Phá Lấu Bò is a Vietnamese beef intestine stew, quite similar to Bò Kho. However, Phá Lấu Bò is cooked with the addition of visceral organs, usually stomach, heart and intestines. As you might have guessed (because of the abundant use of visceral organs), Phá Lấu Bò originates in China even though it has been so widely adopted in Vietnam that today it’s considered to be one of the most popular Vietnamese street food dishes, especially among students in Saigon.
The beef visceral organs made delicious
Phá Lấu Bò is cooked from the various beef visceral organs such as a stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs and liver. What makes the stew special is the combination of other ingredients and spices: salt, sugar, onions, garlic, five flavours, coconut milk, wine, vinegar, cinnamon powder and pineapple. The most important thing when cooking internal organs is to cover up the unpleasant smell so typical for insides. Hence the use of pineapple and wine.
How to eat the Vietnamese Beef Intestines Stew (Phá Lấu Bò)
Phá Lấu Bò is usually served with bread and sweet-and-sour fish sauce but it’s also popular with Vietnamese Hủ Tiếu noodles. When eaten with bread (Bánh Mì), break a piece of it and dip it into Phá Lấu Bò. Let the broth soak in and eat it with the chunks of visceral meat.
Where to find Phá Lấu Bò and how much it costs
Phá Lấu Bò is not as easy to find as Phở Bò or Bún Bò Huế, but there are many Vietnamese semi-streetfood restaurants that offer this red-brown, spicy dish. Because it’s very similar to Bò Kho, these two dishes are often available from the same place. Therefore, when you find Bo Kho place, try to ask for Phá Lấu Bò. The cost of Phá Lấu Bò should be somewhere around 20k to 40k VND (1,6USD) and double that in more upscale restaurants.
A side note: Phá Lấu Bò is not to be confused with Phá Lấu (Heo) which is basically the same dish but cooked from visceral organs of pig – Pork Intestine Stew.
Also check Bò Kho – the Vietnamese beef stew. It’s a very similar dish cooked from a beef meat only and often sold at the same places as Phá Lấu Bò. Bò Kho is more suitable for those who are less culinary adventurous.