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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

Exploring the Complex and Savory Flavors of Hủ Tiếu Bò Kho: A Vietnamese Culinary Delight

Dish name: Hủ Tiếu Bò Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew with Noodles)

  • Cuisine: Vietnamese

  • Preparation time: 3-4 hours

  • Yield: Serves 4-6

  • Expiration: Best if consumed within 2-3 days when stored in the refrigerator. Freezing can extend its life for up to 2 months.

  • Ingredients:

  • 500g beef brisket or shank, cut into chunks

  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon annatto seeds for color (optional)

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised

  • 1 piece rock sugar (or 1 tablespoon regular sugar)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 liters beef stock or water

  • 2 carrots, cut into thick slices

  • 400g fresh flat rice noodles (Hủ Tiếu) or substitute with dried noodles, cooked according to package instructions

  • Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced onions, Thai basil leaves, lime wedges, and fresh bean sprouts


  1. Marinate beef chunks with five-spice powder, soy sauce, and tomato paste for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add annatto seeds if using, garlic, and onions. Sauté until fragrant.

  3. Add marinated beef and sear on all sides.

  4. Add beef stock or water, lemongrass, and rock sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours, or until beef is tender.

  5. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the carrots and continue to simmer.

  6. Prepare Hủ Tiếu noodles according to the package instructions if not using fresh ones.

  7. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, sugar, soy sauce) of your Bò Kho as needed.

  8. Serve the beef stew over the noodles and garnish with fresh herbs and additional garnishes as desired.

Tips and Tricks for Making Hủ Tiếu Bò Kho:

  1. Meat Selection: Choosing the right cut of beef is crucial. Brisket, shank, or chuck offer the best flavors and become tender when slowly cooked.

  2. Marinating: Marinating the beef is key for deep flavor; overnight marinating enhances the taste even more.

  3. Simmer Slowly: Cook the Bò Kho on a low simmer for several hours to ensure that the beef becomes tender and the flavors meld together.

  4. Deglazing: After searing the beef, deglaze the pot with a bit of stock to lift all the flavorful bits that may have stuck to the bottom.

  5. Skimming Fat: You can skim off any excess oil that rises to the top for a less greasy stew.

  6. Thickening: If you prefer a thicker stew, you can mix a little cornstarch with water and add it to the stew, cooking it until it reaches your desired consistency.

  7. Herbs and Garnishes: Fresh herbs and garnishes add freshness to cut through the richness of the stew.

Enjoy your Hủ Tiếu Bò Kho, each spoonful brimming with deep, comforting flavors and a harmony of textures from the tender beef to the smooth noodles.

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