Vietnamese Beef Stew in a casserole dish
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4.35 from 29 votes

One–pot Vietnamese Beef Stew

This highly aromatic Vietnamese Beef Stew will become your favourite family meal. Slow cooked until the meat is fall apart tender and packed with flavour.
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Beef Stew Recipe, Bo Kho, Vietnamese beef stew
Servings: 4
Calories: 670kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes


Beef and Marinade

  • 900 g 2lb braising steak (chuck steak) cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 lemongrass stalks outer leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce optional
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar

For the Stew

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil to sear beef
  • 4 banana shallots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies de seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves fresh or dried
  • 625 ml | 2 ½ cups hot beef stock
  • 450 g | 1lb butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp cornflour /cornstarch diluted in 1 tbsp cold water, to thicken
  • Thai basil chopped to garnish
  • salt and pepper to season if needed


  • Combine the beef, lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, Chinese Spice, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Leave to marinate for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 160C (325F) and have all your vegetables prepared.
  • Put the oil in the casserole and heat over medium high heat. Sear the beef, in batches if necessary, until nicely browned.
  • Add a splash of hot stock to deglaze the pan, scraping any browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the shallots and chillies and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, carrots, cinnamon stick, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and stock and bring slowly to a rolling simmer.
  • Cover the casserole and transfer to the oven. Cook for an hour.
  • Take the casserole dish out of the oven - careful it will be very hot! - and stir in the butternut squash.
  • Return to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour until meat is very tender.
  • Stir the cornflour slurry into the stew and simmer for a couple of minutes on the hob to thicken the gravy.
  • Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, star anise and kaffir lime leaves.
  • Add some chopped basil leaves, check the seasoning and serve with crusty bread, or over rice..

Slow Cooker instructions

  • Marinate and brown the beef as instructed above then transfer to your slow cooker.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Add the cornflour slurry and cook on HIGH, uncovered, until the gravy thickens.
  • Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, star anise and kaffir lime leaves.
  • Add some chopped basil leaves, check the seasoning and serve with crusty bread, or over rice.



Beef Stew tips, tricks and FAQs
  • Can I make this stew in my Instant Pot? You certainly can and it is so delicious that I have dedicated an entire post to it.
  • How long will this stew keep? You can keep the stew in the fridge for up to three days. Cool completely first then store in a suitable container. The flavours will actually intensify the longer you keep it.
  • Can I freeze Vietnamese beef stew? Absolutely! Cool and divide into suitable containers. Freeze and use within three months. Defrost overnight in the fridge or thaw in a microwave. Always make sure that reheated food is piping hot all the way through before serving.


Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 1094mg | Potassium: 1896mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 23295IU | Vitamin C: 51.4mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 8.9mg