Low Carb Vietnamese Bo Kho With Stew Meat

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  • prep time

    prep time

    30 min

  • cook time

    cook time

    45 min

  • ready time

    ready time

    1 h 15 min

Low Carb Vietnamese Bo Kho With Stew Meat

Here is a rather complicated recipe that has been simplified without sacrificing on flavor using stew meat in a pressure cooker. Typically, tough cuts of beef are simmered very "low and slow" with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, and annatto extract. However, this dish can easily be made into an Instant Pot low carb recipe using similar techniques. Beef stew meat (which can be found precut from your local grocery store) saves a lot of time. This meat is marinated briefly with five-spice powder, fish sauce, and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper. Right before closing the Instant Pot lid, a homemade annatto seed oil is poured into the basket. Your house will smell wonderful while this is cooking! The final dish is topped with your choice of scallions, cilantro, Thai basil, Thai chilies.

What do I serve with this dish?

Traditionally, this dish is served with a dipping sauce made with freshly squeezed lime juice, some salt, and black pepper. You can add chopped Thai chilies if you're feeling brave. The lime juice is used to dip your meat and carrots.

Are carrots Keto?

In small amounts, carrots can fit into a balanced Keto diet. If your carb limit is lower, omit the carrots or use less. You can also substitute the carrots with Asian daikon or do a half and half mix of both root vegetables.

What kinds of cuts of beef should I use if I can't find stew meat?

If you do not want to use stew meat or cannot find it in the store, you can use an arm roast or chuck roast instead. Try to stick with fattier cuts of meat as they add more flavor to the final broth and fit better into a Keto diet.

Serving suggestions

This dish would be delicious and ended with this Paleo Avocado Smoothie https://www.carbmanager.com/recipe/paleo-avocado-smoothie.

  • Net Carbs

    6.8 g

  • Fiber

    2.5 g

  • Total Carbs

    9.4 g

  • Protein

    71.3 g

  • Fats

    38.8 g

667 cals

Low Carb Vietnamese Bo Kho With Stew Meat

#1 Low Carb & Keto Diet App Since 2010

Track macros, calories, and access top Keto recipes.

Download on the App Store
Get in on Google Play


  • Beef Stew Meat

    Beef Stew Meat

    3 pound

  • Chinese Five Spice Powder

    Chinese Five Spice Powder

    1 tablespoon

  • Fish Sauce (nam Pla Or Nuoc Mam)

    Fish Sauce (nam Pla Or Nuoc Mam)

    3 tablespoon

  • Black Pepper

    Black Pepper

    1 teaspoon

  • Avocado Oil

    Avocado Oil

    4 tablespoon

  • Ginger


    6 slice - 1" diameter

  • Lemon Grass (citronella), Raw

    Lemon Grass (citronella), Raw

    ¼ cup

  • Garlic


    4 clove

  • Red Onion

    Red Onion

    1 small

  • Coarse Kosher Salt by Morton

    Coarse Kosher Salt by Morton

    ¼ tsp

  • Tomato Raw (includes Cherry, Grape, Roma)

    Tomato Raw (includes Cherry, Grape, Roma)

    1 cup

  • Annatto Seed

    Annatto Seed

    1 tablespoon

  • Avocado Oil

    Avocado Oil

    4 tablespoon

  • Carrots


    3 medium - 6" to 7" long

  • Scallions


    2 large

  • Basil


    6 tablespoon

  • Hot Chili Peppers, Red, Raw

    Hot Chili Peppers, Red, Raw

    1 each - approx 4" - 6" long

Recipe Steps

steps 7

1 h 15 min

  • Step 1

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the stew meat, five spice powder, fish sauce and black pepper together and mix well. Set aside as you prep the other ingredients. Slice the ginger into thin slices. Trim the tough leaves off the lemongrass from the tops and smash the tender bulb with the back of a knife to release the oils. Smash the garlic cloves, but leave them whole. Slice the red onion into a thin julienne.
    Step 1
  • Step 2

    Set your Instant Pot to “Saute”, once it reads HOT add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and ⅓ of the stew meat. Allow it to sear for several minutes on the first side before stirring. Stir and allow it to brown on the other side for a few minutes. Remove the meat back to the original bowl with the unseared meat for now. Repeat adding another tablespoon of oil searing the rest of the meat. Once all the meat is seared, set it all aside.
    Step 2
  • Step 3

    Add another tablespoon of oil and add the smashed garlic, julienned red onion and ginger slices. Saute until the mixture is lightly caramelized. Add ¼ tsp kosher salt to this.
    Step 3
  • Step 4

    Add back in the seared beef. Then add in 4 cups of water, cherry tomatoes, and the lemongrass.
    Step 4
  • Step 5

    In a small saute pan, add 1 ½ tablespoons of avocado oil and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the annatto seeds and cook over low heat until the oil has turned color (about 1 minute). Pour this into the Instant Pot. Then close the pot, set the knob to “sealed” and cook for 45 minutes on HIGH.
    Step 5
  • Step 6

    Once the time has elapsed you can release the pressure. Add chopped carrots cut into 1 ½” pieces. Set the Instant Pot on HIGH for 2 minutes. Taste the broth adding about 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce if desired.
    Step 6
  • Step 7

    Release the pressure again. Remove the lemongrass from the pot. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with scallions, Thai basil and Thai chilies if you would like to.
    Step 7

Comments 3

  • RousingRadish105859

    RousingRadish105859 a year ago

    Thank you for posting this recipe- I had to sub several ingredients but the end result was DELICIOUS 😋

    • recipewriter

      recipewriter a year ago

      So happy you loved it!

  • brando3747

    brando3747 3 years ago

    So good