Instant Pot Bò Kho Recipe – Vietnamese Beef Stew

September 28, 2019Van
Blog post

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 32 minutes

Serves: 6-8

When the calendar begins to reach October I have a few things on my mind. First would be Halloween, and decorating for my favorite holiday. Next would be anticipating the time change and adjusting to darkness at dinner time. And finally, I dream of hearty dishes to accompany the cooling weather, and changing of the autumn leaves. For me, this dish is Bò Kho.

I love bread. And I love rich and flavorful beef stew. If you can think of a better way to combine these coveted items than Bo Kho, please let me know—because I can’t. The broth is so intense. I make mine with tomato paste to really condense the tanginess without watering down the other flavors. The lemongrass, ginger and five spice essence is bold and lingers on your tongue for a few moments. I’ve discovered the perfect timing for beef shank—so much so that it becomes beef butter and melts in your mouth. With my technique and recipe, you get the best of both worlds—buying a cheaper cut of meat but never compromising on flavor or tenderness.

A guilty pleasure of mine is taking spreadable Kerry Gold and slathering it all over a baguette, dipping it in the zesty broth. The contrast between the tomatoey zest and the ultra rich Irish Butter gets me every time. Non traditional pairing sure, but an East meets West delight just like the dish of Bò Kho itself.

Instant Pot Bò Kho Recipe - Vietnamese Beef Stew

Instant Pot Bò Kho Recipe - Vietnamese Beef Stew

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Instant Pot Bò Kho Recipe - Vietnamese Beef Stew

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 32 minutes
  • Serves: 6-8


  • 3-4 Pounds Beef Shank, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1½ Teaspoons Five Spice Powder
  • ¾ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2½ Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 1½ Teaspoons Annatto Powder, or substitute with mild Paprika
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, large dice
  • 2 inch Piece of Ginger, peeled, smashed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 Lemongrass Stalks, cut into 4 inch pieces, smashed and tied into a bundle
  • ¼ Cup Tomato Paste
  • 2 Star Anise Pods
  • 4 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 4 Large Carrots, peeled and cut into large bite size pieces
  • 4 Potatoes (optional), peeled and cut into large bite size pieces
  • Baguettes for serving
  • Thinly Sliced Onions, for garnish
  • Chopped Cilantro, for garnish


  • 1)

    Place cubed beef shank into a large bowl and add ¾ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper, 2 Teaspoons of Kosher Salt, 2½ Teaspoons of Granulated Sugar and mix together.

  • 2)

    Place 2 Tablespoons of Oil into the Instant Pot. Choose Sauté and pick the High setting. Once it’s hot, add the beef and brown it very well on all sides well – this will take 7-10 Minutes. Add the minced garlic and diced onions, sauté for another 3 minutes. Hit Cancel to turn off Sauté mode.

  • 3)

    Add 1½ Teaspoons of Five Spice Powder, 1½ Teaspoon of Annatto Powder, ¼ Cup of Tomato Paste, 1 Tablespoon of Red Boat Fish Sauce, 2 Star Anise Pods, the ginger pieces, lemongrass and 4 Cups Beef Broth into the pot. Seal the lid and switch the knob to “Sealing”. Choose High Pressure/Manual and set for 28 minutes – once the timer is up wait 10 minutes for a natural pressure release then switch to Venting, once the pin drops open the lid. Add the Carrots and Potatoes and seal the lid and cook on High Pressure / Manual for 4 minutes, once the timer is up wait 5 minutes before switching the knob to Venting. Taste the broth and season more if needed. Garnish with thinly sliced onions and chopped cilantro and serve with toasty baguettes. Enjoy!

↓ Supplies to make this recipe ↓


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