Food File: Bo Kho

Bò kho (Vietnamese beef stew) is a dish that even an avowed anti-beef-ite like me cannot stay away from.

The dish is the local version of bœuf bourguignon, or beef burgundy as it’s known in Australia.

Like a lot of dishes introduced by Vietnam’s former French rulers, it has been adapted to suit local ingredients and local tastes. And, like most other Vietnamised French dishes, I think the local version is far superior.

Bò kho is a slow-cooked beef stew flavoured with lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon and ginger. It contains big chunks of carrot, with some versions also containing chunks of radish. It’s usually served with a baguette to soak up the rich broth. However, some Vietnamese people just don’t regard bread as food, so there’s a version of bò kho that includes rice noodles. This is called bò kho hủ tiêu because hủ tiêu noodles are used.

bo kho

Does my arty bo kho photo make it look like the stew is going to fall out of the bowl?

So how does a non-beef eater eat bò kho? It’s quite simple, really. I pick out the chunks of beef and give them to Darling Man and then eat the carrot and soak up the broth with the fresh crunchy baguette.

If you eat beef, then this is definitely a dish you shouldn’t miss in Vietnam.

Bo kho

A camera phone shot of bo kho. (Note Miss M’s helpful finger on the right.)

On a personal note, if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been sick — totally flattened by a very nasty case of bronchitis. I’ve been in bed and/or dragging myself around for a month, doing the absolute minimum amount of parenting and working that I’ve been able to get away with. It’s only now I’ve got enough energy to get back into blogging. Stay tuned for a few more posts from central Vietnam, then some more everyday adventures in Vietnam.

I hope you didn’t miss me too much!


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7 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.

1 Comment

  1. budget jan says:

    I wondered what was missing from my life. I can’t believe you still have the bronchitis. Poor you. You need chicken soup 🙂
    budget jan recently posted..Fantastic Friday – Hanoi Street Scene

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