The media has been reporting that home baking and cooking has gone significantly up in the last little while as people are looking towards new hobbies to keep them occupied during these social distancing times. I’ve read that yeast, flour and other ingredients are flying off the shelves. Luckily for us we had a good stock of them at home but at the same time I think we’ve stuck more to the savory side of cooking, which has always been something that’d the family has enjoyed. Nothing beats a good ol bowl of noodles.
Due to the time we have at home we have been cycling through some of recipes that we haven’t cooked in a while. Those who follow me on instagram know that I tend to default to Beef Pho when we’re craving noodles or five spiced brisket noodles. However, we’ve been craving something heartier to help us transition through this rainy spring weather while self isolating at home. Enter in Bo Kho. A tomato based brisket noodle soup full of flavour and body in the broth.
My parents have always made this while I was growing up and was part of their noodle rotation so it was natural that I also have it as one of my noodle go tos. One difference is my parents never operated with a recipe and I really had to work on pulling one together to share with everyone. I often cook based on feel and a method...so please take the amounts of each ingredients as a suggestion and adjust as you see fit. Also if there’s anything you’ve done to make it taste closer to the Bo Kho you’re used to, please do share!
In any case, hopefully during this time aside from baking bread or cookies you can also dive in some savory cooking and enjoy yourselves some noodles.
2lbs Beef Brisket, cut in to 1 inch cubes
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2Shallots or 1 small Onion, sliced
1 tbsp Annatto Seed Powder
1 tbsp Five Spice Powder
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
3 tbsp Fish Sauce
1-2 litres Water (also depends on how many servings you’re planning to make)
3-4 Carrots, cut in to large chunks
Optional: 2-3 Thai Chillies, halved
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
1 bunch Thai Basil
Place a medium sized stock pot on the stove over medium heat. Once the pot has warmed up, roughly about 2-3 mins, add in about 1 tbsp of canola oil.
Slowly add in the beef brisket and let brown on all sides and remove from the pot, set aside.
Add in the brown sugar and let it melt. Stir in the garlic, shallot or onions. Sweat them until they are slightly translucent.
Pour the brisket back in the pot, add in the annatto seed powder, five spice powder, tomato paste, soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir until well mixed.
Add in water until it covers the brisket or however much liquid you envision would be required to obtain the number of servings.
Cover the stock pot with a lid. Turn the heat on high until the pot boils. Make sure to watch so it doesn’t boil over. Once it’s bubbling add in the carrots, thai chilies (if using) turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3-4 hours. Checking occasionally to see that the brisket hasn’t begin to disintegrate, the it’s gone too far.
When the tenderness of the brisket is at the level that you’re hoping to achieve, typically around 2-3 hours of simmering. Remove the brisket and the carrots but allow the broth to continue to simmer for another hour or so to develop flavour.
When about ready to serve, taste the flavour of the broth, you may need to add a bit more fish sauce, salt and some sugar to adjust the flavours to your liking. Add the brisket and the carrots back in to warm.
In a small pot, heat water to boil. Cook rice noodles according to packet instructions. Place in a small bowl.
Soop the broth along with pieces of brisket and carrots over top the noodles. Sprinkle on green onions and place some thai basil over top to serve. You can also add cilantro and other herbs on top of the broth if you’d like.