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Pressure Cooker Bo Who (Vietnamese Beef Stew) by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

This Instant Pot Vietnamese Beef Stew (a.k.a. Bo Kho) recipe is flavored with lemongrass and umami. It's Whole30-friendly Paleo Asian comfort food.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: gluten-free, Instant Pot, keto, low carb, paleo, Pressure Cooker, Primal, Whole30
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 494kcal
Author: Michelle Tam


  • ½ teaspoon ghee
  • 5 pounds bone-in short ribs OR 2½ pounds grass fed beef brisket or chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1½-inch cubes (all work equally well)
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • tablespoons peeled and microplaned fresh ginger
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes drained and crushed by hand
  • 3 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 large stalk lemongrass trimmed of loose leaves, cut into 3-inch lengths, and bruised with a heavy object (e.g. ramekin, meat pounder, broad side of kitchen knife—you get the idea)
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt


  • Prep your ingredients! If you’re unfamiliar with lemongrass, check out this tutorial.
  • Grab your pressure cooker and melt the ghee over medium high heat. If you have an Instant Pot, use the “Sauté” function to heat the fat. Dry off the ribs and sear them in the pressure cooker.
  • Fry the beef in batches because you don’t want to overcrowd them in the pressure cooker. Transfer the seared beef to a separate bowl or plate.
  • Toss in the onions and saute until translucent.
  • Add the curry powder, ginger, seared beef, diced tomatoes, fish sauce, applesauce, star anise, smashed lemongrass stalks, and bay leaf. Pour in the broth.
  • Cover and lock the lid of your pressure cooker.
  • If you’re using an Instant Pot, press the clear/off button before pressing the “Manual” or "Pressure Cook" button. Program the Instant Pot to cook for 50 minutes under high pressure. (If you’re using cubed brisket or chuck roast, set it to cook for 35 minutes under high pressure.) Once the pot is programmed, walk away.
  • Using a stove-top pressure cooker? You won’t have all those buttons to press; instead, just cook covered on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then, reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 45 minutes if you’re cooking short ribs, and 30 minutes if you’re cooking cubed brisket or chuck roast.
  • When the stew is finished cooking, turn off the pressure cooker. Turn the valve at the top of the lid to release the pressure immediately.
  • Once the pressure’s dropped, pop open the lid and add the carrots. Cook for 7 minutes under high pressure.
  • This time, when the stew finishes cooking, turn off the pressure cooker and let the pressure drop naturally. If the pressure hasn’t dropped completely after 15 minutes, turn the valve at the top of the lid to fully release the pressure.
  • Adjust the stew for seasoning with salt and fish sauce if needed.
  • Dig in right away—or store the stew in the fridge or freezer to eat at a later date. The stew will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge and several months in the freezer.
Tried this recipe?Mention @nomnompaleo or tag #nomnompaleo!


Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 22g | Fiber: 3g