I want PHO, and I want it fast. That’s only happening if I:
- Go to my local noodle house
- Make this Instantpot Beef Pho
Pho is something I crave pretty much constantly in the winter, even in the “winter” in SF, which is nowhere near as intense as the winters I grew up with. Lately though, I’ve been saying “WTF, I DID NOT move to California to freeze my ass off” because we’ve had way too many weeks of cold and rain, and combined with crapola heat and basically no insulation in our house, it’s been tough to warm up.
instantpot beef pho
Earlier this week when the pho craving hit, Simon and I braved the elements (hah) and went to our favorite nearby noodle house (Kevin’s Noodle House on Irving and 19th) and took note that while we were freezing walking there, we were nice and toasty walking back. That stuff seriously warms you right up!
Making Pho at home is not necessarily difficult skill-wise, but it kind of takes forever. Not ideal for when you want it now-ish. And of course while there is a pressure cooker adaptation in Paleo Soups and Stews, I wanted to streamline it even further for the quickest Pho possible.
Speaking of Paleo Soups and Stews, you know that there are TONS of pressure cooker and slow cooker recipes in there, right? Any recipe that takes more than an hour on the stove-top has instructions to make it in your Instantpot / pressure cooker and slow cooker. So you should probably get a copy if you don’t have one yet! 😉
Alright, since it’s still quicker to go to a noodle house for pho (and probably cheaper but that’s besides the point) I’ll get on with the recipe so you can get cooking.Print
Instantpot Beef Pho
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 90 minutes
- Yield: 4 - 6 servings
- Category: Main Course, Soup
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
(Almost) as fast as going to your local noodle house.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon beef tallow or avocado oil
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 2 thumb-sized pieces ginger (halved lengthwise)
- 2 pounds oxtail
- 2 pounds meaty beef shank
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (omit for 21DSD, use 2 large dates if doing a Whole30)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3/4 pound flank steak, (sliced very thin (freezing for 30–45 minutes makes it much easier to slice thin))
- rice noodles, tapioca noodles, or your favorite veggie noodles (use veggie noodles if doing a 21DSD or W30)
- spiral sliced or julienned daikon ((I like this in place of bean sprouts))
- 1 bunch Thai basil, mint, and/or cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, (sliced)
- additional fish sauce
- Turn the Instantpot on Saute and let it warm up. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cloves. Toast them for 4-5 minutes, or until very fragrant. Remove the spices to a bowl.
- Add the tallow to the insert. Once melted, add the onion and ginger, trying to get as much of their surface area touching the bottom of the insert as possible. Let the aromatics cook for 6 minutes, without stirring. (you want some charring to happen here)
- Return the spices to the pot, along with the oxtail, beef shank, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar (or dates) and salt. Pour in 8 cups of water, or as much as you need to be covering the contents but below the MAX line.
- Set for 50 minutes at high pressure (press MEAT/STEW and + to 50). The display will read ON until the Instantpot gets up to pressure, at which point it will read the time you entered.
- After the 50 minutes are up, press Cancel and allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes before turning the nozzle to release the remaining pressure.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, removing the meaty parts with tongs and setting aside. Remove as much meat from the bones as possible. Skim off the fat that rises to the top. Stir in the fish sauce and season to taste with additional salt, coconut sugar or more fish sauce, if desired.
- Return the meat to the broth and serve piping hot, along with the flank steak, noodles of choice, herbs, jalapeños and seasonings for each person to add in as they please. (The thinly sliced flank steak will cook in the hot broth)
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Doray Briskman says
I woke up this morning and immediately remembered to check out this post! Book to be purchased NOW 🙂
Any thoughts on doing this with pork or chicken?
I love oxtail for broth, but alas, can’t get it as often as I can get beef shank. Would you mind suggesting a replacement? Thank you!
You can just use more shank! The oxtail adds lots of gelatin but the shank will do that too. I just like the variety but it’s not necessary 🙂
I am making this right now! However, I can’t find in your recipe when to add in the garlic and fish sauce. So I threw them in before setting the Instant Pot and am crossing my fingers.
Sorry! I will edit… Fish sauce I usually add at the end but before is fine too. And there’s no garlic in the recipe so add that whenever you want 😉
Oops, no garlic in the ingredients list. Just fish sauce tho?
Excellent recipe!!!! (Even with the added garlic) Will be cooking this often. So much easier than the traditional recipe and lots of flavor.
Awesome I’m glad you liked it! 🙂
Oh my word! We loved it. Including the 16-month old, who asked for more and more julienned zucchini from the broth. Thank you for a great recipe. Didn’t add any sweetener (doing a Whole30 right now but have no dates) and it was delicious. I’ve never made pho before but I’m thrilled I found your recipe.
So glad to hear it, Fibi! I love that the little one was going for the zoodles! 🙂
I am having the hardest time finding star anise. But I found anise extract. Would that me fine?
hm that’s strange! I think a couple drops of anise extract could work. fennel seeds have a similar flavor too.
Hello! Do you have a nutritional chart for this recipe? I LOVE this recipe; it’s perfect! Though, I’m joining Weight Watchers and I’d like to input the nutritional value for points. Hoping you can help! Thanks!
Hi Meghan, I’m so glad you love the recipe! I don’t have a nutritional chart for it, I’m sorry. I think you can enter the ingredients into an app like my fitness pal to get the nutritional info, would that get you the info you need? Or if WW has a list of foods that are commonly available in restaurants, I bet you could use the points from any restaurant pho and it would be similar?
Thanks for the fast reply! I think that’s what I’ll do; find a restaurant one. The veggies are all ‘free’ points, so it’s just the broth I’m concerned about. Again, thank you so much! Happy cooking!
Susie Frederickson says
I was always intimatated to try to make Pho but you inspired me and I made this twice recently. It was a huge hit with entire family!! Also sent recipe to some friends that were asking for a good Pho recipe! Always find your recipes well written and results to be 5 star!!
Thanks so much, Susie! I’m so glad this recipe inspired you to try something that you were intimidated by in the past. That’s pretty much my #1 goal with this blog so your comment makes my day <3