Instant Pot Pho

October 26, 2022

I find that a steaming bowl of pho is the only item that can truly satisfy my hunger during the colder months. A bowl may be hard to come by unless you have a reliable Vietnamese restaurant in the area.

In contrast, a beef-based pho soup has an unrivaled depth of taste. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to prepare—at least 6 hours, and sometimes even longer if you want to simmer the soup overnight, as some Vietnamese families do. The Instant Pot has arrived.

With the Instant Pot, you can make pho in less than half the time it takes to cook pho broth traditionally over a stovetop.


  • 4 pounds of beef marrow
  • 1 1/2 pounds of beef chuck
  • 2 ounces of rock sugar
  • 2 3-inch pieces of ginger, cut in half lengthwise
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 scallions (4-inch lengths)
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 1/2 quarts of water
  • 2 peeled medium onions
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • ⅓ cup of fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
  • Cooked beef balls
  • Dried pho rice noodles
  • Thai basil
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Thinly sliced onion


  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
  • Store-bought naan
  • Softened butter


  1. To begin, char the ginger and onions. Ginger and onions can be cooked over an open flame or directly on an electric burner if you use tongs to hold them.
  2. After about 3 minutes, turn them over so that all sides are faintly browned and fragrant. Remove the scorched skins by rinsing them in water and setting them aside.
  3. Start by filling a large stockpot with enough water to cover the bones and beef chuck. Boil for 5 minutes. Use a colander to strain and then wash the debris away. The resulting soup will be a lot less mucky thanks to this method.
  4. Put the beef chuck in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Move the bones and the charred, cleaned ginger and onions to the Instant Pot.
  5. Put in the scallions and season with fish sauce, sugar, and salt to taste.
  6. Next, in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the spices (star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds) for 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
  7. Wrap the spices in some cheesecloth and secure the ends with some kitchen twine before adding them to the stew. Add enough water to cover everything, about 3 and a half quarts.
  8. Put the Instant Pot into the sealed position and set the timer for 120 minutes at the manual high-pressure setting. Let the pressure drop on its own (15-30 minutes). After 30 minutes, return the slow cooker to the meat/stew option and add the beef chuck.
  9. When the Instant Pot is no longer in danger of exploding, use the Quick Pressure Release and skim the soup to remove any lingering fat or contaminants. Depending on your own preference, you can season the dish with extra salt, sugar, or fish sauce.
  10. To prepare the noodles for eating, boil them as directed on the package. Put into a bowl and mix. Spread the noodles out and top them with the meat chuck.
  11. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top, then cover with broth and garnish with sliced onion, bean sprouts, and Thai basil. Other options include beef meatballs or thinly sliced eye round.
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