Braised beef with lemongrass and star anise

Braised beef with lemongrass and star anise

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

Despite being a hearty stew, bo kho is a surprisingly popular breakfast in the tropical south and particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, where it is served with crusty baguettes. It also works well as an evening meal, served with noodles or rice.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef topside, cubed
1 tablespoon Annatto oil
2 lemongrass stems, roughly chopped, white part only
1 long red chilli, seeded and chopped
3 cm knob ginger, chopped
5 red asian shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
oil, for frying
4 star anise
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
3 potatoes, cut into chunks

Method

  1. Toss the beef with the annatto oil and set aside.
  2. Place the lemongrass, chilli, ginger, shallots and garlic in a mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Heat a little oil in a saucepan over medium heat and fry the paste for 2–3 minutes, or until aromatic.
  3. Add the beef to the pan and cook for 8–10 minutes, until browned all over. Stir in the star anise, five-spice powder and cinnamon. Add the tomato, fish sauce, sugar, salt and 1 litre of water.
  4. Simmer for 1½ hours, or until the beef is tender. Add the carrot and potato and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Serve with crusty baguettes.
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