Bò Kho

Bò kho is a spicy South Vietnamese beef stew, made with beef, carrot, lemongrass, and garlic.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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Fact: Bò kho is often enjoyed not only as a main course but also as a breakfast dish in Vietnam.

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Basic Information

Bò Kho: Basic Information


/baw kho/

Alternative Name(s)


Dish Type



Main Course



Popular Variations

Origin and Region

Bò Kho: Origin and Region



Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Southern Vietnam

Associated Region

Vietnam Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Bò Kho: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Beef, carrot, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, chili, and fish sauce.

Main Cooking Method


Preparation Process

Marinated with Vietnamese spices and sauces, slowly stewed until cooked.
A Deep Dive

Bò Kho: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A beloved comfort food in Vietnam, often enjoyed in the colder months.








Rich reddish-brown

Serving Style

Often served with rice, rice noodles, or bánh mì

Serving Temperature



  1. Baguette
  2. Rice
  3. Rice Noodles
  4. Herbs
  5. Salt, Pepper, and Lime Dipping Sauce
  6. Chili Salt


Weddings, festivals



Special Diets



495 calories, according to 1 pound of bò kho.



Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Cà Ri Bò
  2. Rendang
  3. Massaman Curry
  4. Beef Bourguignon

Popular Dining Area

Households, restaurants, eateries, street vendors.

Bò kho, also known as Vietnamese beef stew, is a traditional dish from Vietnam, specifically from the southern part of the country. It is a hearty stew that typically features beef and is known for its rich, spicy flavor.

Bo Kho Overview

The dish is a result of the blending of local Vietnamese cooking practices with foreign influences, particularly French, which is evident in the slow-cooking technique and the use of beef.

Bò kho is often enjoyed with rice, rice noodles, or a baguette, and is accompanied by fresh herbs and spices that enhance its flavor.

I’ll guide you through the features of the dish, its side items, advantages and disadvantages, commonly asked queries, and related dishes.

Key Points

  • Bò kho originates from Southern Vietnam and is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine.
  • The slow-cooking method and the use of beef in the dish show the influence of French culinary practices.
  • The combination of Vietnamese spices and sauces used in marinating and cooking the stew contributes to its distinctive taste.
  • Bò kho can be enjoyed with rice, rice noodles, or a baguette, and is often accompanied by fresh herbs and spices.

Bò Kho Images

What to Serve with Bò Kho?

Bò Kho is a Vietnamese beef stew that is rich, spicy, and deeply aromatic. It pairs well with a variety of sides that can help to balance its robust flavors. Here are some suggestions:



A classic French baguette is a traditional accompaniment to Bò Kho. It’s perfect for dipping into the flavorful broth.



Steamed white rice is a simple and filling side that can absorb the stew’s juices, making for a hearty meal.

Rice Noodles

Rice Noodles

Flat rice noodles can turn this stew into a noodle soup dish, offering a different texture and a way to enjoy the sauce.



Thai basil and culantro are often added to the dish to enhance the flavor. Sometimes cilantro is also used.

Salt Pepper

Salt, Pepper, and Lime Dipping Sauce

This is a popular Vietnamese dipping sauce or seasoning made from a mixture of salt, ground pepper, and lime juice. It’s often used to add zest and flavor to the dish.

Chili Salt

Chili Salt

This spicy and salty blend is commonly used to add a kick of heat and flavor to dishes.

In conclusion, when considering the variety of sides that complement the rich and spicy flavors of bò kho, it’s also important to weigh its pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Eating Bò Kho

Bò Kho has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that can be considered from a culinary and dietary perspective:


  • Flavorful: Bò Kho is known for its rich, complex flavors, which come from a blend of spices, including star anise, cinnamon, and lemongrass.
  • Nutritious: The stew contains beef, which is a good source of protein and essential nutrients such as iron and B vitamins.
  • Comforting: As a hearty stew, it can be very comforting, especially during colder months or when one desires a satisfying meal.
  • Versatile: It can be served with various sides, such as rice, noodles, or bread, making it adaptable to different tastes and preferences.
  • Cultural Experience: Eating Bò Kho can be a delightful way to experience Vietnamese culture through its cuisine.


  • Time-Consuming: The preparation and cooking process for Bò Kho can be quite lengthy, as it involves marinating the beef and slow cooking it to achieve the desired tenderness.
  • Spices and Allergens: The variety of spices used in Bò Kho might not be suitable for everyone, especially for those with specific allergies or digestive issues.
  • Dietary Restrictions: Bò Kho is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or those on a low-cholesterol or low-fat diet due to the beef content.

Also, be sure to check out the FAQs section for additional information.

Bò Kho FAQs

The stew itself is not typically spicy, but it is rich in spices like star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. However, diners can add fresh chili or chili sauce to their liking to increase the heat.

Yes, bò kho is well-suited for slow cooking methods, which can help tenderize the beef and develop flavors. It can be made in a slow cooker on a low setting for 6-8 hours or in a pressure cooker for about 1 hour.

Although traditional bò kho is made with beef, you can make a vegetarian version using mushrooms or tofu as the protein and vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Tougher cuts of beef that are good for slow cooking, such as beef shank, chuck, or brisket, are ideal as they become tender and flavorful during the long simmering process.

Similar Dishes of Bò Kho

Ca Ri Bo

Cà ri bò is a popular Vietnamese beef curry, often served with French bread, fresh rice vermicelli, or rice.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert


  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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