Vietnamese Beef Stew, Slow Cooker Style

Vietnamese Beef Stew, Slow Cooker Style

This easy Vietnamese beef stew, slow cooker style, is a classic with a delicious twist. Yummy Vietnamese flavours bring this slowly cooked beef stew to life. Pop this into the pot in minutes, and later you’ll have an aromatic main meal that has been cooked low and slow to make the meat meltingly, irresistibly tender.

There aren’t that many Vietnamese slow cooker recipes, so this is a simple but different beef dinner. It is best served with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice, to mop up that rich yet delicately spiced sauce. Unlike some other recipes this doesn’t contain Chinese five spice powder, lemongrass, coconut water or tomato paste. If you don’t have sesame oil, any mildly flavoured vegetable oil will do, and you can use fish or soy sauce. Any kind of stewing steak will work, like beef chuck or other cheap cuts.

The joy of slow cooking this fragrant stew is that so little effort is required – and later, the crock pot holds a Vietnamese feast that is waiting to be devoured. The Vietnamese beef stew seasoning used here includes sweet, savoury, salty, sour and warm notes that combine in harmony. You may also see similar stews described as ‘Bo Kho’ recipes or even a ‘Pho Bo Kho’ recipe.

This Vietnamese beef stew recipe, slow cooker style, serves 4

Vietnamese Beef Bo Kho ingredients

  • Diced beef, 400g
  • Plain flour, 2 tbsp
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sesame oil, for frying
  • Shallots, 2-4 (depending on size), chopped finely
  • Carrots, 4, sliced thinly
  • Mushrooms, 75g, halved or quartered
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, crushed
  • Beef stock pot or cube
  • Soy or fish sauce, 2 tbsp
  • Brown sugar, 2 tsp
  • Chilli flakes, a pinch
  • Cinnamon, a pinch
  • Ginger, a pinch
  • Star anise, 4
  • Kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried, 4
  • Lime, 1, juice only


How to make Vietnamese beef in the slow cooker

  • Add the flour to a mixing bowl, season, then add the meat and toss to coat thoroughly.
  • Heat a dash of sesame oil in your slow cooker pot or a saucepan, then add the flour-coated beef. Stir fry for a few minutes until browned.
  • Make up the stock cube or pot with around half the recommended quantity of water.
  • Add this and all the other ingredients to your slow cooker, and cook on low. Time wise, it should take about 5-6 hours.

Serve with Jasmine rice.

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