Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe (Phở Chín / Brisket Pho)

November 27, 2017Van
Blog post

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves: 8

Pho may be the most beneficial thing that came from the unanimously unpopular French occupation of Indochina. Pho, Banh Mi, Coffee, Banh Xeo—all of these and many more make Vietnamese Cuisine the only asian culinary culture directly shaped by European influence. In fact—the use of beef in Vietnam was scarce before the French demanded this meat in lue of the more common Vietnamese staples, pork and chicken.

After spending numerous all nighters preparing pho on the stovetop for my family—I finally realized that I could accomplish the same end result in a quarter of the time thanks to the Instant Pot. Yes—it took some true magic to make time work in my favor AND accomplish the same delicious flavor profile— but Im happy to say I did it! No more driving hours on these crazy So Cal Freeways to find the perfect bowl of the good stuff. I can now make this at home within hours. The first major decision was to cook the bones longer for a more nutritious and flavorful broth. The measurements for this recipe is for the 8 qt Instant Pot, you can use less bones and meat if you have the 6 Qt (2.5 lbs of bones & 2 lbs of meat), but the seasoning is fine to keep the same.

While the exact origin of pho remains debatable—its widely recognized as a dish created in the early 20th century and possibly related to the French “pot-au-feu” (pot on the fire). We can debate the origin but we cannot debate the familiar flavor profile of great pho. That rich bone broth that hits you with a burst of five spice and salty fish sauce. Or if you choose to add a squirt of lime—the acidic tinge that cuts through the richness. Its a dish shaped by its consumer and preparer. It can be spicy with the addition of jalapeño slices—or touched with a pour of vinegar depending on which region you find yourself in while enjoying this delectable dish.

As a canvas—pho is typically a painting of garnishes. Green onions, Thai Basil, Thai chilis, lime, bean sprouts…the list is eternal. Even in America the regional attributes have altered pho. If you’re in California prepare to be served jalapeños—thanks large in part to the large numbers of Hispanics in the vicinity.

Are you looking for the chicken version? Check out my Chicken Pho Recipe

Print Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe (Phở Chín / Brisket Pho)

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Serves: 8


  • 1 Large Onion
  • 5 inch Fresh Ginger Root
  • 3 pounds Marrow Bones / Beef Knuckle / Leg Bones, You can use any combination of these, but the must have one is Marrow Bones
  • 3 pounds Beef Brisket, Beef Shoulder Clod or Oxtail
  • 1 tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt or Sea Salt Flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Rock Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • Filtered Water
  • Pho Noodles
  • 5 Whole Star Anise Pods
  • 4 Whole Cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds


  • Chopped Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Thin vertically sliced onions
  • Sliced Jalapeño
  • Lime Wedges
  • Thai basil
  • Sawtooth herb
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Sriracha
  • Hoisin Sauce


  • 1)

    Parboil the bones and meat

    Fill your Instant Pot halfway with filtered water and turn sauté on, this is to save time so your pot will come up to pressure faster.  Bring a large pot of water up to boil on your stovetop, place all the bones and meat into the water, once it comes back to boil, wait about 5 minutes before you drain the water.  Rinse the bones and the meat well.

  • 2)

    Toast the spices

    In a dry pan on medium high heat, toast the Star Anise, Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Black Peppercorns and Coriander Seeds for about a minute or two, then add the Fennel Seeds and toast for an additional minute (the fennel seeds burn quickly so watch for that – keep your pan moving constantly).  Add them to a spice bag or wrap them up in a fine cheesecloth and place them into the Instant Pot.

  • 3)

    Roast the onion and ginger

    Preheat your Oven to 450 F. Peel the skin off of your onion and ginger root.  Cut the onion in half vertically and toast them until the onion is charred and softened – about 30-40 mins.  Cut the roasted ginger root piece in half and smash it with the butt of your knife. Wrap them up in a fine cheese cloth to prevent your broth from getting cloudy.

  • 4)

    Cook the meat

    Add the 2 Tablespoons of Kosher Salt and 2 Tablespoons of Rock Sugar or Brown sugar to the pot.  Place all the bones and meat into the pot, add more water to cover the meat and bones if needed. Set it to Manual / High Pressure for 40 minutes, after the timer is up and you hear the beep, wait 15 minutes then switch the knob to Venting to release the rest of the pressure. (If you like your meat with more of a “bite” set it to Manual for 35 minutes) Remove all the meat and place into a sealed container and store in the refrigerator. It’s easier to slice the brisket when it has firmed up in the refrigerator.

  • 5)

    Make bone broth

    Using a fine mesh strainer, skim the broth if there is any scum and remove some of the fat – this helps keep your broth clear. If you bones were rich in marrow, there might be a lot of fat to skim, I usually strain about 1/3 cup of fat from the top of the broth.   Add the onion and ginger —— the onions should be wrapped up in a fine cheese cloth or put into a large spice bag, they get very mushy and can cloud your broth if they aren’t wrapped up. Fill it to the max line with more filtered water. Set it to Manual / High Pressure for 60 minutes, after the timer is up and you hear the beep, wait 15 minutes then switch the knob to Venting to release the rest of the pressure. The longer cooking times will extract more collagen and minerals adding more nutritional value and flavor to your broth (you can do this step for up to 90 minutes if you wanted to extract more from the bones).

  • 6)

    SEASON your broth

    Start by adding 1 tablespoon of Red Boat Fish Sauce. You can use any fish sauce, but I prefer Red Boat because it adds umami without an overly fishy smell that you get from other fish sauce brands. 
I purposely left this recipe under seasoned so you can customize it to your taste. You’ll have to taste several times and keep adding salt, fish sauce and sugar a little at a time until perfectly seasoned.  The broth should taste slightly salty, since it will balance out after you add the noodles.  If your broth tastes bland after you add noodles, you didn’t season enough.

  • 7)

    Cook your pho noodles

    Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package.  Times will be different for dry or fresh noodles. Add a portion to each serving bowl.

  • 8)

    Create your bowl

    Slice your brisket, and place on top of each bowl.  If you used any oxtail place those in the bowls as well.  Top with the broth and garnish with scallions, cilantro and onions.  The rest of the garnishes are optional and can be served on the side.


Some people mention that the pho they make at home doesn’t taste like it does at pho restaurants. There are two main reasons for this, pho restaurants use msg in their broth, if you aren’t against using it, feel free to add a little to your broth. The second reason is pho restaurants are adding a lot of different cuts of meat, such as tendon, outside/drop flank and oxtail, try adding some of those cuts for a more flavorful broth.

Supplies to make this recipe


  • Nick

    November 29, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    No dried orange peels?

    1. Van

      November 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      No I don’t use dried orange peels, I just serve it with lime wedges on the side as the citrus option. I’ve never had pho that was cooked with orange peels. Have you tried it?

  • Traci

    January 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    How would you recommend altering this for a 6qt?

    1. Van

      January 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Traci, you can do 2.5 lbs of beef bones and 2 lbs of brisket. The seasoning should be fine to keep the same.

  • Kal

    January 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Is there a vegetarian pho recipe that you have –

    1. Van

      January 10, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Kal, I’m actually currently working on a vegetarian pho recipe. I’ll send you a message when I post it 🙂

  • Prema

    January 26, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Would love the vegetarian Pho recipe. Kindly email it me when you have it. Thank you.

  • Reiko

    March 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Pho has always been an intimidating dish…your recipe was so easy to follow! We love pho, thank you!

    How do you feel about freezing this broth/brisket meat to have on hand? I know the Instant appt method shortens cooking time significantly, but when that craving hits…TIA for any thoughts!

    1. Van

      March 5, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Reiko, I’m so glad the recipe was easy for you, you can definitely freeze the broth and meat, I’ve done it many times and it tastes great.

  • Erica

    March 9, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Any suggestions on adjusting the quantities for using a 6 quart instant pot? Thanks!

    1. Van

      March 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Erica, you can use 2.5 lbs of bones & 2 lbs of meat, all other measurements can be kept the same.

      1. Erica

        March 9, 2018 at 8:37 pm

        Thank you!!

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