The Bo’ Kho experiment!

For those who did not catch my response to the comments I received on my Vietnamese food post a while back, let me reiterate that I DID NOT cook the beef stew shown in that picture 😛

Instead I had tarpowed the stew for dinner that day.

However, today I decided to try making my own Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo’ Kho). Hehehe…itchy hands make for a busy kitchen, eh?  I googled for the recipe, and not surprisingly, I found so many different variations of the stew. So instead of just following one recipe to the tee, I mixed and matched several and came up with my own.


Here’s my recipe for Vietnamese Beef Stew:

For the marinade:

  • Chunks of beef (I chose the one that stated “good for stews”), about 1lb
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
  • A few slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 or 2 star anise
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (this is a must for Vietnamese cuisine)
  • dash of salt
  • some freshly ground black peppercorn

N.B. I did not measure everything using measuring tools, most of the time I just did the agak-agak trick.

For the stew:

  • Vegetable oil for sautéeing
  • 1 bombay onion, sliced (oh shucks… I just realized I left out the garlic!)
  • 1 small can tomato purée
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-2 carrots, cut into chunks

For the garnishing:

  • Fresh coriander

How I experimented:

  • Marinade the stuff under the marinade section for at least 30 minutes.  I kinda lost track of time, but anyhoo…
  • Then heat up the vegetable oil in a pot or deep saucepan and sautée the beef chunks for just a little while.  Remove and place back into the marinade bowl.  Set aside.
  • Sautée the bombay onions for a few minutes till fragrant, then add the tomato purée.  Add some water to prevent it from becoming too thick.
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes covered.
  • Pour the beef chunks and everything else in the marinade into the pot, and add the 3 cups of water.  Bring mixture to a boil, add the carrots and simmer on low for about an hour and a half.  I suppose it would be easier had I used a slow cooker, but I do not have one with me here in US, so I had to periodically check on the pot to avoid it from drying up.
  • Dish out into a bowl, garnish with some coriander and serve with hot steamed rice!  Oh…don’t forget to take a picture first! *wink*

I can’t wait to see what my hubby and my boy thinks of my lil experiment! 🙂

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5 Responses to The Bo’ Kho experiment!

  1. michelle says:

    Now you are making me hungry…so how was it?

    The Giddy Tigress says: Both boys gave the thumbs up! 😀

  2. simon says:

    actually it looks like the vietnamese beef stew i’ve seen here b4. so it shd be yummy!

    The Giddy Tigress says: You bet it was!

  3. Limoeg says:

    Thanks for the recipe.It looks delicious.

    The Giddy Tigress says: You are most welcome. And thanks for stopping by.

  4. mott says:

    Super cool! I’m going to try this. I tried googling for the recipe…like you, heaps of variations came up. I got fedup and decided to DIY. But it ended tasting a lot like minestrone. HA HA HA!

    The Giddy Tigress says: Minestrone? Probably you put too much tomato puree in it!

  5. wen says:

    the one i tried in melbourne is good. so far the one is KL’s one is no good at all. hmm am tempted to try this recipe myself

    got a tag for u

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yeah, try it and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for the tag!

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