Stewed Beef Shank with Opo and Fermented Fish Sauce – Bap Bo ham voi Bau va Mam Nem

Bap Bo Ham voi Bau va Mam Nem 022319 (21)

This recipe is an inspiration using ingredients from Mikki Sensiri’s Lao home-style soup. I added green bok choy and used Vietnamese nam nem (fermented fish sauce). I was overwhelmed with the numerous “fermented fish sauce” available at the Asian markets so I just stick to the Vietnamese’s “Hieu Ong Gia Que Huong – mam nem pha san” that my mom always use. My challenge was trying to cook the beef shank to tenderness. I can finally say this is my fool proof pictorial recipe that helped me maintain the consistent taste every time. I would cook this in a 10-quart pot to freeze.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 90+ minutes
  • Serving size: Use a 8 or 10-quart pot
  • Stove: GE Spectra


about 2 lb beef shank (bap bo)
2  medium size opo squash (bau)
3/4 cup uncooked sweet rice (gao nep)
1/2 cup scallion
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
2 stalks of dark green/white mature Chinese bokchoy 
1 Tbsp oil

For the broth:

  • 4 liter of water or about 1 gallon
  • 1 cup fermented fish sauce (Hieu Ong Gia Que Huong)
  • 2 Tbsp minced galanga
  • 4 Tbsp or 2 stalks finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1+ Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1+ Tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 makrut or kaffir lime leaves minced
  • 4 Thai chilies or 1 tsp of homemade Thai chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Note: The Hieu Ong Gia Que Huong fermented fish sauce brand has two kind, “Mam Nem” and “Mam Nem Pha San”, make sure to get the “Mam Nem Pha San” because the other is too concentrated and salty.


1.  Soak the uncooked sweet rice in water and set aside. Slice the beef shank about 1/3 inch thick. Chop scallion and basil leaves. Prep other ingredients as shown.

2.  In the pot, heat up oil. Then pour the lemongrass, galanga, garlic, makrut, ginger, chili peppers in. Stir it around for about two minutes. Then add in the beef shank. Cook on high to brown the meat for about 3 minutes.

3. Pour in the 4 liter water and 1 cup mam nem pha san (fermented fish sauce). Add in the 1 Tbsp salt and 2 Tbsp sugar. Wait for broth to boil and discard the scum.

4. After discarding the scum, cover pot with lid and cook on medium low (#5) for 45 minutes. Set timer. During this time, strain the soaked sweet rice and grind or smash it. The grind sweet rice will be use as a thickener.

5. After 60 minutes, turn to high heat. Add in the opo squash until broth comes to hard boil. (This took about 7 minutes.)

6. As soon broth boils, add in the bok choy and then grinded uncooked sweet rice. Cook on high for 10 minutes.

7. Add in the coarsely chopped basil leaves and scallions. TURN OFF STOVE. Cover pot with lid for about 30 minutes. The sweet rice and meat will continue to cook during this time. Meat will be tender after this. I eat this stew by itself and also freeze it in quart size containers. I love this stew and I hope you enjoy it too!

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20

Leave a Reply