This Instant Pot Beef Pho / Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo) recipe can be made in less than half-the time as the stove-top method without skimping on essential ingredients and authentic flavors. Using the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, you can make rich and aromatic pho stock served with a plethora of delicious meats quickly and easily. This pressure cooker recipe is really effortless. There’s a bit of prep work to clean the meats and char the aromatics. Then toss everything into the Instant Pot and let it do the hard work. While the stock is cooking, boil the rice noodle and prepare the fresh herbs and vegetables. Serve this amazing Instant Pot Beef Pho to your family and friends and they’ll think you spent hours making it. It’ll be our little secret! 🙂 Enjoy!
Watch the video for instructions.
Notes on the Instant Pot Beef Pho / Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo) Recipe, Tips and Tricks
My secret ingredient: beef short ribs. I used beef short ribs instead of beef leg or knuckle bones as they have less marrow. These “cleaner” rib bones are wonderfully flavorful and perfect for making a quick and easy stock. Using the short ribs, you can skip parboiling which is often needed to remove impurities from the bones for a clean and clear stock. Just soak the meat in the salt and vinegar solution for 10 minutes and this will clean and remove any residual blood which often makes the stock cloudy. You’ll love how rich and flavorful the stock is with this recipe.
Charring the onion and ginger adds a wonderfully smoky and layered flavor to the pho stock. Don’t skip this crucial step. Some options instead of charring over an open flame: 1) Broil in the oven for 15-20 minutes. 2) Char use a cast iron pan or stove-top grill. With all methods, rotate the onion and ginger for even charring. Keep close watch to prevent scorching.
Essential pho spices make the soup wonderfully fragrant and delicious. Add more if you prefer more robust flavors and aromas.
One pot cooking at its best! Layer the various meats, aromatics and spices in the inner pot, filling it about half-way. Avoid over-filling because you still need plenty of room for the water. Add boiling water just to the “Max” line. Here’s a pressure cooking tip: Using boiling water reduces the time it takes the Instant Pot to pressurize.
It takes approximately 30 minutes for Instant Pot to pressurize and start the cooking timer. The pressure cooking time is 30 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release of 15-20 minutes. If you can spare the time, allow for a full pressure release which takes about 45 minutes.
I have a second inner pot which comes in really handy. (It has a non-stick surface which isn’t essential for this recipe but I bought it for this reason.) In the recipe, I filter the stock into this second inner pot and then return it to the Instant Pot. If you don’t have a second inner pot, filter the stock into a large bowl or saucepan. You can wash the inner pot and return the filtered stock into the clean inner pot or simply keep the filtered stock in the saucepan and then heat over the stove when it’s time to serve.
Instant Pot Beef Pho / Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup / Pho Bo
Instant Pot Beef Pho / Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup / Pho Bo
This Instant Pot Beef Pho / Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup / Pho Bo recipe can be made in less than half-the time as the stove-top method without skimping on essential ingredients and authentic flavors. Using the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, you can make rich and aromatic pho stock served with a plethora of delicious meats quickly and easily. This pressure cooker recipe is really effortless. There's a bit of prep work to clean the meats and char the aromatics. Then toss everything into the Instant Pot and let it do the hard work. While the stock is cooking, boil the rice noodle and prepare the fresh herbs and vegetables. Serve this amazing Instant Pot Beef Pho to your family and friends and they'll think you spent hours making it. It'll be our little secret! 🙂 Enjoy!
- 2 lbs beef short ribs , 1 1/2 lb for 6 Quart
- 2 lbs oxtail , 1 1/2 lb for 6 Quart
- 1.5 lbs beef brisket , 1 lb for 6 Quart
- 3 1/2 Tbsp salt , for cleaning the meats
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar , for cleaning the meats
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 1/2 inch knob ginger
- 1/3 lb white radish
- 1 oz rock sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 12 cups boiling water
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole star anise
- 1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 5 cloves
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 14 oz rice sticks or rice noodle
- 1/3 lb eye of round or filet mignon , for rare beef
- 1/4 lb beef tendon , cooked
Making the Soup
- Transfer the short ribs and oxtail into a large colander and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp salt. Flip the pieces over and sprinkle with another 1 Tbsp salt. Using your fingers, gently rub the salt onto the ribs and oxtail. Under running water, wash each piece thoroughly. Fill a large bowl with hot water. Add 1 Tbsp salt and the vinegar. Transfer the ribs and oxtail into the solution and let soak for 10 minutes. Rinse again with water to wash off the salt and vinegar. Rub the brisket with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp salt and then rinse with water. Set the meats aside for now.
Cut off the ends of the onion and remove the skin. Place the whole onion and ginger on a wire roasting rack, directly over a burner. Cook over Medium Low heat until charred, approximately 8-10 minutes. Rotate the onion and ginger every few minutes for even charring. Peel off the charred outer skin of the onion and discard. Use a small knife to scrape off all the char and then rinse with water. Peel off the skin of the ginger including all char and discard. Also, rinse with water. Quarter the onion but do not cut all the way through. Cut the ginger in half lengthwise.
- Remove the skin of the white radish using a vegetable peeler. Cut the radish into chunks.
Break the cinnamon stick into small pieces using a pestle or rolling pin. On the 8 Quart Instant Pot panel, press the "Saute" button. When the display shows "Hot", add the spices into the inner pot: cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves and cardamom. Stirring occasionally, toast the spices until fragrant, approximately 7-8 minutes.
- Transfer the spices into a large tea filter. Close the opening of the filter bag by tying with cooking twine.
- Transfer the radish, short ribs, brisket, oxtail, charred onion and ginger, spices bag, rock sugar and 2 tsp salt into the inner pot. Fill the inner pot to the "Max" line with boiling water, approximately 12 cups.
Cover with the pressure cooking lid. Set the steam release handle to "Sealing". Press the "Manual" button and then set to cook on "High Pressure" for 30 minutes. When the cook time is completed, allow for a 15-20 minute natural pressure release. (Full pressure release is fine too if you have the time.) Release the remaining pressure.
- Remove the spices bag and any visible vegetables and discard.
- Transfer all meats into a large bowl of ice water. Let soak for 2 minutes. Transfer the meats into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for now.
Scoop out any remaining vegetables from the stock and discard. Filter the stock into a large bowl or another Instant Pot inner pot by pouring it through a strainer covered with cheesecloth. Optionally, skim off the excess fat from the top of the stock and discard. (If you don't have a second inner pot: Wash the inner pot. Then transfer the filtered stock back into the clean inner pot.) Place the inner pot back into the Instant Pot.
Season the soup stock with fish sauce to taste, approximately 2-3 Tbsp.
Cooking the Rice Noodle
Transfer the dry rice noodle into a large colander and bowl. Fill the bowl with warm water. Soak the noodles until limp, approximately 10 minutes. Drain the rice noodle.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Transfer the noodles into the pot and swirl in the hot water. Cook until you can easily pinch a noodle in half between your fingers, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Drain the noodles into a large colander. Rinse with cold water. Toss the noodles in the colander to remove the excess water. Optionally, use a salad spinner to remove the water.
Preparing the Accompaniments
For the green onions, separate the root from the stems. Transfer the root portions into a small bowl and set aside for now. Chop the green onion stems and transfer into another small bowl. Chop the cilantro and add to the chopped green onion stems. Combine together. Set the bowl aside for now. (This will be used to garnish the noodle soup.)
Cut the yellow onion into thin slices. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside for now. (This will be used to garnish the noodle soup.)
Slice the jalapeños into thin coins.
Cut the limes into wedges.
Arrange the jalapenos, lime wedges, bean sprouts, Thai basil and red chilies on a large plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Slicing the Meats
Cut the brisket into thin slices, cutting across the grain.
Tear the rib meat into chunks.
The oxtail can be served as-is. Optionally, remove the meat from the bones using a small spoon.
Arrange the cooked meats, including the beef tendon, on a large plate.
Thinly slice the beef eye of round and put on a separate plate. (Freeze the beef 30-60 minutes ahead to make it easier to slice.)
Serving the Beef Pho
Bring the stock to a boil using the "Saute" button.
To serve, transfer some rice noodle into a large soup bowl. Add a few slices of brisket, some rib meat, oxtail, beef tendon and raw beef.
Add some thinly sliced onion and a green onion root into the bowl.
Ladle a generous amount of the hot broth into the bowl. Top the soup with the chopped green onions and cilantro mixture and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve this amazing Instant Pot Beef Pho with the fresh herbs and vegetable platter along with Hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce.
Store any remaining portions in the refrigerator and enjoy within the week. The meat and stock can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Notes, Tips & Tricks
- This recipe is for the 8 Quart Instant Pot. If making in the 6 Quart Instant Pot, reduce the beef short ribs, oxtail and brisket by one-half pound each.
- Some options instead of charring over an open flame: 1) Broil in the oven for 15-20 minutes. 2) Char use a cast iron pan or stove-top grill. With all methods, rotate the onion and ginger for even charring. Keep close watch to prevent scorching.
- To remove unwanted fat: Refrigerate the soup stock overnight and then skim off the congealed fat layer.
- Add fish sauce just to the portion of broth you’re eating right away. If refrigerating, don’t add fish sauce to the entire batch. Broth with fish sauce has a tendency to turn sour when refrigerated.
- Instant Pot Beef Pho is great for making ahead and serving later. Cook in the Instant Pot and then store in the refrigerator overnight. The following day: boil the rice noodle, prepare the fresh herbs and vegetables, slice the meats and then serve.
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