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Bowl of beef stew with carrots. Garnished with cilantro.

Whole30 Vietnamese Beef Stew

This Whole30 Beef Stew is hearty and rich with authentic Vietnamese flavors like lemongrass, fish sauce, star anise, and five spice powder. Enjoy a hearty and satisfying bowl of goodness on your Whole 30 journey. 
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 5 people
Calories 431 kcal


  • Stock pot or dutch oven


Beef Marinade

  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes well marbled
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce Red Boat brand is whole30 compliant
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Beef stew broth

  • 4 cups Whole30 approved low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into thirds and smashed

Optional garnish

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut beef into 1 inch cubes. Trim excess fat. Season with garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, coconut amino and fish sauce.
  • Peel and discard outer dry layers of the lemongrass. Trim the end of the lemongrass with a sharp knife. Then cut into thirds. Use a meat tenderizer or rolling pin and smash the lemongrass to bruise it. Set aside.
  • Add oil to a stock pot or dutch oven and heat on high. When hot, add the meat in a single layer, do not crowd. Cook in two batches to ensure a brown sear on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. Take the meat out and set aside.
  • Add more oil as needed. Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes on medium high heat until soft. Then add lemongrass, star anise and saute until fragrant about 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.
  • Add 1 cup chicken broth to the pot. Scrape off bits of the brown meat bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Add remaining 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups filtered water, star anise and bay leaf. Take to a boil on high heat.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
  • Remove lid and skim the fat and scum from top of the stew with a ladle.
  • Add the cut carrots and simmer on low heat with the lid on until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove lid and skim any fat and scum from the top of the stew. Spoon the carrots out and increase heat to medium high. Take the stew to a rolling boil to reduce it, about 30 minutes.
  • When done, remove the lid and skim any scum off the top of the stew.
  • Discard pieces of lemongrass, star anise and bay leaf.
  • Optional garnish with cilantro, pinch of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime.
  • For Whole30, serve over cauliflower rice or with pieces of roasted sweet potatoes.


Chicken broth -make sure to read the label closely for Whole30 compliance. Most chicken broths on the market contain cane sugar.
After reducing the stew, the stew is packed full of flavor.  If needed, add additional coconut aminos for a bit more sweetness or fish sauce for more saltiness. Adjust to your taste.


Serving: 5gCalories: 431kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 41gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 1565mgPotassium: 1251mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 15325IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 6mg
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