1. What Air Fryer do you recommend?  
    – In the past I’ve had the Philips Viva (on Amazon) and it worked very well.  Recently we upgraded to a larger capacity Air Fryer: The Instant Pot Vortex Plus Vortex 10-quart.  So far it works very well, we like the multiple trays option.

  2. What Instant Pot model and size do you have?  
    – I have all 4 sizes (3, 6 8 and 10-quart).  They are the same model, DUO 7-in-1.  I use them all weekly.  I primarily use the 3-quart to cook rice and glutinous rice (sticky rice) and to make small braised fish or meat dishes.  It’s also useful for various Vietnamese desserts.  I often use the 6-quart to make Pho or broth based dishes in general that would serve just our family of 4 (with some leftovers for the next day!).  The 8 and 10-quart I use to make chicken or pork stock or when serving is needed for 6 or more people.  Each pot has a special place in my heart :).

  3. Your Beef Pho (Pho Bo) is for the 8-quart, I have a 6-quart IP so how should the I adjust the recipe?
    – I’d keep most ingredients the same except for the soup base and water.  In step 2, add about 4 to 4.5 tbsp of soup base.  In step 3, add an addition 7 cups of water.  Total water to adjust for the 6-quart is about 14 cups.  Adjust the broth to your taste as necessary by adding salt, sugar, more/less soup base… etc.

  4. Your Pho recipes include Daikon, is this necessary? 
    – No, I typically list Daikon as an optional ingredient.  Daikon has a lot of natural sugar that can help to sweeten your broth.  In my opinion it does not overpowering the Pho broth.  But if you do not like it feel free to exclude.

  5. I do not see fish sauce as an ingredient in your broth based dishes, is there a reason why?
    – I do not add fish sauce when cooking broth based dishes.  Fish sauce could add a sour taste/after taste to the broth.  Therefore, I’d recommend if needed to, serve fish sauce on the side and add directly to your bowl instead of the broth pot.

  6. You use Quoc Viet soup base in many of your broth based recipes.  It contains MSG which I’m allergic to.  Can I exclude the soup base if I use your recipes?
    – I do love using QV soup base in my broth dishes as it’s very simple to use and tastes very authentic.  It does not contained MSG.  Please refer to question #8 on their FAQs page.  However, if you do not wish to use soup base, you can season to your taste (once it’s done cooking) like how Vietnamese cooking was traditionally done with salt, sugar, chicken powder, mushroom seasoning or MSG.

  7. I’m new to IP cooking, what do QR and NPR mean?
    – QR stands for Quick Release.  This means manually release the pressure by moving the knob from Sealing to Venting.  If you are not used to QR please do this gently at first.  The safety pin will drop once all the pressure has been release.  At that time you can safely open the lid.  QR could take 30 seconds or up to 5 minutes depending on how much pressure is inside.
    – NPR stands for Natural Pressure Release.  This means allowing the IP to release pressure on its own after cook time is finished.  Depending on the recipe, it could be a full NPR or NRP for X amount of minutes.  As an example, when the recipe says 15 minutes NPR this means that once cook time is finished wait 15 minutes (timer will count up, display on the DUO will show L0:15).  At this time you need to do a QR to release all remaining pressure.

  8. What is coconut caramel sauce?
    – Coconut caramel sauce is pre-made caramel sauce.  Here is a photo of different coconut caramel sauce brands you can find at your local Asian grocery stores.  If you are NOT good at making caramel sauce (like I am) this is a convenient way of giving your meat/fish some color when braising.  Any brand would work.

  9. For your Instant Pot Pho recipes, should I use the spice pouches that come with the Quoc Viet Pho Soup Base?
    – I don’t recommend using the pouch spices that come with QV Pho Soup Base in the Instant Pot or any pressure cookers when cooking under pressure.  The thin pouch could burst under such high heat.  The dry spices that are in my recipes are sufficient to give you that Pho aromas.  If you don’t have the dry spices then use these pouches but only use in Saute mode, lid off.  After cooking the bones under pressure, simply add the pouches (add 2) to the broth pot and bring to a boil to release the Pho aromas.

7 Comments on “FAQs”

    • You can use chicken powder. Add less than the recommended mushroom seasoning measurement as they tend to be more salty. But cater to your taste at the end and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

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