Lemongrass Beef Instant Pot

Lemongrass Beef In An Electric Pressure Cooker

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites – and is quite famous and can often be called Vietnamese Bo Kho – especially if it is served with rice noodles.

However, this lemongrass beef is very versatile – as you can see in the picture here we have served it up in a salad bun for lunch.

It was amazing – and I do not think I have ever had a better beef bun. It was fresh tasting from the salad but packed with all the complex flavors of sweet, and savoury lemony taste. It also has a really amazing aroma.

Surprisingly this tasty lemongrass beef recipe is super easy

Key Spices for Lemongrass Beef


Lemongrass is commonly used all through Asia – but it is most common in Southeast Asia.  Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam employ it in their cuisines for making dishes like Tom Yum Goong, Beef Rendang, and Laksa to name but a few. Plus see the top lemongrass substitutes if you do not have any in you kitchen.

Star Anise

Star Anise has a strong aniseed flavor, with a licorice-like aroma. It is the dominant flavor in Chinese five-spice powder.  Star anise is also used to flavor alcoholic drinks. The whole spice is an attractive eight-pointed star, and used carefully brings a great depth of flavor to this dish.


Ginger is another key ingredient – use a little at first, but do use it because you will notice a difference. Even if you do not actually taste the ginger directly – it actually influences and enhances the overall flavor of the dish.


Lemongrass Beef Instant Pot

The whole family is just going to love this Lemongrass Beef Recipe. 
You can serve it as a noodle salad bowl, a lunchtime salad bun. Or a more substantial evening meal with rice, noodles, pasta, or mashed potato.  The tender fall apart beef is infused with amazing aromas and flavors that are enhanced because they are cooked under pressure.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: lemongrass beef bo kho recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Rosie


  • 1.5 pounds 700g chuck roast beef - or other cuts of beef ok also
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cups 200ml unsalted stock of beef
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 stalks lemongrass cut into 4-inch lengths, crushed (see our photo on how to do easily)
  • 2 carrots cut into chunks
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon 15ml regular soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour for thickening the sauce after cooking


  • Brown Beef Chuck: Turn on the Instant Pot using the high heat of the Saute More function. Put in a very small amount of oil. Do not put the beef in until the Instant Pot says HOT. Place in the beef and do not stir - leave it till you see the bottom side going brown (you will see a little brown on the bottom of the instant pot). You want to not only brown but sear in the beef juices.
  • Take out the beef and let it rest on a plate.
  • Now add a little more oil to the bottom of the pot coating the all the bottom of the pot. Now saute the onion and herbs: Add in sliced onions and diced shallot first and saute until you see the onion going clear. Usually 2-3 minutes. The pot is still on high temp. Now add in diced garlic, sliced ginger, lemongrass, star anise, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and the fennel seeds. Stir with a wooden spoon and then saute for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Then add in the tomato paste, and saute for another minute.
  • Deglaze the Instant Pot by pouring in the beef stock and stirring with a wooden spoon all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. These bits have lots of flavors, which is why you want them not stuck on the bottom, but mixing in the stew mix.
  • Add in the diced beef and all the other ingredients now and give them all a good stir. Making sure the meat is covered as much as possible with the liquid.
  • Put on the lid and turn the venting knob to the sealing position (Automatically on some models). Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 30 minutes. Then let natural pressure release for approximately 10 minutes.  Check all the pressure is released and take off the lid.
  • Final seasoning and thickening. Taste the sauce and see if it needs any more salt, pepper, or sugar(if it is too salty). If it does add and taste again.
  • Now put the pot on saute more function and stir and let the sauce reduce for about 5 mins. If it is still too runny mix your cornflour in half a cup of water and add it little by little while stirring the sauce to get the consistency you want. Now you are ready to plate up with the side dish of your choice.


Real Nice Lemongrass Flavors


Calories: 405kcal

Assemble all of the Bo Kho ingredients

It really does help to get organized by getting all your ingredients measured and organized first.
Why – because when you have never made a recipe before – having all your ingredients ready means that you can firstly check them off against the recipe before you start so that nothing is missing.  Secondly – as you are moving through the cooking steps it lets you focus on the dish preparation rather than jumping around looking for or preparing a missed item.

lemongrass beef ingredients
Lemongrass Beef Ingredients

Searing the Cubed Beef 

This photo refers to step 1 of the recipe above set your instant pot to high temperature saute. 
Put in the beef and leave it on one side for about 3-5 minutes for it to go brown. Resist the urge to stir or turn your beef too early. 
What you are doing in addition to browning off the beef – is searing in the flavors by searing the sides beef, thus locking in the juices.
After that side is done – repeat for the other sides and again leave them to brown. You can see here in the photo that I am actually using tongs to turn the beef.  It takes a bit of extra time rather than just mixing – but the result is better. 
After the first two sides are done I do resort to a more general stir for the others.
See the next photo for the result.

saute beef lemongrass
Saute Beef lemongrass

Seared Beef

Now you have seared your beef and this is what it should look like.
Take the beef out and rest it in a bowl or on a plate while you move to the next saute step for the rest of the ingredients.

seared beef for bo kho
Seared Beef

Saute the Herbs Onions

Next add the prepared and sliced onions, shallots, and saute them first.
After they have started to change to a clear color – add in the diced garlic, star anise, lemongrass, ginger, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, carrots and just cook then for about one minute.
With the instant pot still on saute – add in the stock and “deglaze” the bottom of the pan by using a wooden spoon and scrape off any burnt sections from the bottom – this will give you even more flavor.
Then add everything else and you are ready to pressure cook.

Saute Herbs And Onions
Saute the Herbs Onions

Add back in the Meat and all Ingredients

Now it is time to place all of the ingredients into the instant pot and give them a good stir. When you are stirring make sure the beef is covered with liquid as much as possible.
Now you are ready to pressure cook this delicious dish.

ready to pressure cook the lemongrass beef
Ready To Pressure Cook

Completed Lemongrass Beef

This is what the completed Lemongrass beef stew looks like.
Take out the lemongrass, cloves and star anise before eating – they have only been used to flavour the dish. 

complete instant pot lemongrass beef
Beef Lemongrass Instant Pot Finished Cooking

Chef Tip –  Crush the Lemongrass

Here is a “cheffy” tip on how to prepare the lemon grass. Take a coffee tamper or similar heavy kitchen item and use it to crush the lemongrass. 
This really helps to release the loverly lemongrass flavor.

how to crush lemongrass pro tip
Crush Lemongrass
How To Crush Lemongrass

Finished Lemongrass Beef. 

Here are a few ways to prepare the dish.
In a salad bun – makes a delicious lunch.
You can also have the main dish at dinner time with rice, noodles, pasta, or even mashed potato.
This really is a versatile pressure cooker recipe and we hope you enjoy it. 

lemongrass beef Bo Kho
Ideas For Beef Lemongrass

What is Bo Kho?

Bò Kho is a very popular classic Vietnamese Beef Stew. The key ingredients include beef, carrots, onion, lemongrass, and spices (i.e. star anise, cinnamon). Follow this recipe and you will really have a great dish. This dish can also be made with oxtail for extra richness, flavors, and textures because of the bones.

See our Oxtail Recipe