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Tofu & King Oyster Mushroom Stew

Similar to bò kho in flavor (beef stew) but much quicker to make, fried tofu and king oyster mushrooms are simmered in a broth seasoned with lemongrass, chilis and a blend of spices. The king oyster mushrooms add a satisfying meaty texture, while the combination of chili peppers and spices gives a bold depth of flavor. The dish packs such a punch that you may even forget that you’re eating a vegetarian dish!
Servings 4
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins


  • 150 g fried tofu
  • 2 king oyster mushrooms
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp annatto seed oil*
  • 3 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  • 2-3 bird's eye chili peppers, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp bột bò kho*
  • water, boiled
  • Vietnamese basil and culontro


Ingredients prep

  • Slice the stem of the mushrooms into ¾ cm rounds and the mushroom caps the same thickness. Cut the onion in half lengthwise from root to stem, then quarter each half lengthwise. Slice the carrots into ½ cm rounds.

Preparing the dish

  • Heat up the oil over high heat in a medium sized cooking pot and add the lemongrass, chili peppers, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Once fragrant, stir in the bột bò kho and reduce the heat to medium high. Then, add the fried tofu, mushrooms, carrots, onions and enough of the boiled water to cover about ¾ of the ingredients in the pot. Allow to simmer for about 12-15 minutes. If you prefer to have more of a crunch to the carrots and onions, you can add them in 3-4 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Finish by garnishing with finely chopped basil and culontro.


I prefer to serve this over rice, but it can also be enjoyed with a baguette by dipping it into the sauce.
*Notes - I make my own annatto seed oil by heating about 1 teaspoon of annatto seeds with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil (not olive) over medium-low heat for 6-7 minutes. Bột bò kho is a spice mixture of paprika, fennel seeds, onions, star anise, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves that can be found at asian grocery stores. For a vegan version of this dish, the fish sauce can be omitted and replaced with a little bit more soy sauce or salt.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: lemongrass, Mushrooms, Tofu, Vegetarian