Vietnamese Beef Stew | Bò Kho – Instant Pot

What is Bò Kho?

Bò Kho is a Vietnamese Beef Stew that has amazing complex and rich flavors.  You will taste the lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and so much more.  Often people like to add oxtail or tendons for additional splendor, tastes, and also textures.

Various parts of Vietnam enjoy this flavorful beef stew in a different way. In Central Vietnam, Bò Kho is served with rice noodle (Phở Bò Kho or Hủ Tiếu Bò Kho).  In Southern Vietnam, Bò Kho is served with fresh Vietnamese baguette called Bánh Mì or over steamed rice.

Bò Kho is normally simmered for at last 1 – 2 hour to develop the abundant depths of sweet-savory-umami flavors & scent and fall-apart tender beef.  In an Instant Pot, you will achieve the same texture and flavor profile by cooking the beef and all the aromatics for 15 minutes on High Pressure.  Let is Natural Release for 10-15 minutes.  Then add potatoes and Carrots and cook on High Pressure for another 3-5 minutes depending on how soft you like your potatoes and carrots. 

Like most stews, Bò Kho is even tastier the following day.  I personally always make a big batch so we can eat on it for a few days.  And I usually freeze a few portions (if anything if left) so my family can enjoy it whenever we want to.

One of the biggest reasons why I enjoy Bò Kho is because it is such a versatile dish. It can begin as a stew and be consumed with a baguette or some rice, and if you’re really feeling tired of the stew it can be quickly transformed right into a beef noodle soup bowl, simply by including some beef broth as well as a couple of additional dashes of fish sauce and afterwards garnished with basil and also lime.

DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OF BÒ KHO

The stew is simply called Bò Kho Không and we Vietnamese folks eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

When served with Vietnamese baguette, it is called Bánh Mì Bò Kho.

Served with noodles, we call it Phở Bò Kho or Hủ Tiếu Bò Kho.

No matter how we serve it, we always accompany this dish with fresh basil, thinly sliced onions, cilantro and on the side, we combine salt, pepper and a dash of lime for dipping. 

THE BEGINNING OF BÒ KHO

The food of a nation is constantly connected to its history and Vietnam is no exception.  It is a nation of intricate ethnic blending.  A thousand years of Chinese regulation as well as the visibility of the French from 1862 to 1954 greatly influenced Vietnamese cuisine.

The French brought the concept of beef stew to Vietnam.  The word “Kho” is a cooking technique in Vietnamese Cuisine and it means “to stew” or “to braise”.  Most of the Vietnamese “Kho” dishes consist of simmering meat with fish sauce and water or coconut water.  The result is a very tender meat and a very, very flavorful broth. 

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Vietnamese Beef Stew | Bò Kho

Bò Kho is a Vietnamese Beef Stew that has amazing complex and rich flavors.  You will taste the lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and so much more.  Often people like to add oxtail ortendons for additional splendor, tastes and texture.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Beef Chuck
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Powder
  • ½ Chopped Lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ cup of Fish Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Bo Kho Seasoning
  • 10 star Anise
  • 5 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Large Pieces of Ginger
  • 1-2 Shallots
  • 5 Stalks Lemongrass
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 Pieces Rock Sugar

Instructions

  • Marinate Beef Chuck for at least 3 hours – best overnight.
  • Toast Dry Aromatics – toast Cinnamon Sticks and Star Anise on low to low-medium heat for 7-8 minutes to develop the flavor and the aroma. Be careful not to burn.
  • Toast Other Aromatics – toast Shallots and Ginger in pan or you can char them in a toaster oven under broil.
  • cut potatoes and carrots and put in cold water and set aside
  • Toast Dry Aromatics until fragrant which should take about 8-10 minutes. Make sure touse medium or medium low heat setting so the dry aromatics don't burn
  • Toast / Char the other Aromatics: Ginger and Shallots
  • Sear the meat over medium high heat
  • Assemble all ingredients in Instant Pot
  • Cook in Instant Pot on High Pressure for 15 minutes, then naturally release for 10 – 15 minutes. Then add potatoes and carrots and Pressure Cook again on High for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with fresh basil, thinly sliced onions, cilantro and on the side, combine salt, pepper and a dash of lime for dipping. 

Video

Keyword: vietnamese beef stew bo kho, Bo Kho, how to make bo kho vietnamese beef stew, beef stew
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