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Tag / beef stew

Continuing with the introduction in Vietnamese street food, today let’s talk about bo kho, or the Vietnamese beef stew.

Thus far, everything dishes in this series is from the same 4-day December 2016 trip to HCMC, and they’re mostly common dishes you can find most anywhere in the city.

a nice big pot of bo kho, Vietnamese beef stew
a nice big pot of bo kho, Vietnamese beef stew

Kho is a cooking technique in Vietnamese cuisine, while bo is beef. Like most dishes in Vietnam, fish sauce is one of the ingredients in this stew. The result is a more complex taste than the usual Western style stew.

Bo Kho is usually served with either rice noodle or banh mi (baguette in Vietnamese), though you can also have it with rice.

bo kho comes with banh mi (baguette), or rice
bo kho comes with banh mi (baguette), or rice 

The version we had was from a small restaurant a stone’s throw away from the Airbnb at HCMC by the name of Thuc Don. Haze had the version with banh mi (45,000 VND) while I opted for rice (40,000 VND).

The meat was lovely, with really soft flank cut with tendon attached. The stew itself has a rich and complex flavor, made better with those chunks of carrots. I didn’t miss the absence of potato or celery at all.

of course, coffee at Vietnam is always the accompany drink
of course, coffee at Vietnam is always the accompany drink

If you love beef, this is a dish to try in Vietnam, and if you’re not in Vietnam, this won’t be a difficult dish to replicate at home either. I think I’m going to find a recipe and try it at home.

bo kho restaurant map, District 1 HCMC

Address:
Com – Pho
Bo Kho
18A/23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai
District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
GPS: 10.786259, 106.700355

I’ve always love beef stew, a hearty dish with super tender beef in thick and flavorful broth, and with the various vegetable in it, a full and balanced meal all by itself.

ingredients for beef stew
ingredients for beef stew

I always thought making a pot of mean beef stew is an exercise in patience, but after doing a bit of research, I found out you can actually make a perfect bowl of beef stew in less than 30 minutes, including time for preparation – with the help of a pressure cooker.

pan fry the beef till brown, then add water and rosemary
pan fry the beef till brown, then add water and rosemary

The ingredients (this is good for 4 bowls)

  • 4-500 gram beef (lower quality is fine, I love those with some tendon and fat attached)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 4-5 sticks of celery
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 potato
  • 1 table spoon rosemary (dried is fine)
  • 1.5 tea spoon salt
  • 1 tea spoon black pepper
  • 2 table spoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 table spoon cooking oil
  • 1 table spoon flour

chopped up vegetables and put in pressure cooker for another 8 minutes
chopped up vegetables and put in pressure cooker for another 8 minutes

Here’s the instructions, pressure cooker is used twice to ensure the beef gets to it’s super tender consistency while keeping the vegetable not overly cooked

  • heat up some oil in the pressure cooker, then add garlic, and fry beef till all sides are brown
  • add Worcestershire sauce, 3 cups of water, pepper, and rosemary
  • bring to boil, cover the pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes in high pressure
  • in the mean time, chop up all vegetable and potato to bite size chunks
  • release pressure (by running cold water over the pressure cooker in the sink), then add vegetable to the pot
  • bring to boil and cook for another 8 minutes in high pressure
  • add salt
  • slowly add up to a table spoon of flour while stirring to make the broth thicker
  • serve while hot

 

a hearty bowl of stew with very tender beef
a bowl of hearty stew with super tender beef

The result is a pot of beef stew that is prepared in less than 30 minutes but with beef so tender it almost melt in your mouth. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll have to boil the stew for at least 3-4 hours to get the same result. Alternatively, use a slow cooker.