Bo Kho would probably not make my top 20 of favorite Viet food to eat because it's simply too heavy for me. I prefer eating pho or bun bo hue over bo kho, but stews are great during the cold Indiana winter. The day after the party, I brought home some bo kho to my family. My sister-in-law showed me a great way to lighten a hearty bowl of bo kho and it made it so incredibly delicious. She squeezed two lime wedges to a bowl of bo kho and top it with lots of cilantro. The lime and cilantro added depth and tanginess to the broth. I didn't even care about the star of the dish, the shank, it was all about that broth. If you haven't tried lime and cilantro with your bo kho, you have to give it a try!
2 lbs of beef shank
2 stalk of lemongrass (cut into 4 and then crushed)
1 can of coconut juice
1/2 can of 6 oz tomato paste
6-7 carrots (cut into 1 inch pieces)
Marinade for 2 lbs of beef shank:
3 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of chili powder (this depends on the spice level of your chili powder and how spicy you want it to be)
1/2 tablespoon of minced lemongrass
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 tablespoon of bo kho seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1. Cut up the beef shank into cubes. Keep in mind beef shank shrink during the cooking process.
2. Marinate the beef shank with the marinade over night if possible or at least 2-3 hours before cooking.
3. In a large pot, heat up a little bit of vegetable oil and pour the marinated beef shank in the pot. You want to brown the outside of the meat.
4. Once the meat has brown evenly, add about 80% of the tomato paste and leave the rest for later use. Coat the meat with the tomato paste.
5. Add enough coconut juice to cover the meat. Put a lid on the pot and let this simmer on low heat for about 20-30 minutes. The coconut will add sweetness to your broth and help tenderize the shank.
6. Add water about 12 cups of water to help dilute the seasoning. For a more flavorful broth, replace 8 cups of water with two cans of chicken broth.
7. Add two bay leaves and lemongrass stalk to the pot, season the pot with additional salt, sugar, mushroom seasoning. I added 1-2 teaspoon of salt, 3 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of mushroom seasoning. Remember to taste your food!
8. In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of cooking oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the bo kho gia vi to the oil and let the gia vi cook in the oil. Be careful not to let it burn. Once the oil and bo gia vi marry together, add that mixture to the pot.
10. Add the carrots and turn the heat down low. If you put the lid, on the carrots will cooked pretty fast. You don't want to overcook the carrots and become mushy.
11. Heat up another tablespoon of cooking oil in the pan. You want to add the remainder of the tomato and more minced lemon grass tot he oil. You want the minced lemongrass to become fragrance and the tomato paste to color the oil. You will add this mixture to the pot and achieve the pretty red color and the lemongrass will fragrance the broth some more.
12. Prepare yourself a bowl of bo kho with French baguettes or rice noodles (hu tieu).
13. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions, squeeze a little bit of lime to your bo kho .