Bò Kho Instant Pot (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen


Note: I used by 8-quart but this recipe can accommodate 6-quart with minor adjustments to amount of carrots, reduce to perhaps 3 lbs or less of beef shanks)

  • 3 to 3.5 lbs of beef shank (parboiled for 5-10 minutes, rinsed well, sliced large chunks about 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness)
  • 2 lbs of honeycomb tripe – OPTIONAL (washed well with salt/and or vinegar, parboiled with 1 stalk of lemongrass for 5-10 minutes, rinsed and slice to about 1 inch wide)
  • 2 lbs of carrots (peeled, sliced to about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass (use bottom 2/3, cut into 3-inch lengths, bruised with something heavy in the kitchen such as a meat tenderizer tool or the handle of your knife/cleaver)
  • 1 white onion (coarsely sliced)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • Quoc Viet Beef Stew Base OR Quoc Viet Beef Stew Seasoning (Sorry, I don’t have a substitute for this yet!)
  • 2 tbsp Oriental Beef Spices (Gia Vi Bo Kho) – I prefer the Pyramid brand.
  • 2 cans of Coco Rico Soda (can substitute for Coconut Water)
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • One (1) 8-oz can of tomato sauce
  • about 5 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 4 cups of boiling water (use boiling to speed up pressure building time)
  • mushroom seasoning to taste
  • sugar to taste

    Garnishes and accompaniments:

  • some green onion and cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 white onion (thinly sliced)
  • basil leaves (rau Hue)
  • culantro (ngo gai)
  • lime wedges
  • salt and pepper (mix with lime juice as dipping sauce for the meat)
  • fresh chili (if you like it spicy)
  • baguettes (toasted before serving)
  • Pho noodles (if you plan to eat Hu Tieu Bo Kho, boil according to package instruction)
  • egg noodles (if you plan to eat Mi Kho Bo Kho, boil/cook according to package instruction)
  • bean sprout (if you plan to eat Hu Tieu Bo Kho or Mi Bo Kho)


  1. Mix parboiled beef shank with 2 tbsp of garlic powder, 3 tbsp of Quoc Viet Bo Kho Seasoning/Base.  Use your hands to rub the seasoning onto the meat.  Add coarsly sliced white onion and allow meat to marinate in the fridge, keep it overnight for best result.
  2. CARROTS – Place chopped carrots in a steamer basket (I used my 3-qt steamer basket and IP for this, perfect size for 2 lbs of carrots).  Add about 1 cup of water to inner pot.  Drop basket into inner pot.  Close lid, and move knob to Sealing.  Select: Pressure Cook/Manual, High Pressure, 3 minutes.  Allow a 5 minutes NPR then release the pressure manually by turning knob to Venting.  Remove basket and flush carrot with cold water then set aside to drain.
  3. BO KHO – Add about 5 tbsp of cooking oil to inner pot, once it’s hot add minced garlic, bruised lemongrass stalks, bay leaves and saute to release fragrance.  Then add in 2 tbsp of Oriental Beef Spices (Pyramid Brand) and mix well with the oil.  Toss in your marinated beef shank, mix well to seal in the flavor.  Pour in tomato sauce and mix for another 5 minutes.  If you are using Honeycomb Tripe, add them in now.  Cover the meat with 2 cans of Coco Rico Soda, and 4 cups of boiling water.  If more liquid is needed to submerge the meat then feel free to add more water, you will then need to add more seasoning post cooking to adjust the taste.  You don’t need a whole lot of water because remember, beef will shrink when cooked!  Add 4 tbsp of Quoc Viet Bo Kho Seasoning/Base and give the mixture a really good stir.  Close lid, and move knob to Sealing.  Select: Pressure Cook/Manual, High Pressure, 22 minutes.  Allow another 20 minutes NPR then release the pressure manually by gently turning knob to Venting.
  4. Open lid, cancel keep warm, and add in steamed carrots.  Select Saute mode to bring the liquid to a boil.  Use this time to adjust the taste.  Here are my adjustments but please use it as a guide only: I added in 2 tbsp of mushroom and 1 tbsp of sugar.  PLEASE DO MULTIPLE TASTE TESTS AND ADJUST TO YOUR LIKING.  MY TASTE MIGHT NOT BE LIKE YOURS.  Add more soup base if the broth is too bland for your liking.
  5. When ready to serve, garnish with chopped green onion and cilantro.  Add thinly sliced white onion on top.  Basil and particularly culantro (not cilantro) can really enhance the flavor of Bo Kho.  If you are eating with noodles (Hu Tieu Bo Kho or Mi Bo Kho), add cook noodles to your bowl and ladle with boiling Kho Kho broth, meat, carrots, Honeycomb Tripe and serve immediately.  A simple dipping sauce for the meat is salt, pepper mix with lime juice.  Enjoy!



36 Comments on “Bò Kho Instant Pot (Vietnamese Beef Stew)”

  1. Katie, I’ve tried this several times and love it. I put mine in slow cooker when I have a crowd and my IP is too small. I wanted to clarify that you mean 1 can of 8 oz tomato paste, right?

    • Hi Nga, I used tomato sauce. If you do use tomato paste instead, add just about 2-3 tbsp initially to see how it looks as the paste is much more concentrated. Thanks!

    • Hi Duc, you could use ketchup in place of tomato sauce. I’d say start with about 4-5 tbsp of ketchup and go from there.

    • Hi Vicky, it’s in the last 3 sentences of #3: “Close lid, and move knob to Sealing. Select: Pressure Cook/Manual, High Pressure, 22 minutes. Allow another 20 minutes NPR then release the pressure manually by gently turning knob to Venting.”

  2. I want to cook with gan bo “tendon” how long for cooking it? & is it possible I cook with beef shank in IP?

    • Hi Ginnie, tendons take a bit longer to cook. When I add tendons, I usually start with cooking tendon first for 5 minutes then add the shanks in and continue with the cook time on the recipe.

        • Pressure Cook, not Saute, the tendons for 5 minutes. Then QR and add the beef shanks. 5 minutes Saute won’t do anything to the tendons.

          • Ah! Thank you Katie. By the way, I tried your oxtail noodle soup recipe last week for the first time and everyone loves it. Now, this is the way I’m going to cook pho moving forward. Thank you.

      • Hi would I pressure Cook the tendon before the tomato sauce and other liquids are added ? Also this is my first time using the IP. Why is it nothing happens when I push the pressure button but manual button works ? Is it broken ?

        • Hi Kim, have you done your water test? That would help to determine if the IP works properly. For tendons, I’d recommend to cook it with a few cups of water (enough to submerge it) for 5 minutes. Then Quick Release. Add tendons where you would add the Honeycomb Tripe in Step 3. Thanks.

  3. Mad this tonight and it was delicious! It was perfect for a rainy night. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us. Your family is so lucky to have you to cook for them!

  4. I forgot to buy pyramid brand gai vi bo kho spices but I have the quoc viet seasoning is there any substitute or will have to go back and buy it

  5. If i have half the amount of beef, would it be safe to say to halve everything including time?

  6. Cam you use chuck roast cut up in 1 inch cubes instead of shanks? also what would u change if made on stove top?

  7. Hi Katie! If I wanted to add potatoes, when would I do that? And how should I prepare the potatoes prior to adding? Thank you!

    • Hi, you can add potatoes at the end in Saute mode. Cut potatoes to chunks and wash in warm salt water to prevent it from turning brown.

  8. If I’m not using IP but just cooking on a regular stove can I double the amount of water and double the ingredients ? Would it work that way? Since we stuck at home there’s more then 6 ppl I want it to last 2 days 😂

    • You can start with that and just keep an eye on the water as it will evaporate a good amount with the long cook time. Season to taste at the end. Or you could do 2 IP batches 🙂

    • I’d say it’s required to bring out the flavor of bo kho. It you don’t have fresh you can use powder, add to the marinade.

  9. Hello! Made this for my family of 5 last night. Kids loved it but it was a little too sweet for my taste. I did not add any sugar, next time I will reduce the stew paste . Thank you!

    • Hi, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out great. For future if you cook anything and it turns out too sweet or too salty try to dilute it with some water (start with a cup) then re-adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or sugar or mushroom season/chicken powder. But for you next bo kho perhaps skip the rock sugar or reduce it. Or you can use all water instead of coco rico soda. Hope this helps. 🙏

      • Thanks Katie! I shared your recipe with my relative and she suggested to use water instead of the coco soda. My daughter has already asked for this again. Thank you!

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