Authentic Thit Bo Xao Cari Recipe: A Taste of Vietnamese Street Food

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine the vibrant streets of Vietnam, bustling with energy and filled with the enticing aromas of street food. One such aroma that might catch your attention is thit bo xao cari, a delightful beef stir-fry infused with the rich, warm flavors of curry. This dish combines tender slices of beef with a colorful array of vegetables, all coated in a fragrant curry sauce that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.


In this section, you’ll find the necessary ingredients to recreate the rich flavor profile of thit bo xao cari right in your kitchen. Gather these fresh components to capture the essence of a Vietnamese street food classic.

Meat and Marinade

  • 1 lb beef flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 bell pepper, color of your choice, sliced into strips
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (for cooking)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • Scallions, chopped (optional, for garnish)

Equipment Needed

To bring the vibrant flavors of thit bo xao cari to life right in your kitchen, you will need some basic but essential cooking equipment. These tools will help you expertly handle and cook the ingredients, ensuring each element of the dish comes together perfectly:

  • Wok or large skillet: Central to making any stir-fry, a wok or large skillet provides the high heat necessary for quick cooking that keeps the beef tender and vegetables crisp.
  • Sharp chef’s knife: For efficiently slicing the beef and chopping vegetables. A sharp knife ensures clean cuts and safe preparation.
  • Cutting board: Ideally, have at least two—one for your meat and another for vegetables—to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Mixing bowls: You’ll need a couple of mixing bowls: one for marinating the beef and another smaller one for mixing the stir-fry sauce.
  • Measuring spoons and cups: These are crucial for measuring out your soy sauce, fish sauce, curry powder, and other ingredients accurately to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Wooden spoon or spatula: To keep the ingredients moving in your wok or skillet. This tool will help you stir-fry the mixture effectively without damaging your cookware.
  • Serving dish: To present your thit bo xao cari beautifully. Opt for a large platter that can accommodate the colorful array of beef and vegetables topped with optional garnishes.
  • Tongs: These will make it easier to flip and move the beef strips in the hot skillet, ensuring they cook evenly on all sides.

With these tools at your ready, you’re set to tackle the cooking process with confidence and create a dish that’s bursting with the authentic tastes and textures of thit bo xao cari.

Prep Work

Before you start cooking, a little prep work can make all the difference. Here’s how to get your ingredients ready for the perfect thit bo xao cari.

Marinating the Beef

First, slice 500 grams of beef tenderloin into thin, bite-sized strips, ensuring they are uniform for even cooking. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Add the beef strips to the bowl, making sure they are thoroughly coated with the marinade. Let the beef marinate for at least 30 minutes to soak up all the flavors, or for optimal results, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Preparing Vegetables

While the beef is marinating, start prepping your vegetables. Peel and thinly slice 2 medium onions. Seed and slice 2 bell peppers—one red and one green—into strips. Peel and cut 2 carrots into matchsticks for a delightful crunch, and trim 100 grams of snow peas. These vibrant vegetables not only add color but also an array of textures to your dish, making each bite both appealing and delicious. Keep the vegetables separate after cutting, as they will be added to the wok at different cooking times to ensure each retains its ideal texture.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you’ve prepared your ingredients, let’s dive into the cooking process to bring this dish to life. These steps will guide you to create a savory and aromatic plate of thit bo xao cari.

Sautéing the Aromatics

  1. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat.
  2. Add two minced garlic cloves and one finely chopped onion to the hot oil. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  3. Once the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant, typically after about 2-3 minutes, stir in one tablespoon of curry powder. This will release the rich, aromatic flavors essential for the base of your stir-fry.

Cooking the Beef

  1. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the marinated beef to the skillet.
  2. Spread the beef in an even layer and let it sear without stirring for about 1-2 minutes. This allows the beef to develop a rich, caramelized texture.
  3. After searing, stir the beef to cook evenly on all sides until it changes color, which should take about 3-4 minutes. Make sure it’s mostly cooked through but not dry or tough.
  1. Reduce heat to medium. To the skillet, add the prepped vegetables: sliced bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas.
  2. Stir everything together to coat the vegetables in the curry-infused oil and meat juices.
  3. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the mixture simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still crisp.
  4. Check for seasoning and adjust with a little more soy sauce or curry powder if necessary.

With these steps, your thit bo xao cari will come together beautifully, filled with flavors and ready to be served hot.

Assembling the Dish

Now that your beef is caramelized and your vegetables are tender, it’s time to bring all the components of your thit bo xao cari together. This final assembly will ensure that each bite is infused with the rich, aromatic flavors of curry and the delightful textures that characterize this dish.

Combine the Ingredients

  1. Start by adding the sautéed garlic, onion, and curry powder mixture to the pan with the beef. Stir well to ensure that the beef pieces are evenly coated with the spices.
  2. Introduce the bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas to the pan. Mix everything thoroughly to distribute the vegetables and ensure they’re embraced by the warm spices.

Simmer and Season

  1. Pour in about a quarter cup of coconut milk to bind all the ingredients together into a luscious sauce. Keep the heat at medium and let the mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes. During this time, the sauce will slightly thicken, and the flavors will meld beautifully.
  2. Taste your creation and season with salt and pepper if needed. This is your moment to adjust the seasoning to your liking, considering that some may prefer a stronger or more subtle curry flavor.
  1. Once the dish is thoroughly heated and the sauce has reached your desired consistency, remove the pan from heat.
  2. Transfer the thit bo xao cari to a serving platter or dish it out directly onto individual plates. Garnish with fresh cilantro or basil leaves for a pop of color and an extra hint of freshness.

Each step is crucial in ensuring your thit bo xao cari is not just cooked, but crafted with care, ready to transport you and your diners straight to the bustling streets of Vietnam with every flavorful spoonful. Enjoy your homemade culinary masterpiece hot, ideally paired with jasmine rice or a fluffy baguette to soak up the delicious curry sauce.

Serving Suggestions

After preparing the aromatic and flavorful Thit Bo Xao Cari, complementing this dish with the perfect sides and presentation can elevate your meal to the next level. Here are some ideal ways to serve this Vietnamese curry beef stir-fry:

  • Steamed Jasmine Rice: The traditional and perhaps the most popular accompaniment, jasmine rice offers a sweet fragrance that pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of the curry. Spoon the Thit Bo Xao Cari over a bed of freshly steamed rice for a classic combination.
  • Vermicelli Noodles: For a lighter option, serve your dish with vermicelli rice noodles. These thin noodles will soak up the curry sauce wonderfully, providing a delightful textural contrast to the tender beef and crunchy vegetables.
  • Fresh Baguette: If you’re looking to step away from traditional sides, a fresh, crusty baguette can be a fantastic choice. The bread is perfect for sopping up the flavorful curry sauce, adding a satisfying crunch to your meal.
  • Cucumber Salad: Offer a refreshing cucumber salad on the side to cleanse the palate. Dress thinly sliced cucumbers with a mix of vinegar, sugar, salt, and a pinch of chili flakes. This salad adds a crisp, cooling element to balance the warm spices of the curry.
  • Garnishes: Enhance the visual appeal and flavor of your dish with garnishes. Sprinkle chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, or a few sprigs of Thai basil over the top. For an added kick, consider a few slices of fresh red chili.

By serving the Thit Bo Xao Cari with one or more of these suggestions, you ensure a well-rounded and exciting meal experience. Each component not only complements the dish but also brings its own unique flavor and texture to the table, making your culinary creation even more enjoyable.


Now that you’ve got the scoop on crafting your own thit bo xao cari it’s time to bring the heart of Vietnamese cuisine into your kitchen. Imagine the joy and satisfaction as you serve this aromatic dish bursting with flavors right at your dining table. It’s not just a meal; it’s an invitation to explore and enjoy a rich culinary tradition. So why wait? Gather your ingredients and let the adventure begin. Here’s to cooking up a storm and making every bite count!

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