​One-Pot Bo Kho Recipe: Vietnamese Braised Beef Stew Recipe From a Top Chef All-Star by Chef Nini Nguyen

Soups Beef Dinner
8 months ago
​One-Pot Bo Kho Recipe: Vietnamese Braised Beef Stew Recipe From a Top Chef All-Star

Who agrees that the best part of winter is that you can drink a bold red day or night, while enjoying a heart-warming bowl of your favorite soup or stew? I took the tasting notes in Silk & Spice and created something so delicious and decadent, and easy to recreate at home. In fact, this Bo Kho recipe is so easy, you can make it in just one pot.

But don’t let that fool you into thinking the flavor itself is simple. This Vietnamese braised beef stew recipe combines spices, silky tomato paste and Vietnamese ingredients to make a stew rich with layers and layers of flavor.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 pounds beef cubes 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons oil (any kind) 
  • 2 onions, diced 
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, cut in half 
  • star anise
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into big pieces 
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (I like Megachef brand) 
  • 1 quart coconut water 
  • 5 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces 
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • French bread or rice noodles, for serving

Vietnamese Chile Oil

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 garlic head, minced
  • 1 cup canola oil or grapeseed oil
  • 6 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix salt, black pepper, brown sugar and five spice together then mix in garlic and beef. 
  2. Heat a heavy bottom pot that can hold at least 4 quarts on high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and sear the beef until beef is golden brown all around. You might have to do this in batches if your pot isn’t wide enough. 
  3. Once meat is browned, add onions and tomato paste and let the onions get translucent and tomato paste gets caramelized.
  4. Add lemongrass, star anise, ginger, fish sauce and coconut water. Bring to a boil. 
  5. Place in a preheated 375-degree F oven with the lid on for 30 minutes and continue cooking with the lid off for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until sauce reduces and meat is tender and caramelized on the top. 
  6. After the stew has cooked in the oven for about 1 hour, add the carrots and continue to cook. This way the carrots don’t get too mushy. Garnish with cilantro and serve with bread or over noodles and with chile oil. 
  7. To make the chile oil, in a small saucepan, heat cold oil until hot. Add the shallots and let that cook for about 30 seconds. Add the lemongrass. Cook for 1 minutes until shallots are not golden yet but starting to change colors. Once you get to that point, add the garlic and cook until all ingredients are toasted and light golden brown. Turn the heat off and add the red pepper flakes, stir and then add the fish sauce and sugar. Turn flame on and cook for 1 minute until everything sort of tightens up in the pan and sugar is dissolved.

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Donna John
This looks so rich and delicious. Oh, my. Would love a big bowl of it and a glass of red right now! :-) Chef Nini Nguyen
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Oh, my! This looks absolutely delicious. Many thanks for sharing the yum, Chef Nini Nguyen , and welcome to 30Seconds. Looking forward to more of your recipes!
What cut of beef did you use? Or is it precut stew meat? Ty Chef!

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