Restaurant: Cam Huong Sandwiches
City: Union City, CA

I had some bò kho to-go for dinner last night! We had some leftover, so I had it for lunch as well! This is my favorite kind of beef stew; it’s not thick, while very fragrant and savory. I love eating this dish with noodles and/or baguette. :D

bo kho

literally translates to beef. Kho translates into stew, as explained below. Thus, bò kho translates into beef stew. There’s usually chunks of carrots and onions in the stew.

Kho is a cooking technique in Vietnamese cuisine meaning “to braise”, “to stew”, or “to simmer”, in which a protein source such as fish, shrimp, poultry, pork, beef, or fried tofu is braised on low heat in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, and water or a water substitute such as young coconut juice. The resulting dish is salty and savory, and meant to be eaten with rice noodles, French bread, or steamed rice. In northern Vietnam, this dish is known as bò sốt vang. (Wikipedia)

Bo kho’s distinct taste comes from the use of lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, Vietnamese Indian Madras curry powder and Chinese 5-spice powder. The deep red color isn’t just from tomato paste but also the use of annatto seeds. The stew needs to simmer for at least several hours to maximize flavor and for fall-apart tender beef. A combination of beef and oxtails could also be used. The oxtails will result in a much deeper, richer flavor. You could certainly add tendon as well. Add the vegetables in the last hour of stewing so they don’t become mushy. (Wandering Chopsticks)

Bo kho is a surprising stew served in 3 ways. The origin of the stew lies in northern Vietnam, where it is eaten for breakfast. In central Vietnam Bo kho is served as a noodle, and in South Vietnam fresh bread is dipped in the sauce. (Pho Vietnam)