Ultimate Suon Bo Nuong Recipe: Master Vietnamese Grilled Beef Ribs

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine firing up your grill and the air fills with the tantalizing aroma of Suon Bo Nuong, a beloved Vietnamese grilled beef rib dish known for its irresistible blend of sweet, savory, and smoky flavors. This culinary gem has captured the hearts of food lovers not just in its native Vietnam but around the globe.

Suon Bo Nuong is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of rich flavors and traditions. The marinade, a crucial component, combines ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, and fish sauce, creating a perfect harmony that tenderizes the ribs and infuses them with deep, complex flavors. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or simply craving something deliciously different, mastering this dish will definitely elevate your grilling game.


To make Suon Bo Nuong, you will need a combination of fresh ingredients for the meat and marinade. Here’s what you’ll need to gather to create this unique grilled delicacy.

Meat Preparation

  • 2 pounds of beef ribs, preferably short ribs
  • Water, for rinsing
  • Paper towels, for drying
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass, finely minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Juice of one lime

Equipment and Tools

To prepare Suon Bo Nuong to perfection, having the right equipment and tools is essential. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to bring this Vietnamese grilled beef rib dish to life:

  • Grill: Preferably a charcoal grill for that authentic smoky flavor, but a gas grill will work as well.
  • Grill tongs: Essential for flipping the ribs without piercing the meat, which can cause juices to escape.
  • Mixing bowls: You’ll need a variety of sizes for preparing the marinade and tossing the ribs.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Accuracy is key for the marinade to ensure the flavors are perfectly balanced.
  • Cutting board and sharp knife: For prepping the ribs and finely chopping the lemongrass, garlic, and other marinade ingredients.
  • Basting brush: To apply the marinade and keep the ribs moist and flavorful during grilling.
  • Aluminum foil: Useful for covering the meat if needed, to prevent excessive charring or to keep the ribs warm after grilling.

Ensure that each tool is clean and ready to use before you start preparing the marinade. This setup will not only make the cooking process smoother but also enhance your grilling experience.


To transform your Suon Bo Nuong into a memorable meal, follow these steps carefully. Let’s begin by marinating the beef to infuse it with delectable flavors.

Marinating the Short Ribs

  1. Mix the Marinade: Combine 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped lemongrass in a large bowl. Whisk these ingredients together until the sugar dissolves, ensuring a uniform mixture.
  2. Add the Ribs: Lay your beef ribs in a flat dish. Pour the marinade over the ribs, making sure all pieces are evenly coated. Use your hands to rub the marinade into the ribs for deeper flavor penetration.
  3. Refrigerate to Marinate: Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Allow the ribs to marinate for at least 3 hours, though overnight marinating is recommended for more robust flavors.
  1. Heat the Grill: About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, prepare your grill. If using a charcoal grill, distribute the coals evenly and light them to reach a medium-high heat. For a gas grill, preheat to a medium-high setting.
  2. Oil the Grates: Once the grill is hot, use tongs to hold a paper towel soaked in cooking oil and rub it over the grill grates. This step prevents the ribs from sticking and ensures easy flipping.
  3. Grill the Ribs: Place the marinated ribs on the grill. Cook for about 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until the ribs attain a nice char and are cooked through. Use your basting brush to apply any remaining marinade onto the ribs while they grill for added moisture and flavor.
  4. Rest Before Serving: Transfer the grilled ribs to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is succulent and flavorful.

Cooking Directions

Now that your short ribs are marinated and the grill is fired up, it’s time to get cooking. Follow these steps to perfectly grill your Suon Bo Nuong.

Grilling the Short Ribs

  1. Preheat your Grill: Heat your grill to a medium-high heat, aiming for about 350°F to 400°F. This temperature range is ideal for grilling beef ribs.
  2. Oil the Grates: Lightly brush the grill grates with oil to prevent the ribs from sticking. Use a high smoke point oil such as canola or vegetable oil for best results.
  3. Place the Ribs on the Grill: Lay the marinated short ribs on the grill. Make sure they are not overcrowded to ensure even cooking and proper char.
  4. Grill the Ribs: Allow the ribs to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. The goal is to achieve a nice sear with grill marks and caramelization of the sugars in the marinade.
  5. Flip Regularly: Use tongs to flip the ribs every few minutes. This will help cook them evenly and prevent them from burning.
  6. Baste the Ribs: If you have leftover marinade, you can baste the ribs occasionally as they grill. This adds extra flavor and moisture.
  7. Monitor the Heat: If there are flare-ups or too much smoke, lower the heat or move the ribs to a cooler part of the grill.
  1. Use a Meat Thermometer: To ensure your ribs are cooked through but still juicy, use a meat thermometer. The ideal internal temperature for beef ribs is about 145°F for medium rare.
  2. Look for Visual Cues: The meat should be browned on the outside and should start to pull away from the bone slightly.
  3. Perform the Tenderness Test: Poke the ribs with a fork or pinch them with tongs. They should be tender and the meat should easily yield to pressure.
  4. Let Them Rest: Once done, remove the ribs from the grill and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful when you slice into it.

Serving Suggestions

After mastering the art of making Suon Bo Nuong, pairing it with the right side dishes and garnishes enhances the overall dining experience. Here’s how you can elevate your meal.

Side Dishes

Pair your Suon Bo Nuong with sides that complement its rich flavors. A popular choice is jasmine rice, which provides a subtle, slightly sweet base that absorbs the ribs’ savory juices. A refreshing option is a Vietnamese noodle salad, known as Bun, featuring rice vermicelli mixed with fresh herbs like mint and cilantro, crisp vegetables, and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts. For a more hearty companion, try serving these succulent ribs with grilled vegetables or a simple cucumber salad dressed with vinegar and sugar to balance the sweetness and smokiness of the beef.


Enhancing Suon Bo Nuong with the right garnishes can dramatically elevate the flavor profile of your dish. Consider topping the grilled ribs with a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions and a small handful of fresh cilantro leaves to add a burst of freshness. A squeeze of lime over the top right before serving injects a tangy zest that complements the smoky and sweet flavors. For a hint of heat, thinly sliced fresh chili peppers or a dab of chili sauce on the side allows individual diners to adjust the spice level to their liking.


Now that you’ve got the scoop on crafting the perfect Suon Bo Nuong it’s time to light up your grill and put your skills to the test. Remember the joy is as much in the making as it is in the eating. Gather your friends and family for a delightful meal that promises to be as enriching as it is delicious. With each bite you’ll not only savor the exquisite flavors but also the rich cultural tapestry that this dish represents. Happy grilling!

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