Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe (Phở Bò Tái Chín)

November 27, 2017Van
Blog post

Prep time: 30 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 pressure cook the bones longer for a more nutritious and flavorful broth. Fair warning, this isn’t a quick dump and go Instant Pot recipe, it has quite a long list of ingredients and takes a fair amount of effort to make, but cooking in the Instant Pot shaves about 8-10 hours of cooking time off the traditional method.

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.

If you have an Asian Market near you, you can look for this Pho Spice Packet (or order on Amazon here) instead of buying all the spices separately. If you prefer organic spices, there’s a premade packet made by Ellie Grace’s Pantry (order here).

Buy this Spice Packet on Amazon here
Instant Pot Pho Recipe - Pho Spice Packet

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

Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe

If you like extra thin rare steak (tái), you can usually find these packages at Asian Markets – they are used for shabu shabu, but it’s perfect for pho too. You can also freeze a block of steak for about 40 minutes, then cut them extra thin yourself, but it’s hard to get the perfectly thin slices without a deli meat slicer
Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe

You can usually find either of these at an Asian Market, the one on the left is fresh pho noodles and you can find it in the refrigerated section and the dried pho noodles can also be ordered onlineInstant Pot Pho Recipe - Noodles

Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe

Don’t forget to save some nước béo (fatty broth) to serve on the side
Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe

Be sure to click on the accessories list below to get the most out of your Instant Pot.
Best Instant Pot Accessories List

Print Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Pho Recipe (Phở Bò Tái Chín)

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Serves: 8


  • 1 Large Onion, peeled and halved
  • 5 Inch Fresh Ginger Root, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2½ Pounds Oxtail / Knuckle Bones / Marrow Bones / Leg Bones, (3lbs for the 8 Qt)
  • 2 Pounds Beef Brisket, (3lbs for the 8 Qt)
  • Extra Thin slices of Rare Steak, (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt or Sea Salt Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Rock Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon MSG
  • Filtered Water
  • Pho Noodles

Pho Spices

  • 5 Whole Star Anise Pods
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Tablespoons Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Black Cardamon Pod, (optional)
  • Or purchase Que Huong Pho Bac Spice Packet instead using the above spices


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


  • 1)

    Roast the bones, brisket, onion and ginger

    Preheat your oven to 450°F. Place a some foil on a baking sheet and lightly oil the the foil, place the brisket, bones, onion and ginger on the foil and put the baking sheet on the middle rack of your oven. Roast them for 30 minutes. Place the onions into a large cotton soup bag (link here) or wrap them up in a fine cheese cloth to prevent your broth from getting cloudy.

  • 2)

    Add The Spices

    Use a large soup / spice bag and add 5 Whole Star Anise Pods, 3 Whole Cloves, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 1 Black Cardamon Pod, 2 Tablespoons of Coriander Seeds and 2 Tablespoons of Fennel Seed & seal the bag well.

    Or use Que Huong Pho Bac Spice Seasoning instead using the above spices – I only use 3 cloves in my recipe – so remove extra ones from the bag

  • 3)

    Cook the meat

    Fill the Instant Pot about half way with filtered Water, add the onion, ginger, spices, 2 Tablespoons of Kosher Salt and 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar or Rock Sugar to the pot.  Place all the bones in first and the meat last into the pot, add more water to cover the meat and bones if needed. Set it to Manual / High Pressure for 1 Hour, after the timer is up and you hear the beep, wait 20 minutes then switch the knob to Venting to release the rest of the pressure. Remove all the meat and oxtail if you used any and place into a large bowl of ice water, after the meat has cooled place into sealed container and store in the refrigerator. It’s easier to slice the brisket when it has firmed up in the refrigerator.

  • 4)

    Make bone broth:

    This extra cooking time will extract more collagen and minerals adding more nutritional value and flavor to your broth. Using a fine mesh strainer / fat skimmer (purchase here), skim the broth if there is any scum – this helps keep the broth clear. Fill it to the max line with more filtered water. Set it to Manual / High Pressure for 1 Hour, after the timer is up and you hear the beep, wait 30 minutes then switch the knob to Venting to release the rest of the pressure (or do a full Natural pressure release – but this can take over an hour). Remove the bones, onions, ginger and spices. You can skim some of the fat off, but don’t remove it all or your pho will taste bland.

    ***Save some of the fat to serve as an accompaniment to the pho – in restaurants it’s called Nước béo or fatty broth- you add a little to your bowl of pho and it really boosts the flavor

  • 5)

    SEASON your broth

    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 and sugar a little at a time until perfectly seasoned. If you’re not against using, MSG add 1 Tablespoon of it, pretty much every pho restaurant uses MSG in their broth.  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 – you should not have to add any additional seasoning to your broth at the table.

  • 6)

    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.

  • 7)

    Create your bowl

    Thinly slice your brisket against the grain, and place on top of each bowl.  If you used any oxtail place those in the bowls as well.  Top with boiling hot broth and garnish with plenty of scallions, cilantro and thinly sliced onions. Add a splash of Fish Sauce for that extra boost of umami.  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 a few 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. Don’t remove too much of the fat, it adds a lot of flavor to the 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!!

  • Vinh

    March 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    By coincident the French beef soup Pot-Au-Feu has the phonetically word “Feu” that sounds close to “Pho”. There is nothing else that connects the Vietnamese PHO to the French Pot-Au-Feu. The ingredients of Pho and its sophisticate cooking method are of absolutely nothing relate to French cuisines.

    Many Vietnamese like to think anything good must be imported.

  • Maureen

    July 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Van,

    I am in the process of making your Pho recipe in my instant pot. I am not clear during 4) Make the Boone broth….after skimming the fat do I leave bones in or remove remove bones when I cook for 60 mins??

    I’ll let you know how it goes as we have been craving Pho after our trip to Vietnam. Great easy recipe!



    1. Van

      July 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Hi Maureen, leave the bones in for the 60 minutes, you’re making the bone broth in that step. Remove the bones, onions, ginger and spices after. Hope you enjoy it!

  • tammie nguyen

    July 15, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Q: chi.. i have this mesh ball thing that locks up.. can i use that to put into the pho i dont have that pouch you talkin bout. but mine small i may need to get a bigger one. and i live in japan naval base. our stove are those flat surface.. can i char my main ingredients in an airfryer to put in my instant pot. and i have a 6qt.. how do i adjust the water without it over flowing?!

    1. Van

      July 15, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Hi Tammie, those mesh spice balls work fine. An Air Fryer would work great to roast the ingredients. Place all the ingredients in first, then then fill the water to the max line to avoid over filling it.

  • Karen Alvarez

    September 17, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you for putting the options for the 8qt!

    1. Van

      September 17, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      You’re welcome Karen 😀

  • merry

    February 6, 2020 at 8:41 am


    Do you need to parboil the bones prior to roasting in the oven?

    Thank you in advance!


    1. Van

      February 6, 2020 at 10:01 am

      Hi Merry, no you don’t have to parboil the bones before roasting them. Hope you enjoy the pho!

  • Rosa Tu

    September 14, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Hi there! I was wondering if you have to adjust any of the cooking times if you have a 6qt. pot and you’re cooking with less bones/meat?

    1. Van

      September 15, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      Hello! No you don’t have the adjust the cooking times.

  • Mia

    November 10, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Hi Van,

    I’m learning how to cook so thank you for creating this recipe. I’m excited to try it out.
    Question: How do you wash the bones and the meat before putting them in the oven? Any tips for me?

    Thanks again,

    1. Van

      November 10, 2021 at 5:20 pm

      Hello, I don’t wash the bones or meat before roasting them, they just go straight into the oven. Remember to season the broth well, it should taste slightly salty – if it’s underseasoned the broth will taste bland once you add noodles.

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