to do some digging for the meat. Keep in mind that oxtail can be expensive.
More traditional recipes also include beef tendons. Beef tendons require a much longer cooking process than beef feed. If you add beef tendons, be sure to cut them into small pieces so they can finish cooking at the same time as the beef.
carrots — The second star of judgment. You can also use parsnips, radishes and potatoes.
Red Curry Powder — Red curry powder is a mixture of hot red chilies, coriander, cardamom and cumin. Other brands may show slight variations. This powder gives the stew both flavor and a beautiful red color. You can omit the red curry powder, which may be spicy for some. Alternatively, you can use annatto powder directly or a milder chili powder like ground paprika.
Salt and sugar — I use finely ground sea salt and granulated cane sugar.
Powder for chicken broth and news — Optional, but this is the secret of our grandmothers and mothers that brings all the boys to the yard.
garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, Chinese cinnamon (cassia bark), and star anise — Our Southeast Asian flavors.
oil — A little vegetable oil or annatto oil to fry the flavors to bring out the aroma and flavor. Annatto oil also gives the stew an extra red color.
tomato paste — To thicken the broth and also provide a bright red color. We don’t use the whole little tin so freeze the rest for another recipe.
water — The main liquid for the stew.
coconut juice — A small jug in addition to the water. I use a 12ml can of Coco Rico coconut soda. This gives the stew a more authentic yet subtle coconut flavor. For this reason it is optional.
Cilantro and Thai Basil – Optional for garnish
dipping sauce — An optional dipping sauce made with salt, ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.
How to serve Vietnamese beef stew (Bò Kho).
There are three ways to eat Bò Kho. My favorite is a small bowl of Bò Kho with warm toasted French baguette and dipping sauce on the side. Tear off a piece of baguette and dip in the broth. Dip the beef cuts in the dipping sauce as a follow-on to the baguette.
You can also have bò kho with steamed white rice, a simple but filling option.
You can also enjoy it with egg or rice noodles. Just add a little more water to the stew to make it more soupy so you can ladle the broth onto your favorite pasta. You’ll probably need to flavor the broth a little more with fish sauce. A popular restaurant menu featuring bò kho and rice noodles is called hủ tiếu bò kho.