Vietnamese Beef Pasta Stir-Fry (Nui Xao Bo) is composed of pasta, beef and your choice of vegetables, all coated with a tasty savory sauce. This quick and easy stir-fried pasta is great for any meals of the day.
What is Vietnamese Beef Pasta Stir-Fry
Vietnamese-style beef pasta (nui xao bo) is a stir-fry dish with pasta, beef and onions. You can add different kinds of vegetables for textures and colors. Everything is tossed with a savory stir-fry sauce that also has some sweetness and tanginess. The Vietnamese name of the dish is “nui xao bo” (“nui” means pasta, “xao” means stir-fry and “bo” means beef).
This pasta dish is very popular in Saigon. It combines Western ingredients and cooking methods with Asian counterparts. You can watch the short video below to see how it is cooked (the full video showing how to prep and cook the dish is in the recipe card at the end of the post).
The main ingredients for nui xao bo are pasta, beef, onions, garlic and your choice of vegetables.
- pasta: you will need to use a short type of pasta. I use fusilli because its spiral shape does a great job at trapping the sauce. Fusilli is also a great choice for Vietnamese macaroni soup.
- beef: I like to use flank steak in beef stir-fry dishes. You can use other cuts, just make sure you slice it thinly against the grain.
- vegetables: I often use carrots, bell pepper and baby bok choy. Other veggies I think you can use are yu choy sum, spinach and even mushrooms.
To make the stir-fry sauce, you will need soy sauce, oyster sauce, and ketchup. It may sound strange to you to see ketchup here, but in the South of Vietnam, people sometimes use it in cooking. In case you don’t like using ketchup, you can mix tomato paste with some water and sugar to your desired sweetness.
It takes only half an hour to cook this Vietnamese beef pasta stir-fry (nui xao bo) recipe. As most home kitchens don’t have a powerful stove as in restaurant kitchens, it’s best to stir-fry the beef and veggies separately to avoid steaming the beef.
Once you start stir-frying, the dish will come together quickly, so please prep all ingredients before turning on the stove. Also, if you want to cook this stir-fried beef pasta for a lot of people, I think you may need to work in batches. Crowding the pan with too much food may affect the results.
Please find detailed measurements and instructions as well as a full video showing how to prep ingredients and cook the dish in the recipe card below. You can enjoy the dish for lunch, dinner, or even as breakfast (Vietnamese people love savory breakfast).
I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Vietnamese Beef Pasta Stir-Fry (Nui Xao Bo)
- 8.5-10 oz beef, thinly sliced against the grain
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (and more for cooking the pasta)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, divided
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- olive oil
- 5 oz pasta, short type (I use fusilli)
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, julienned (or half a large carrot, around 2.5 oz)
- half a red bell pepper, julienned
- 3.5 oz baby bok choy, cut into sections (or other greens like yu choy sum, spinach)
For the Stir-fry Sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup (see Notes for substitute)
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
- In a bowl, toss thinly-sliced beef with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside for about 10 minutes while preparing other ingredients.
- Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl to make the stir-fry sauce. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness to your liking
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions, but undercook by 1 minute. Rinse under cold water, drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, add some oil. Once the oil is hot, add half of the remaining minced garlic, stir and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Then add sliced onions, stir briefly and then add julienned carrots and bell pepper. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add baby bok choy. Continue to stir and cook for another minute until all veggies are crisp-tender. Transfer to a plate.
- To the same pan, add a bit more oil. Sauté the remaining minced garlic for a few seconds until fragrant. Add beef to the pan in a thin layer (increase the heat to medium-high if needed), sear, stir and cook until beef is 70-80% cooked. Add pasta and half of the stir-fry sauce. Toss and cook for a few seconds to coat beef and pasta with sauce.
- Add the vegetables to the pan and give everything a quick toss. Then add the remaining sauce and continue to stir-fry quickly until everything is cooked through. Transfer to serving plates and serve immediately.