Lemongrass Beef Instant Pot

Tasty and Easy

Pressure Cooker Lemongrass Beef

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 savory lemony taste. It also has a really amazing aroma.

Surprisingly this tasty lemongrass beef recipe is super easy
instant pot lemongrass beef frozen
What is Lemongrass Beef?
Lemongrass beef is many people’s favorite dish -  and they will often order it from a Vietnamese food court as Bo Kho. However, it is one of the most flexible dishes - as you will see if you make this recipe.
The Lemongrass Beef is usually served with rice or rice noodles and in a bowl. However we in this recipe also served it up with a salad and it was really nice, plus a few days later we took a portion we had frozen and had it with mashed potatoes - and it was amazing. The flavors had actually intensified and this is common for many Asian dishes to get better over time. The flavors of the lemongrass and other herbs and spices blend to deliver a deliciously complex sweet and savory dish with the added benefit of umami-lemony flavors. 

This dish really is a must-try.

Key Spices for Lemongrass Beef

Lemongrass

Lemon grass 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.

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

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.

Click Here to see key Lemongrass Beef recipe steps.

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instant pot bo kho vietnamese

Lemongrass Beef Instant Pot

  • Author: Rosie
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale

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)

 


Instructions

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.


Notes

Real Nice Lemongrass Flavors


Nutrition

  • Calories: 405

Keywords: lemongrass beef bo kho recipe

Lemongrass Beef - Recipe Photos

lemongrass beef ingrdients

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.



The small white bowls you see above are great for preparing your ingredients in advance - I got mine on Amazon - they are not expensive and well worthwhile.

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
seared beef for bo kho

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.

See the next photo.

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.
lemon grass beef prepare
ready to pressure cook the lemongrass beef

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.

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
how to crush lemongrass pro tip

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.

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. 

Love to hear any comments or questions you make have. Best wishes - Rosie and Jim.
instant pot bo kho vietnamese
How to get the most flavor out of lemongrass.

We also have a great Irish Beef Stew Recipe here and we even made some pies out of it with the leftovers.

irish pie
Irish Beef Stew Instant Pot

rose chef
Hello !
I'm Rose
Welcome To One Pot Dish. I have spent 20 years as a professional Chef.  I make and test all my recipes before I share them with you.
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