Beef stew for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Let’s do this. Simon Stanley scours Saigon’s backstreets in search of the city’s best bo kho. Photos by Kyle Phanroy


Another delicious reminder of France’s hand in Vietnamese cuisine, bo kho (‘braised beef’) is a distant cousin of the classic boeuf bourguignon. This complex dish sees morsels of beef stewed for hour upon hour alongside herbs and spices of both French and Vietnamese descent. Star anise, coriander seeds, lemongrass, cinnamon… it’s all in there. Served with banh mi or poured over noodles, think pho bo on steroids. The thick aromatic broth bursts with flavour, enveloping hunger-busting chunks of carrot, fresh basil leaves and the oh-so-tender meat. Grab your spoon and napkin as we go Goldilocks on the ultimate in Vietnamese comfort food.


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Simon Stanley

Born in the middle of nowhere in the middle of England, Simon spent the first decade of adulthood living in a neon-lit London office before hauling on a rucksack and travelling around the world with his partner. After a year on the road, and another grey British winter on the cards, he returned to Vietnam to swap suits and ties for pho and flip-flops. Simon is now a freelance writer based in Ho Chi Minh City.



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