Jess's family celebrate Lunar New Year with this lemongrass-scented braise. Serve it with a crusty Vietnamese baguette or some thick rice noodles.






Skill level

Average: 4.8 (124 votes)


  • 2 kg gravy or chuck beef, cut into 4cm thick chunks 
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, peeled and cut into 8cm lengths 
  • 3 tbsp five spice powder 
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tbsp salt 
  • 1 tbsp curry powder 
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 


  • 2 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 400 ml coconut juice 
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 4cm lengths 
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch or cornflour 

To serve, per person

  • 1 Vietnamese baguette (bánh mì) or any crusty bread 
  • 100 g thick rice noodles (bánh phở)
  • Pepper and chilli oil, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 1 hour to overnight

  1. Marinate the beef by combining the five spice powder, hoisin sauce, curry powder, sugar, salt, pepper, sesame oil and fish sauce in a large tray. Add half of your garlic and onions and then add mix in the beef. Allow to marinate for at least an hour or ideally overnight. 
  2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven and add in a tablespoon of vegetable oil once hot. Add in the onions and allow to sweat for three minutes until soft and translucent. Then add in the garlic and cook until golden and fragrant. Add in the tomato paste and cook until dark red/brown colour.   
  3. Push the mixture to the side of the pot, so it doesn't cook further, and then begin browning the beef in batches, ensuring there is enough space between the pieces so they don’t steam. Once all the beef has browned, add it all back into the pot and add in the lemongrass, cooking for a minute until fragrant. 
  4. Add the coconut juice (you can also just use water) and add extra water until the casserole is fully submerged. 
  5. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Skim off any froth on the surface of the casserole with a spoon. 
  6. Add the carrot and allow to cook for another hour or until the beef is tender. 
  7. Add a tablespoon of cold water to a small bowl with the tapioca powder and stir into a paste. Add the paste to the casserole and combine until it has thickened the stock into a sauce. Add more paste if you’d like the casserole to be thicker. 
  8. Finally season with sugar and fish sauce to taste. 
  9. Serve in bowls and garnish with some pepper and chilli oil to your liking.
  10. 10. You can serve the casserole with either bread/Vietnamese baguette (bánh mì), served on the side to dip into the stew sauce, or thick rice noodles/phở noodles (bánh phở): boiled in a pot till soft, drained and then added to the casserole and eaten like an Asian ragu pasta. 


Celebrate Lunar New Year with SBS