Vietnamese beef jerky (thit bo kho)


What makes beef jerky Vietnamese? It’s extra sweet, very unlike Western beef jerky. It can also be quite spicy thanks to the extra dose of chilli!

I love beef jerky! It’s quite common in Vietnam eaten as is, or in a green papaya salad or rice paper snack, bánh trang trộn (recipe to come). I think that’s why I love these dishes so much! Every time we travel to North America, we always brought back tons of jerky even though it’s quite expensive. It never occurred to me to make my own until now!

In Sweden, there’s a cut of beef called lövbiff. This cut is perfect for making beef jerky as there’s no fat and it’s cut against the grain, making the jerky extra tender if your choppers can’t handle the chewiness 😉


  • 1kg lean beef, slice thinly about 5mm thick
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons plum wine or sherry
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons five spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt


Step 1

Mix all the spices together.

Step 2

Coat the meat with the spice mix, ensuring that each slide of meat is coated entirely with the spices.

Step 3

Place the meat in the fridge to marinade for 4-6 hours.

Step 4

Fry the meat in a dry frying pan on medium heat until cooked. Do this in several batches so as to not overcrowd the meat in the pan.

Step 5

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Step 6

Place the meat on pans lined with baking paper. Do not overlap the meat. Dry the meat in the oven for about 45-60 minutes or until the meat is dried - the meat cracks but does not break when it is bent. Repeat this step until all the meat is dried.

Step 7

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for upp to a month or longer in the freezer.

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