Introduces by the early Mongolian
tribesman, and adopted by the Chinese, bo nhung dam is one of the most
ancient ways of cooking meat. Traditionally, it was made in a Chinese lau,
a large turban-shaped pan containing the broth, with a charcoal stove in
the centre to keep the liquid simmering. The modern method simply requires
a pot over a fuel burner, just like a fondue. The Vietnamese serve this
with a simple table salad, rice wrappers and a dipping sauce. Once all the
meat has been cooked, the fragrant broth is poured into bowls to drink.
For the beef stock
For dipping sauce
Shallots, finely chopped
Fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
Lemon grass, cut into several pieces and bruised
White rice vinegar
Beef fillet, thinly sliced into rectangular strips
Ground black pepper
Meaty beef bones
Onion, peeled and quartered
Fresh root ginger, chopped
White rice vinegar
Lime, squeezed and juiced
Garlic, peeled and chopped
Thai chilies, seeded and chopped
Preserved anchovy fillets, drained
Slices of pineapple, centre removed and flesh chopped
To make the stock, put the beef bones into
a deep pan with the other ingredients and cover with 900ml water. Bring
the water to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1-2
hours. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and gently boil the stock for a
further 30-40 minutes, or until it has reduced. Strain and season with
salt. Measure out 300 ml and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. In a
bowl, mix the vinegar and lime juice with the sugar, until the sugar
dissolves. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and chilies
together to form a paste.
Add the anchovy fillets and pound them to
a paste, then add the pineapple and pound them it to a pulp. Stir in the
vinegar mixture, and set aside.
When ready to eat, put 15 ml of sesame oil
into a heavy pan, wok or fondue pot. Quickly stir fry the garlic,
shallots, ginger and lemon grass until fragrant and golden, then add the
sugar, vinegar, beef stock and the remaining sesame oil.
Bring the liquid to the boil, stirring
constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Season to taste with salt and
plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer the pan or fondue to a lighted
burner at the table. Lay the beef fillet on a serving dish, and put the
dipping sauce in a serving bowl. Using chopsticks or fondue forks, each
person cooks their own meat in the broth and dips it into the sauce.
After all the meat has been cooked, serve