top of page

Vietnamese beef stew “ Bo Kho”

One of my all time favorite home cooked meals is “Bo Kho” a veitnamese beef stew. Being Asian, surprisingly enough, I’m not really a big fan of eating rice. I love breads and pasta’s and the reason why I loved this beef stew dish so much is because it is eaten with bread. It brings great fond memories for me of my child hood. My mom worked alot so she would make huge batches of food for us to eat all week. I would eat bo kho for days.

I’m a lazy cook you guys, I don’t really like to spend to much time in the kitchen, this is my simplified version of Bo Kho made in an Instant Pot. The first time I made this, I used canned tomatoes and it didnt turn out good. It was too soupy and tasted werid. Use tomato paste. TRUST ME. They also have "bo kho seasoning packs" you can buy but I decided to skip that. I usually make this with beef broth but today i found Bo Kho broth at the asian store and I actaully prefer this.

You can have this dish done under 2 hours. If you don’t own an Instant Pot – you need to get one, like right now. Instant pot’s are great for working moms who need to whip up a meal really fast and easily! You can get one here . I have the 8qt which is the largest size they have, I think is too big for a family of 4. One of these days, I will downgrade to a 6qt which I personally think is perfect for the size of my family. You can make this on the stove top or in a crock pot , it just takes longer to simmer down.


- 2Ibs of thick beef ( find one with fat marbling) Cut into cubes

- 1 onion chopped

- 2 table spoon of chopped garlic

- 3 good size carrots cut into 1 inch chunks

- 2 small potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks

- 2 stalks of lemon grass – pounded to release aroma

- Oil

- Beef Broth ( I used canned Bo Kho broth)

- Water


- 3 tablespoon tomato PASTE ( dont use tomatoe sauce or canned tomatoes)

- 1 tablespoon of garlic salt

- ½ teaspoon of black pepper

- 1 teaspoon sugar

- Anise seeds

- 1 table spoon Chinese five spice.

- 2 table spoon of fish sauce

- 1 table spoon of soy sauce


- Chopped Cilantro

- French Bread Baguette

- Basil optional

Instant pot set on Sauté:

1. Sauté beef cubes with oil to prevent sticking – season with garlic salt and 2 spoonful’s of chopped onion. Remove beef cubes from pot but leave beef juices.

2. Sauté garlic, chopped onion and pounded lemon grass in beef juice. Sauté until cooked. Deglaze pot by adding water. Add 3 table spoons of tomato sauce and add more water to create a sauce. Mix until creamy.

3. Add Beef , cover with broth and all remaining seasoning – five spice, anise seed’s ( 5 stars) fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, garlic sauce.

4. Instant pot setting set to Beef Stew – 30 minutes.

5. Release valve.

6. Add Carrots and Potatoes, add additional water or broth to cover veggies. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

7. Add Additional seasoning to taste.

Serve topped with Cilantro and or Basil with a warm toasted Baguette.

Need help purchasing some items? Check your local Oriental store or you can get anything on amazon these days.

My preferred brand of fish sauce:

I use sweet soy sauce in my cooking:

Chinese five spice :

6 Quart Instant Pot :



bottom of page