Vietnamese beef curry (cari bo)

Main Dish
5 servings
15 min
75 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 5
900 g / 2 libras stewing beef, cut into 5cm / 2 inch cubes

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 large onion, finely chopped

6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 fresh red chilies, finely chopped

3 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Madras

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

4 tablespoons fish sauce

4 carrots, cut into 2.5cm / 1 inch chunks

2 tablespoons cornflour

500 ml / 16 fl oz canned unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred


  • Combine the beef, ginger, onion, garlic, chilies, curry powder, turmeric, sugar, pepper, and 1 tsp of the salt.
  • Cover and leave to marinate for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and high heat.
  • Add the marinated beef and stir quickly to seal, about 3 minutes. Add 750ml / 1.25 pints hot water, the fish sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beef is almost tender, about 1 hour.
  • Add the carrots and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 15 minutes. Dissolve the cornflour in the coconut milk and stir the mixture into the stew.
  • Continue simmering, uncovered, stirring to prevent sticking, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
  • Ladle the curry into a soup tureen and serve immediately.


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