This Vietnamese style beef jerky has several great flavors that will have your taste buds saying WOW!
My wife loves Vietnamese style beef jerky and buys some every time we go to get some pho at our favorite local pho spot. The main ingredient that is undeniably present in this type of jerky is the turmeric powder. This is the dominant flavor which lets you know exactly what type of beef jerky you are eating.
She has been asking me to make a Vietnamese style beef jerky for some time now. So...... Since Happy Wife = Happy Life; I made some!
I used a beef bottom round when making this jerky. It was sliced against the grain making large jerky pieces as most Vietnamese style beef jerky is. Some call these large pieces "elephant ear" beef jerky.
Another important flavor that is part of this jerky is the Lemon Grass and Garlic. I love using my Garlic Press shown in the picture above when adding real garlic to my recipes. Pressing the garlic really gives a strong flavor, more than if just finely chopped. You just can't beat the flavor!
When making Vietnamese style beef jerky, you do not have the traditional "wet" marinade that is seen in most of my recipes. The "dry rub" is made of spices and a little bit of oil to help bind these ingredients and allow it to stick to the meat.
Coat each piece with the dry rub and then place in a bowl, cover with saran wrap, and allow to "marinate" in the fridge for 6-24 hours.
After marinating, place on a cooling rack and baking pan for the initial heat treatment and drying process. Bake in the oven with the door closed at 300°F for 10 minutes to bring the internal temperature of the jerky to 160°F. After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 170°F, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, and continue drying until finished.
I dried for 2 hours, flipped the pieces of jerky, and then finished it off for about another 2 hours. You can read more about making jerky in an oven here.
My wife helped me stage this beautiful picture. She insisted on having her little plant in the picture to give it that little extra. Note: that plant is NOT part of the ingredients!
I love this Vietnamese Beef Jerky! It starts with a hint of the lemon grass which gives it almost a Thai flavor. Towards the end you will get a spicy kick your butt flavor start to creep in. If you want to sweeten this jerky up (it is not sweet), you can add a little more sugar.
If you have never tried this type of jerky, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of flavor it has!
For more in depth directions on how to dry your beef jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods or click on the pictures below.
- 3 tablespoon lemongrass (minced)
- 2 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon five spice powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Trim all visible fat from the beef and place in freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
- While the meat is in the freezer, combine all ingredients of the dry rub in a shallow bowl.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain in large pieces for an easy chew.
- Coat both sides of each piece of sliced beef with the dry rub mixture and place in a bowl. Marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and place the jerky pieces on a cooling rack atop a lined baking sheet.
- Heat in a pre-heated oven with the door closed at 300F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and lower the temperature to 170F. Dry for about 4 hours, flipping the jerky pieces half way through the drying process.
- The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
Vu Vuong says
I made your recipe last week. I live in Sydney Australia so had to convert the measurements and i tripled the recipe. I ended up with about 600grm. It didn't last long so I'm making more starting with 2.5 kg of beef. It is soooo delicious. I also used normal dried chilli flakes and 1 tsp of my homegrown superhot dried chillies. Omg it just took it to another level. I wish i could send you some to taste or atleast a photo
Glad you enjoyed it! My wife and I really like this recipe, it doesn't last long in our house either. I'm not sure I could handle your homegrown superhot dried chilies!
Blaine Yuen says
Hey Will, thanks for all the time you put in & for sharing the fruits of your labor. I live near “Little Saigon” in Southern California & love this flavor of Vietnamese jerky, I don’t suppose you’ve experimented with or know of a recipe to recreate this one?
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I've never tried this and don't have anything like this flavor. It sounds pretty good though! I might have to try to make something like this.
Thank you so much for this recipe. I have missed this style of jerky for 15 years now and can't wait to make some. A friend used to get a bag or two for me when she visited L.A. and I have looked for a recipe for it since. I'm sure it was the simmered kind that was mentioned in a post and then probably reseasoned a bit before drying...I love all kinds of jerky, but this with the curry (turmeric) is at the top of my list!
No problem Linda! I have another Vietnamese recipe in the recipe book I just published. It's available on amazon here. If you aren't interested in buying the whole jerky book, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you that second Vietnamese jerky recipe from the book. My wife is Vietnamese and she LOVES it! It's a must try!
ed lawrence says
Being a part of a large Vietnamese family for many years, perhaps I can help. First there are many different styles of Jerky in Viet Nam. Some are very hard. They are generally cut up and used in salads much the same way we use croutons. This is what your jerky resembles. Others are soft and chewy. I noticed some folks asking you about this. Here's the secret. After applying the marinade, the meat is gently simmered until cooked, and then dried to make the jerky. Ta Da! I don't know how to upload an image but I'd be happy to send you one if you request it before I polish off my bag. Regards, Ed
Hey Ed! I might have waiting too long for a picture but I am curious about the boiling. I have tried boiling meat before and was not impressed with the results. You are simmering the meat in the marinade? How long do you simmer it for? Are you drying with a dehydrator?
Crazy for Jerky says
Thanks for all the great info.
Can this and other of your recipes be converted to be made with ground beef?
Yes! For this recipe I would just omit the oil if making for ground beef. Any recipe that does not have much liquid ingredients is good for ground beef. If a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of water or so, just omit it.
Can this be preared in a dehydrator, too? I'm really new to making jerky. I'm using the Excalibur 3926T, if that matters.
Definitely. You can totally use that dehydrator, I have it and love it.
Made a few of your jerky recipes and they have all been great. Was wondering if you have tried making a pho flavored beef jerky? I've been looking for a recipe for some time now and can't seem to find one. I've had a few friends ask for it recently and thought I would try to make a batch once I find a good recipe. Thanks for posting such a great site devoted to jerky! Keep the recipes flowing!
I have not tried to make a pho flavored jerky. That would probably taste REALLY good though. I am not sure how I would go about it. It's such a long process to get that flavor; it takes my wife and I 2 days to make pho. If you put together a good recipe or find one, let me know!
ed lawrence says
A Pho flavored jerky would be a tough one. I suppose you could get a small box of beef broth, add all of the various aromatics, and simmer until thickened to make a marinade. I would then marinade the meat for at least 4 days before drying.
Thanks for posting all your information. I too love jerky and like to experiment. I live in Australia and the Vietnamese jerky I have tried is very soft and yet seems quite dry. My wife loves soft jerky and I wonder if you know how they get it so soft?
keep up the good work.
Hey Derek! I am going to try making another Vietnamese jerky in the near future. My wife also loves it. I believe the really soft Vietnamese jerky is that way because they boil the meat first. I still need to try some experimenting, but as soon as I get the process down I'll post it on the site!