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B kho - Stewed beef with lemon grass and coconut milk (southern dish)
For the texture of this dish, the Vietnamese use either boneless beef shank, stewing beef, or beef chuck.



  • 2 pounds of boneless shank or stewing beef or beef chuck
  • 2 or 3 stalks of lemon grass cut into 2-inch length, bruised
  • or 2 tablespoons of grated and frozen lemon grass
  • 2 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 1 coconut (use the liquid only)
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped or minced
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 3 medium size carrots cut into
  • 1-inch cubes
  • 2 bay leaves and 3 star anises (optional )


  • Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes (stewing size). If you use dried lemon grass, soak in hot water 2 tablespoons overnight, drain then pulverize finely. Mix lemon grass, fish sauce, salt, sugar, half of chopped garlic, ginger, black pepper, bay leaves and add beef cubes. set aside for 1 hour. In a heavy medium sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add onion, garlic, paprika, ginger stir fry until light golden. Remove onion , garlic, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil turn the heat on high, drain and brown the meat quickly about 3 minutes, add the marinated liquid, stalks of lemon grass (if use fresh), onion , garlic, curry powder and coconut juice + 2 cups of water. Bring the pot to boil. Braise and simmer for 1 hour then add carrots and simmer for another 40 minutes longer or until the meat is tender. Season to taste.

    To serve:
  • Vietnamese serve this dish as breakfast with French bread or lunch over a bowl of rice vermicelli with chopped lettuce mixed with various herbs. Serve on the side a dish of sliced red chilies, mint leaves and lemon wedges and a dish of fish sauce .