Bo kho may not be as well-known as pho, but it should be. This Vietnamese beef stew has a delightful depth of flavor with a delicate blend of lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, and clove. It’s the perfect winter dish to warm you up this season.
Bo Kho is pronounced baw kuh. In Vietnamese, “kho” means to simmer and “bo” is cow. But the name gives away nothing about the range of flavors that makes this stew distinct.
It’s is a Vietnamese stew. Like other beef stews around the world, the main idea is to tenderize a lesser cut of beef by slow cooking it in a flavorful broth. It is salty and savory. Compared to pho, this stew is much earthier in flavor. It is known as a comfort food in Vietnam.
Just as with many stews that use a blend of different spices to make them unique, it’s the flavor in this that makes it distinctly Vietnamese.
Bo kho is served differently in different regions of Vietnam, and depending when it’s eaten. It is traditionally eaten for breakfast, but makes a hearty lunch or dinner.
At Pho95, we offer different serving options. We serve it over egg or rice noodles, as is common in central Vietnam; or over rice like in the northern part of the country. Have it with a French baguette if you prefer the southern way.
We serve it with bean sprouts, basil, shredded cabbage, jalapeños, and limes on the side. Feel free to experiment with the different flavors each of these will bring out in the stew.
This Vietnamese stew isn’t just a winter dish (we serve it year-round), but it will definitely warm your soul this winter. The mixture of spices and the slow-cooked beef gives off an aroma your taste buds can’t ignore. Are you hungry yet?