Phở Bò Instant Pot (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

  • Servings: 6 or more bowls
  • Difficulty: medium
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen

Broth for 8-quart IP (For 6-quart adjustment, please see FAQ #3 before proceeding with the recipe below)
  • 3 lbs of beef marrow bones or oxtail
  • about 1/2 lb of daikon, optional, peeled and halved, optional but highly recommend to give the broth a natural sweetness
  • 1 large onion, white or yellow, peeled and toasted to slightly charred
  • 1 large knob of ginger, about 1/4 lb, peeled and toasted to slightly charred
  • 1 bag of Spice Pho Seasoning, toasted in the oven or on stove top pan on medium heat for about 1 minute to release fragrance
    • If you are collecting the spices separately here is a list:
      •  1 cinnamon stick
      • 1 piece of casia bark (aka Saigon cinnamon)
      • 4-5 star anise
      • 2 Amonum Costatum (Thảo quả)
      • 2 tbsp of coriander seeds
      • 2 tbsp of fennel seeds
      • 1 tsp of cloves
  • about 2 tbsp size of  rock sugar, roughly 16 grams
  • 6.5 tbsp of Quốc Việt Beef Pho Soup Base (see FAQ #9) OR  2 tbsp of sea salt
  • 18 cups of boiling water, using boiling water will help speed up pressure building time
  • mushroom seasoning
  • 3 green onion, use white bottom part only to add to broth at the end

Protein Options (pick one or all, more or less of each depending on what you like):
– 1-2 lbs of eye round beef or fillet mignon, “Tái”,  (thinly sliced)
– 1 package of beef balls, typically found in frozen section of Asian stores, “Bò Viên
(halved, added to broth, bring it to a boil before serving)
– 1/2 lb beef omasum, “Sách“, (washed well with salt, add to IP and cook before cooking the Pho broth or cook in 2nd IP if you have one, add 4 cups of water and 1 stalk of lemongrass, High Pressure,  4 minutes, NPR, rinsed with cold water before thinly slicing)
– 1-2 beef tendons, “Gân”, (parboiled for 5 minutes on stove top, add to the bones and cook using the same time, removed from broth once it was done and wait for it to cool down before slicing)

Condiments and Garnishes:
  • 2 bags of fresh Pho noodles, typically in the refrigerated section at Asian stores (1 bag makes 4 bowls), boiled/blanched according to package instruction
  • 2 limes, cut to wedges
  • green onion and cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large white or onion, thinly sliced
  • basil and culantro, washed well
  • bean sprout, washed well
  • jalapeño pepper or your favorite fresh chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, optional
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce


1. Wash then parboil beef bones on stove top pot for 10 minutes. Rinse well and add to inner pot.
2. Toast onion and ginger until lightly charred.  For the Pho Seasoning, toast for about 1 minute and add to the filter pouch.  Add toasted items to inner pot along with rock sugar, 6.5 tbsp of Quốc Viet Beef Pho Soup Base, daikon and 8 cups of boiling water (just enough to cover the ingredients).  If you are omitting Quốc Việt Soup Base please add 2 tbsp of sea salt instead.  Close lid and make sure knob is on Sealing.  Select Manual/Pressure Cook, High Pressure, 30 minutes.  Allow 30 minutes NPR or full NPR.  It would take a little more than 30 minutes for the IP to fully NPR with the ingredients above.
3. Release remainder pressure if you are doing a 30 minutes NPR and open lid. Cancel Keep Warm and switch to Saute mode.  Remove onion, bones, daikon then add 10 cups of boiling water.  Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits from the broth.  If you are using the soup base cater to your taste if needed by adding mushroom seasoning and/or more rock sugar to balance out the taste.  If you are omitting the soup base please add 3 tbsp of mushroom seasoning.  Taste the broth again and add more as needed.  Lastly, add the white part onion.  If you use beef ball slowly drop them in now and bring broth to a boil again.

4. To assemble the bowl, add cooked Pho noodles then top with your protein options from above. Pour boiling broth, add sliced white onion and sprinkle chopped green onion and cilantro.  Add a few dashes of black pepper if you like.  Serve with basil, culantro, bean sprout, lime wedges and sliced jalapeño pepper. The broth is so good we rarely add Hoisin sauce to our bowl!

TIPS: IP extracts all the goodness from the bones very well so therefore the broth will be fatty/oily looking.  When I cook for my family after releasing the pressure in Step 3 I’d wait for the broth to cool down then put it into the refrigerator overnight or 6-8 hours.  The fat will form a thick white layer at the top and it’s very easy to remove.  Then I’d add additional water and continue with the remaining items in Step 3 and on.



134 Comments on “Phở Bò Instant Pot (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)”

    • Hi Phil – You can certainly cook Pho Bo using the stove top! The cook time on the stove top for beef bones are much longer, I’d say from 4 to 6 hours (put on lower heat and let it simmer after it come to a boil). You would need to monitor the pot to refill with more water in the process. The seasoning above is for Instant Pot cooking so it does not take into consideration water evaporation and therefore if using the stove top, season to your taste in the end. You can cheat by using chicken bones or a whole chicken since it will cook faster on the stove top. Then add beef and/or beef balls as your toppings. Add the dried Pho Spices toward the end to prevent the broth from being dark. Thanks.

  1. I followed your recipe from IP group and it was delicious and I keep going back to this recipe. 6th time making it!! Thank you for my making my life easier to go from 12 hr to cook the bone to less than 2 hrs!! I love it!!

  2. Hi! What if I want to keep the oxtail to eat it with the pho. Is there any difference here? I know it states to discard bones so is that included?

    • Hi, if you are using oxtail please adjust cook time to about 20 minutes. That way the meat around the oxtail is not overcook.

  3. Hi! If I am going to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before cooking it the next day, do I remove all the ingredients, just the oxtail, none of them? Thank you!

    • Hi Sue, great question! I usually remove the onion only so it doesn’t break apart. The rest I leave in the pot. You could remove the oxtail if you worry it gets overcooked. But I like keeping it inside so the meat around it doesn’t dry up. Buy you could remove and cover it with food wrap as well. Just a preference 🤗.

  4. If making this in a normal stock pot (not IP), how would you prepare the beef omasum? I assume to just boil it with the lemongrass, but for how long? What do you typically buy? I’ve seen fresh and also packaged.

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