Dried bamboo provides an earthy component to this braised dish. While I would normally use pork, I happened to have beef on hand and it worked just fine.
Making caramel sauce is a must for this dish to provide color and flavor to the meat. If you're not going to do this step, then skip the sugar in the recipe as the coconut juice will provide plenty of sweetness on its own. The coconut juice will mostly cook off, leaving behind a slight sweetness to add depth. If you don't want any coconut juice at all, then simply substitute with water.
Thit Bo Kho voi Mang (Vietnamese Braised Beef with Bamboo Shoots)
For a 2-quart pot, you'll need:
Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce)
1 lb beef stew meat, or any beef cut into chunks
As many Bamboo shoots as you wish, soaked and drained
1 medium onion, sliced or diced, and/or a few cloves of garlic if you wish
1 cup fresh coconut juice, or substitute with Coco Rico
About 1 tblsp fish sauce, or more according to taste
About 1 tsp black pepper
Soak bamboo shoots in water for about 15 minutes to soften. I used about a dozen pieces. Drain. Cut into 2- or 3-inch sections for ease in eating.
Cut meat into 2-inch wide chunks. Slice or dice onions. Set aside.
Make Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce). When the sugar caramelizes, add the meat and stir. Add the onion, bamboo shoots, and about 1 cup of coconut juice, or half a can of Coco Rico, and enough water to cover the meat with about an inch of water over. Stir again to mix it up. If you like sweeter meat, you can use additional coconut juice in lieu of the water. Taste and adjust sugar or fish sauce if necessary.
Turn heat down to medium low and allow to simmer for at least half an hour, ideally an hour. The water will cook down and meld everything together -- the beef and onions will soften, the earthiness of the bamboo shoots, the almost burnt sugar takes on a deep molasses flavor, the saltiness of the fish sauce balances it all. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve with rice.
1 year ago today, Grapevine Mediterranean Cuisine - La Verne (Closed).
2 years ago today, dangling strings and finishing up some quilt projects.