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Jan 18, 2020

Vietnamese Beef Stew {Bò Kho}

Vietnamese Beef Stew, or Bò Kho, is a delicious stew of beef and root vegetables flavored with unexpected amazing herbs and spices.

Vietnamese Beef Stew {Bò Kho}

Vietnamese beef stew is probably derived from the French pot-au-feu. It's also similar to American beef stew, but with Asian herbs and spices. In the northern part of Vietnam, it is often served for breakfast. It is also served on baguettes (banh mi bò kho), another remnant of the French occupation.

You can also serve this stew over rice noodles or rice, or just serve it in a bowl and dip your baguette in the delicious beefy gravy. So ridiculously good.

Vietnamese Beef Stew {Bò Kho} with carrots

Vietnamese Beef Stew Ingredients

  • Fish sauce (I prefer Red Boat or Megachef affiliate links)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Chinese 5-spice powder
  • Beef chuck (you can also use oxtail) 
  • Shallots
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Lemongrass
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Thai chiles
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro

Bò Kho

How to Make Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bò Kho):

First, you marinade the beef in a mixture of fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger, 5-spice powder, and black pepper. You can marinade the beef for just 15 minutes or as long as overnight. 

Next, you brown the beef in a Dutch oven in batches. When all of the beef is browned, you add it back to the Dutch oven, add some sliced shallots, and cook the mixture until the shallots have softened. 

After that, add tomatoes, ginger, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, chiles, and water, and simmer for about an hour. 

Finally, add the carrots and simmer for about 15 more minutes. 

You can serve this stew immediately, but I recommend making it in advance and refrigerating it overnight to remove the congealed fat and reheating it. 

If you like, you can also add potatoes, daikon radish, or turnips to this recipe, but don't overdo it.

Vietnamese Beef Stew, or Bò Kho, is a delicious stew of beef and root vegetables flavored with unexpected amazing herbs and spices.

More delicious main course soup and stew recipes:

This month, Soup Saturday Swappers are making main course soups and stews. Our host is Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. She also created this wonderful group. 

I'm excited to see everyone's creations!

Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bò Kho)

Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bò Kho)
Yield: 6 servings
Vietnamese Beef Stew, or Bò Kho, is a delicious stew of beef and root vegetables flavored with unexpected amazing herbs and spices.


For the Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Stew
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, such as chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced lemongrass from the center of the stalks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 pod of star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 Thai chiles, split lengthwise
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup cilantro sprigs for garnish


How to cook Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bò Kho)

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients and massage it into the meat in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and let rest for 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. 
  2. Add the oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the beef in batches until browned. Add all of the beef back to the pan, add the shallots, and cook for about four minutes, stirring. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and salt. Add the star anise, cinnamon, and Thai chiles. 
  4. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid ajar and simmer for an hour and 15 minutes. 
  5. Add carrots and cook for 15 minutes. 
  6. Skim the fat from the top of the stew, or refrigerate to remove the congealed fat from the top. 
  7. Reheat and serve, garnished with cilantro sprigs. 
Fat (grams)
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soup, stew, beef
Soup, Stew

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Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from a recipe by David Tanis published in New York Times Cooking

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is going on my to make list for sure. Love the Asian flavors.

    1. My husband, who likes his stew traditional, even loved it.

  2. I can only imagine how amazing that must have smelled! It looks wonderful!

  3. This looks phenomenal! I love all the flavors and spices in there. It must be so good!


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