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 Broth for 8-quart:
  • 2 lbs of beef shanks
  • 8 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 Vietnamese Ham (Cha Lua, sliced)
  • 1/2 pineapple (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 (mam tom)
  • 7 tbsp Quốc Việt Bun Bo Huế Soup Base
  • 1/4 cup rock sugar (or 2 thumb-sized pieces)
  • 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 Noodle

  • 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 (thinly sliced leaves and submerged in salt water to prevent it from turning brown)
  • 1 cabbage (can use half green and half Purple, thinly sliced)
  • Herbs (basil, mint, Vietnamese Corriander)
  • sate
  • sliced jalapeño pepper


1. Parboil all meats and tendons for 10 minutes on the stove. Rinse well with sink water.


2. Place beef shank, hocks, 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.


3. After 20 minutes of NPR, slowly move knob to Venting to release all remainder pressure. Open lid, remove shank and hocks 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. 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). Spice it up with sliced jalapeño pepper and sate.




12 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. Any suggestions on how to convert this for a 6pt IP 😮 It looks so delicious!


  4. 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!


  5. 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!


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