Bún Bò Huế Instant Pot (Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup)

  • Servings: 8 or more bowls
  • Difficulty: medium
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen


    For 8-quart IP:
  • about 2 lbs of beef shanks
  • about 2 lbs of pork hocks or pork feet
  • 1 lb of blood cake (optional, submerged and boiled for 15 minutes, cut to 1 inch cubes once cooled, set aside)
  • 1 roll of Vietnamese Ham (Chả Lụa, sliced)
  • 1/2 pineapple – OPTIONAL (peeled and halved)
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass (use 2/3 bottom pieces, cut to 3 inches length)
  • 1 tbsp of Shrimp Sauce (Mắm Tôm)
  • 7 tbsp Quốc Việt Bun Bo Huế Soup Base
  • 1/4 cup rock sugar (or 2 thumb-sized pieces)
  • mushroom seasoning to taste
  • For Color

  • 2 tbsp of finely minced lemongrass (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 table tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp Bun Bo Hue premixed spice package
  • Garnishes and Noodles

  • 2 bags of large rice noodle labeled for Bún Bò (cooked according to package instructions)
  • chopped onion and cilantro
  • 1 white onion (thinly sliced)
  • banana blossom (removed the leaves, stack 4-5 together and thinly sliced then submerged in lime water to prevent it from turning brown)
  • 1 cabbage (can use half green and half Purple, thinly sliced)
  • Herbs (basil, mint, Vietnamese Coriander)
  • sate
  • sliced jalapeño pepper or Thai pepper


1. Parboil pork feet and beef shank for 10 minutes on the stove. Rinse well with sink water.
2. Place beef shank, pork feet, 1 onion, pineapple, lemongrass, 1/4 cup of rock sugar, 7 tbsp of Quốc Việt BBH soup base, 1 table spoon of Shrimp Paste. Fill with 7 cups of boiling water to cover the ingredients. Stir well to dissolve Shrimp Paste. Select Manual/Pressure Cook, High Pressure for 20 minutes, 20 minutes NPR.
OPTION: If you prefer the pork feet to be not too soft (with a crunch), set initial cook time to be 8 minutes, then Quick Release and pull pork feet out first, then close lid and select 12 minutes, 20 minutes NPR.  
3. After 20 minutes of NPR, slowly move knob to Venting to release all remainder pressure. Open lid, remove shank and pork feet and allow them to cool. You can lightly cover them in the refrigerator. Remove and discard pineapple and onion.  Switch to Saute (lid off) mode with Normal heat, add about 10 more cups of boiling water and bring broth to a boil.
4. Heat up 1/4 cup of cooking oil then add minced garlic and lemongrass. Turn off heat, add 2 tbsp of premixed BBH Spice Powder. Mix well and pour mixture into broth. Season with additional soup base, mushroom seasoning/chicken powder, shrimp paste and rock sugar to your taste. I added 1 tbsp of mushroom seasoning to perfect mine. Add pork feet to the broth pot.  Slice shank to your thickness preference, I usually cut to 1/4 inch thick. Place shank slices into broth pot and let them simmer until serving. I find the shanks have more flavor when they “marinate” in the broth like this.
5. To serve, add cooked noodle to a bowl and place Vietnamese Ham and Blood Cake on top. Ladle boiling broth with sliced of shank on top. Garnish with cilantro and green onion, sliced white onion. Serve with bean sprout, cabbage, banana blossom and fresh herbs such as basil, mint Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Ram). Extra shrimp paste can be served on the side.  Spice up the broth even more with sliced jalapeño pepper and sate.






47 Comments on “Bún Bò Huế Instant Pot (Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup)”

  1. Hi Katie. On step 3, you said “Switch to Saute (lid off) mode with Normal heat, add about..” Can you complete this? My guess is add water? How much? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Binh! I’m so sorry… I am horrible at proof reading. Thanks for pointing it out. I have updated the recipe with “add about 10 more cups of boiling water and bring broth to a boil.”
      Please let me know if you have other questions!

  2. Hi Katie,

    Do I cook 20 minutes high pressure and another 20 minutes for NRP? I was kind of confuse on that line in the recipe.



    • Hi Linda, yes, cook high pressure for 20 mins then after the cook time is up, wait another 20 minutes before doing a quick release.

      • Then, a total of 40 minutes on high pressure before natural pressure release by turning knob to venting mode?

  3. Hey,

    I noticed part of your ingredients list is missing some info. Can you help clarify?

    “1/2 to 1 pineapple (peeled and cut to…”

    • Hi Hoang, you could! But I’d recommend to add the saute oil/garlic/lemongrass to the broth. It really enhances the flavor!

  4. Hi Katie,

    What can we do to reduced the spice? My youngest one said it was too spicy for her… I couldn’t tell, but I live to eat spicy food…

    • Hi Laura, when I cook for my kids I usually separate their broth pot and mine. In their pot I don’t add the saute oriental spices mixed, garlic and lemongrass. It’s the oriental spices mixed that is spicy!

    • Hi Mimi, You might have to reduce the amount of beef shanks and pork hocks. Cut the soup base to about 4.5 (to start with). And in step 3 add 7 more cups of water (instead of 10). Adjust the seasoning to your taste after that. Thanks.

  5. Hi Katie,

    What is the mushroom seasoning that you are referring to in the recipe?

    Thank you!

  6. Katie, I’ve been cooking your recipes to deal with being homesick. In England, I don’t have access to kitchen staples like Quoc Viet seasoning. I’ve used other substitutes like the Bao Long cubes in the yellow box, but it always seems to be missing something. Do you have a recipe for how to make my own BBH spices at home?

    • Hi, to season without the QV soup base, you can use the Bao Long cubes and add mushroom seasoning such as this to taste: https://amzn.to/2Wxjhvi. Sorry I currently don’t have the exact measurement for a recipe without using the soup base. Can you order QV on Amazon in England?

  7. With this cook time, will the pig feet still have a bit of a crunch to them? I don’t like the super soft texture. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • Hi Dee, pig feet is on the soft side with this cook time. If you like yours crunchy cook 8 minutes first and then pull the pig feet out. Then continue with the recipe. Hope that helps!

    • Hi Dee, you have to remove all pressure in order to open the lid. That’s a safety feature of the IP. Cancel the cook time won’t do it. So let’s say you want to pull out the pig feet after 8 minutes of cooking then initially set the cook time to 8 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, manually move the knob over to venting (slowly and gently at first) to remove all pressure. Once the pressure is gone (could take a few minutes) the red pin will drop then you can open the lid and remove the pig feet. Close lid again, select new cook time and continue cooking the shanks. If you want pork feet with a crunch I’d recommend 8 minutes cook time.

  8. Hi Katie,

    Me and my family have enjoyed your IP recipes. I am going to make BBH today. I would like to make this soup a little bit more spicy. What kind of pepper do you recommend to add and when should I add it?

    • Hi Stephanie, if I want to make it more spicy I usually add more of the premixed spices. When you saute with oil and lemongrass, add another tbsp or so of it and perhaps a bit more oil. You can also buy sate and serve it on the side. Hope it works!

    • Hi, 1 of the photos under Ingredients is of the premixed package. The brand Three Pyramids I believe is good.

  9. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for the recipe. It’s quick, simple, and delicious. Big winner in our family.

  10. Hi Katie,
    I wonder if we can cook the pork blood (Huyet) using the IP? I googled it but none came up. Seems like IP and pork blood can’t go together, but I am still hoping you know the answer.

    • Hi Lilian, pork blood cooks fast so usually I just boil it on the stove for a few minutes. It would probably fall apart in the IP too.

  11. Hello Katie, Thank you for sharing your recipe and I will try it this weekend. My question is is it possible if I replace the tendon instead on pork feet ? If yes, then can I cook it the same time with beef shack > I appreciate your reply and Happy Tet to you and your family !

    • Hi Jessica, you can replace pork feet with pork bones or even beef bones. The bones give the broth flavor and sweetness. You can also add tendons, however, tendons take longer to cook than beef shanks. Typically I find tendons to be good in about 30 minutes HP. So if you want to cook them together, quick release after 20 mins to pull the beef shank then close the lid again and cook the tendons for another 10 minutes or so. Good luck!

  12. I tried your receipt this weekend and feel good with it. I just wonder if it will be better if I tried to cook the bone longer like the way we cook Pho. To reduce the spice of the soup for my kids, I replaced half of the BBH soup base by Pho soup base.

    • Hi Thanh, what kind of bones were you using? If it’s the pork feet or hocks they will fall apart if we cook long like for Pho. But if it’s pork bones you can certainly do 30 mins hp.

  13. Hi Katie, I’m new to IP and just found your page, I bookmarked it. I have a Ninja Foodi, can I follow all your recipes with the Foodi? With this BBH recipe, have a question going from #3 to #4, I have to use a different pot on the stove top to make the seasoning? Thank you

    • I have not used the Ninja Foodi but I’m sure it’s similar. Most pressure cookers work the same way. Yes, the seasoning is saute separately on the stovetop then pour into the broth pot.

  14. Hi Katie, what can I use if I can’t find pork hocks or feet? I know the stores here has them but I am avoiding going into the stores right now. All they have to store pick up is beef shanks.

  15. Hi Katie, I don’t want to make so much broth so if I’m only interested in 2-4 servings, how do I scale down your recipe? Also, what if I can’t find the Bun Bo Hue premixed spice package in the store? Can I just use the Quoc Viet mix?

  16. Hello! I have made your pho bo recipe 2 times! It was a success. It was very good. I am not Vietnamese but married to one. We love oxtail so we prefer that instead of the chewier meat. I just want to say thank you for sharing your recipe. My husband was like, can you try Bun Bo Hue? I said sure! But we are not a fan of pork feet. Will pork ribs be good? Any meat suggestion?

    • Hi Dianne, you can substitute pork feet with pork bones. Cook the same time with beef shanks. Remove and discard the bones afterward. Thanks.

  17. I made this and it came out pretty bland, you had 7 + 2 tablespoons of bun bo hue seasoning, 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste and 2 tablespoon of mushroom seasoning for a total of 17 cups of water. i used 9 cups of water and had to use 3 tablespoon of shrimp paste, 4 tablespoon of mushroom powder and i had to add a bunch of salt in addition to the 7 +2 tablespoons of bun bo hue seasoning. not sure how you can use so little seasoning for that much amount of liquid. i used half the amount of water and nearly doubled the amount of seasoning just for it to taste ok.

    • Hi, I’m so sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. But I can say with confidence that my seasoning for any dishes, and not just BBH, is not bland. 1 tbsp of the Quoc Viet soup base can season about 3 to 4 cups of water. On top of that the mam tom is extremely salty. I can only think of if the wrong measurement was used? Teaspoon versus tablespoon? This recipe is widely used by many and I got great feedbacks. So I’m very sorry it didn’t work out for you. I hope you will find a better one to use. Take care!

    • Hi Katie! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I look forward to trying it out as I love bun bo hue. My family gave up beef many years ago so I’ll need to substitute out the beef shank. Do you have any recommendations on what pork equivalent I can replace it with? Would pork shoulder work?

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