Bò Nhúng Dấm

bo nhung dam

Looking to impress guests and host the easiest Vietnamese dinner party ever?  We’ve got just the meal for you, called bò nhúng dấm. It’s basically a Vietnamese shabu-shabu and the best part is your guests can do the cooking.  The meats (as well as seafood) cook in a dilute broth of rice vinegar and aromatics and in  the typical Vietnamese way,  the meats are then rolled in a tidy spring roll to enjoy.  The cooking is done in the hotpot on the  table top butane burner (both found in most Asian groceries) and all you have to prepare are the broth and prep the accoutrements. Hong’s in laws and several out of town guests came to visit recently and we pulled this meal off with any pre-planning with great success and satisfaction.  You’ll often see this dish as part of 7 courses of beef restaurants. But to be honest, it’s our favorite course and merits it’s own distinction.

bo nhung dam

It’s a great meal to prepare in advanced. The morning of or even day before your bò nhúng dấm dinner, make the broth. It’s simply water (variations include fresh young coconut juice or even beer), rice vinegar, salt, sugar and aromatics. We also point out that this broth is not meant to eat as a soup, but only to cook and flavor the meat!  Use plenty of fresh lemongrass and onions, but the key to a fragrant broth is to fry up some shallots and garlic just before your party and then add that to the broth.  The aroma of perfectly golden brown shallots and garlic will just literally whet your appetite.

As for the proteins, use the freshest and best quality sliced beef you can.  We prefer getting our meats pre-sliced at the Korean or Japanese markets and recommend flavorful cuts such as ribeye.  We also love using seafood such as salmon, shrimp, or squid.  The accompanying Vietnamese herbs and vegetables are entirely flexible and you can use what you have readily available.  The spring rolls are dipped into mắm nem, a pungent fermented anchovy sauce that’s not for the faint of heart.  We think it’s delicious.  Just prepare the mắm nem by add generous amounts of freshly chopped pineapple and some birds eye chili and it’s the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and spicy dipping sauce.  If that’s not your thing, you can use a simple nuoc mam cham dipping sauce.

Here’s a quick video of our dinner party. We guarantee it’ll be the the easiest and one of the tastiest Vietnamese dinner party you’ll ever throw!

Bò nhúng dấm


Vinegar Broth
4 cups water
2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 onion thinly sliced
4 stalks of lemongrass, use only white portion, bruised
2 tbs cooking oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots and garlic, fried golden brown

sliced ribeye, tenderloin, pork loin, salmon, shrimp, squid, etc.

Rice paper, green lettuce, sliced green onions, sliced cucumbers, sliced pineapples, mint, perilla, basil etc.

mắm nem dipping sauce

1 small bottle of mắm nem
1 cup of pineapple, finely chopped
1-2 birds eye chili chopped


Vinegar Broth
Combine water, rice vinegar, and sugar under low heat and stir until dissolved. Add the bruised lemongrass and onions and bring to boil, then turn off and set aside. This can be done 1 day in advanced. Transfer to hotpot and set aside. Please note, this broth is not meant as a soup but only to cook and flavor the proteins.

mắm nem dipping sauce
Combine 1/2 bottle of the mắm nem with the chopped pineapple and birds eye chili (optional). Prepare this 1 day in advance if possible to let the flavors meld. Store in airtight container and set aside.

Wash and prepare all your herbs and veggies. When ready to serve, fry the shallots and garlic in a small pan. Light up the butane table top burner and bring the hotpot to a slow simmer. Add the fried garlic and shallots and dip and roll away! Tip: We like to cook our meats medium rare, basically a quick dunk in the broth and set it on the divider to avoid over cooking.

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23 Responses to “Bò Nhúng Dấm”

  1. 1

    Melanie — September 23, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    Everything looks so good. Can I ask you where you bought the hotpot cookware? Thanks

  2. 2

    The Ravenous Couple — September 23, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    most Asian markets will have the portable stove and hotpot pan.

  3. 3

    tho — September 24, 2013 @ 6:51 am

    ngon qua …i cant eat mam nem …huhuh

  4. 4

    N.A — September 24, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    you should use coconut water instead of water , it will be delicious

  5. 5

    The Ravenous Couple — September 24, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    yes, coconut water is definitely a great alternative. We included in the write up as such, but just wanted to use water for those who don’t have easy access to fresh coconut water.

  6. 6

    Anne — September 30, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Since there are so many brands of mam nem out there, which ones do you use and recommend? Thanks! 🙂

  7. 7

    The Ravenous Couple — October 8, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    can’t say we tried them all either, but there is bottle that says phu quoc mam nem in orange that we like.

  8. 8

    Thuy — October 20, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

    I’ve been looking for a Bo Nhung Dam recipe, thx so much for posting. I love my meat rare/med rare as well. I don’t know why I never thought of putting it on the divider until I’m ready for the next roll. Genius!

  9. 9

    15 Cool Vietnamese Recipes — November 4, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

    […] Recipe & Photo credit to theravenouscouple.local […]

  10. 10

    Thanh @ eat, little bird — November 18, 2013 @ 4:08 am

    This is one of my favourite dishes! I only use beef but I love your idea of using seafood as well. I also use coconut water for the broth but it’s good to know that just water works well also.

  11. 11

    alena — December 29, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

    For the part of “1/2 cup sliced shallots and garlic, fried golden brown”, is that 1/2 cup sliced shallots and 1/2 cup garlic or shallots and garlic both add up to 1/2 cup? So sorry for the stupid question. Thank you for your time.

  12. 12

    Southern Vietnam: Bò Nhúng Dấm | Food Touring — February 26, 2014 @ 11:38 pm

    […] Bò nhúng dấm is basically a Vietnamese shabu-shabu and the best part is your guests can do the cooking. The meats (as well as seafood) cook in a dilute broth of rice vinegar and aromatics and in the typical Vietnamese way, the meats are then rolled in a tidy spring roll to enjoy. The cooking is done in the hotpot on the table top butane burner (both found in most Asian groceries). (The Ravenous Couple) […]

  13. 13

    Katherine — May 2, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    So pleased to find a delicious and easy looking recipe for this dish. Keep it up. Love your recipes!

  14. 14

    Alex — June 7, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

    How did you get your ribeye cut?

  15. 15

    The Ravenous Couple — June 17, 2014 @ 9:40 am

    the meat department at our grocery has pre cut ribeye. check with asian markets as precut meats for hot pots are pretty common.

  16. 16

    peter — June 25, 2014 @ 2:34 am

    Not sure what I did wrong but the 2 cups of rice vinegar absolutley killed the broth to the point where we could not eat it

    Are you sure 2 cups is right

  17. 17

    The Ravenous Couple — August 22, 2014 @ 11:23 am

    sorry to hear that. the broth is actually not meant to be eaten as a soup, but only as a medium to cook the meat. hope that helps!

  18. 18

    Lea — September 4, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    What should be good beverage go with Bo nhung dam? Beer of course, how about red wine or cognac or whiskey?

  19. 19

    The Ravenous Couple — September 5, 2014 @ 10:30 am

    drink your hearts desire! but remember, the dam broth is not a traditional broth for eating!

  20. 20

    A Vietnamese Christmas Menu - Im Not the Nanny — December 18, 2014 @ 5:06 am

    […] I’m not sure if I want to make my mom’s beer, tomato, and onion broth or try something new. […]

  21. 21

    Questions987 — July 17, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

    For just two people it’s a easy Sunday night dinner. I cut the recipe in half for two. Also another tip: I julienne a Fuji or green apple and soak it in salt water for 2 minutes then add it to the veggies for the rolls. It adds a different layer of sour/sweet to the rolls.

  22. 22

    Peter — November 16, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

    Hi Peter here in New Zealand. I have been trying to buy one those half cooking pots for a long time but can not find them here in New Zealand. Can you help me on a out let that sells them and will allso send them here. I need one as some of my family are veggies.
    so they can not cook in the meat stock. Love your site. Regards Peter

  23. 23

    Beef in vinegar hotpot (Bo nhung dam) – Come on in, I hope you are hungry! — July 19, 2017 @ 7:49 pm

    […] (Adapted from The Ravenous Couple) […]

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