During your Vietnam travel journey, besides touring well-known tourist spots, you should enjoy Vietnamese beef dishes to immerse yourself in the intricate harmony of flavors and textures found in Vietnamese food. From classic recipes passed down through generations to modern twists on beloved treats, Vietnamese beef dishes are truly irresistible. Read on to uncover the ingredients, cooking instructions, and recommended locations to savor these delectable specialties.
1. The most popular Vietnamese beef dishes in local cuisine
1.1. Vietnamese beef noodle (Pho bo)
Vietnamese beef noodle, one of the most beloved Vietnamese breakfast foods, is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy flavors all in one bowl. The magic happens in the broth, made by gently simmering beef bones, ginger, onion, star anise, cinnamon, and salt for 2-3 hours. The broth has a warm and inviting color, thanks to the slow cooking process. As for the taste, it is all about that rich beefy goodness combined with aromatic spices and herbs.
Pho is often served with fresh herbs, crispy bean sprouts, lime, and chili sauce. If you desire to enjoy pho, you should visit the restaurants of some famous Pho brands, such as Pho Thin, Pho Ly Quoc Su, and Pho Bat Dan, which have authentic Vietnamese beef pho recipes.
1.2. Hue-style beef noodle (bun bo Hue)
The picturesque city of Hue is the birthplace of numerous Vietnamese beef dishes. Among these, bun bo Hue noodle is a culinary gem you will not want to miss. This famous Vietnamese food is known for its rich and diverse ingredients that make it a true standout.
Unlike pho, the broth of bun bo Hue is made by simmering pork trotters and beef shanks with crushed lemongrass, onions, Hue shrimp paste, and scallion heads. Normally, a bowl of Hue-style beef noodles consists of rice vermicelli, meat, sausage, pork hock, pork blood, chopped herbs, and thinly sliced lemongrass. Blanched water spinach, shredded banana blossoms, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, lime, chili, and satay sauce are available for diners to add.
1.3. Vietnamese shaking beef (bo luc lac)
Vietnamese shaking beef is a delicious stir-fry that gets its name from its unique shaking and stirring technique. This dish is traditionally served on a sizzling hot plate alongside fresh watercress and a bowl of rice. You can use various cuts of beef, from premium rib-eye to budget-friendly flank steak or sirloin strip.
To make this dish, marinade beef cubes with minced garlic, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce before searing half of the marinated beef until it is lightly charred and medium-rare. Then, cook diced yellow onion for a minute, then add diced red bell pepper and stir for another minute. This will result in a delicious and flavorful dish of Vietnamese shaking beef.
>>> Read more: Vietnam food list: 20 culinary delights you must try once in your life
1.4. Vietnamese beef stew (bo kho)
Vietnamese beef stew recipe has evolved from a cherished home recipe to a globally celebrated dish. This flavorful delight features succulent beef simmered in a richly spiced soup. To prepare it, start by sautéing ginger, garlic, and shallots in oil. Then, add marinated beef, lemongrass, water, cinnamon, and star anise, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Finally, thicken the stew with a cornstarch mixture, add carrots, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Bo kho is a heartwarming and aromatic dish that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.
1.5. Vietnamese beef salad (goi bo)
Vietnamese beef salad is a flavorful blend of marinated flank steak, fresh vegetables, rice vermicelli, and a savory Vietnamese beef salad sauce. If you want to make the dish at home, start by marinating the flank steak, then prepare the other ingredients. Cook the steak and assemble the dish by layering vermicelli, lettuce, mint, cucumber, and carrots. Sprinkle with peanuts and drizzle with the Vietnamese beef salad sauce.
1.6. Vietnamese sizzling steak and eggs (bo ne)
Bo ne is a versatile Vietnamese dish that is popular for breakfast but perfect any time of day. Its name, “sizzling steak”, hints at the sizzling, buttery spectacle as it is served on a hot cast-iron pan. To make it, marinate steak in a flavorful mix of oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, dark brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil, then sauté onions and sear the steak. Add eggs and tomatoes, cook to your liking, and garnish with cilantro or green onions, plus pickled vegetables and pâté. Serve with some Vietnamese bread for a complete meal.
1.7. Vietnamese beef curry (ca ri bo)
Vietnamese beef curry is a comforting dish, perfect for warming up during cold winter days. To prepare it, marinate beef with curry powder, salt, sugar, seasoning powder, pepper, and wine for an hour. Then, stir-fry the marinated beef with garlic and butter until it’s seared and firm. You can incorporate more curry powder for color and flavor. Pour in broth or coconut water, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer. Add potatoes and carrots and cook them to your desired softness. Finish the dish with coconut milk, onions, and seasoning. If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can adjust it by adding a bit of flour.
1.8. Vietnamese beef in vinegar hotpot (bo nhung dam)
Bo nhung dam is a cherished Vietnamese hotpot dish designed for communal enjoyment. The basics include a zesty broth that can feature coconut milk, lemongrass, and onions. You will also find thinly sliced raw beef as the star, but you can add squid or shrimp if you like. What really makes it special is the fresh spread of veggies and herbs like bean sprouts, daikon, lettuce, cucumbers, mint, basil, and perilla leaves. Use rice paper sheets to wrap up your creations, and don’t forget the mam nem, one of the most special Vietnamese dipping sauces, for an extra kick.
2. Other variations of Vietnamese beef dishes to try once
2.1. Vietnamese bread with beef (banh mi bo)
Banh mi bo is a delicious treat that combines marinated beef with a burst of flavors and textures. This dish can be easily prepared at home. First, marinate minced beef with lemongrass, garlic, and purple onion, seasoned with spices, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Then, create tangy pickles by combining carrots and radishes with a vinegar-water-sugar mixture. Grill the marinated beef until it is fragrant and beautifully colored. Assemble your masterpiece by stacking cucumber slices, beef, pickles, and cilantro on bread, then drizzle with the aromatic sauce.
2.2. Spicy lemongrass beef stir-fry (bo xao xa ot)
Spicy lemongrass beef stir-fry is a delicious spin on the classic beef stir-fry that adds a burst of flavor to your meal. Start by marinating thin slices of beef tenderloin in a mix of oyster sauce, cooking oil, fish sauce, seasoning powder, pepper, minced lemongrass, and garlic. Then, heat some oil in a pan and sauté garlic and lemongrass until they smell amazing. Add the marinated beef and stir-fry it until it is nicely cooked. Adjust the seasoning, throw in some chili, green onions, and a sprinkle of pepper. And there you have it – a spicy lemongrass beef stir-fry that is ready to impress at the dinner table.
2.3. Grilled beef wrapped in wild betel leaf (bo la lot)
Bo la lot is a beloved feature on Vietnamese rice trays, cherished for its rich and irresistible flavor. It can be considered one of the most simple Vietnamese beef dishes. Begin by finely mincing some purple onions, garlic, lemongrass, chili, and ginger. Then, mix minced beef with seasoning powder, pepper, and a touch of cooking oil. Roll up the marinated meat in the wild betel leaves and bake in the oven at 225 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes. Top it all off with roasted and crushed peanuts for a delightful family meal.
2.4. Vietnamese beef jerky and rice paper (banh trang tron bo)
Banh trang tron bo is a beloved snack enjoyed by all ages. It is a delicious treat bursting with savory flavors. The essence of this dish is the sauce, made by heating cooking oil, sugar, minced garlic, lemongrass, and pork liver until they are evenly colored, and tossing in minced chili. You can achieve the desired brown color by adding cashew oil and stir-frying. When it is time to relish this delightful snack, combine the beef jerky with the rice paper, letting the sauce infuse every bite. Following this Vietnamese beef jerky recipe, you will definitely have a wonderful snack to enjoy with friends.
2.5. Noodle salad with beef (bun bo xao)
Bun bo xao is a quick and easy dish that is sure to please every diner. This culinary delight showcases tender beef marinated with a blend of sugar, pepper, garlic, and cooking oil, resulting in a burst of flavors. It’s perfectly paired with a homemade sweet and sour fish sauce enriched with garlic and chili, creating a mouthwatering combination. The cooking process involves stir-frying the marinated beef with onions until it is slightly firm. When serving, pair it with fresh vermicelli, vegetables, cucumber, bean sprouts, and a sprinkle of roasted peanuts and onions. Drizzle the sweet and sour fish sauce, mix, and savor the exquisite harmony of textures and flavors in this delectable noodle salad.
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Vietnamese beef dishes offer a delightful exploration of the country’s diverse flavors. From the aromatic Vietnamese beef stew to the flavorful Vietnamese beef salad, these dishes showcase the unique ingredients and cooking methods that define Vietnamese cuisine. Hopefully, this article helps you know how to make some popular Vietnamese beef dishes.