Skip the takeout and make Instant Pot Beef Pho at home. The pressure cooker saves you hours of time so you can have this comforting, spicy, flavorful soup ready in under an hour. This easy Vietnamese soup with a spicy, flavorful broth will become a comfort food staple.
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My friend Kate and I ordered Vietnamese every Sunday or Monday night when I lived in New Orleans.
And it was always Beef Pho. We'd usually get a few sides like Kimchi Fries or Vietnamese Pork Tacos but always pho. Pho was the constant.
When I moved away, I started to really miss our weekly pho night, and after a few pho takeout orders in San Diego, I decided I wanted to learn to make it myself.
I tried a few different versions on the stove, and I always felt like they took too long. Or that the flavor was off.
Using beef broth instead of beef bones and water really ups the flavor and cuts back on the time and effort -- which I obviously love.
For the record, you could definitely make this on the stove. The original version I tried was on the stove, so I'll include tips for that in the recipe notes.
So I ended up testing about 7 or 8 batches of pho to make the perfect recipe (for my tastebuds).
To be honest, I haven't had the energy to write this post for so long because I couldn't think about anything pho... Pretty sure I ate a bowl of pho everyday for over a month, and I still have some in the freezer.
Anywho, now that I've had a little break from pho, I decided it was time to share! Especially since it's still chilly enough in the evenings for pho.
And honestly, I eat pho year round because I love it so much. Luckily, I don't have to order takeout or test and retest recipes since I have finally perfected it -- bonus: it takes less than an hour thanks to the use of beef broth and my beloved Instant Pot 🙂
Instant Pot Beef Pho
- 1 large onion halved
- 1 1/2 inch piece ginger halved
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 whole star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns decrease for less spice
- 4 cups unsalted beef broth
- 4 cups water
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes omit for less spice
- 1/2 apple
- 1 medium carrot halved
- 4 mushroom stems or whole mushrooms, optional
- 2 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- 8 ounces beef like sirloin tip steak
- 8 cups water
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles
- Turn the instant pot to saute, and add the onion and ginger, cut side down. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, coriander, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly for 1 minute.
- Pour in beef broth and 4 cups water. Add in apple, carrot, mushroom stems if using, tamari sauce, and fish sauce, plus the onion and ginger. Stir.
- Cover and turn the pressure to high for 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the beef to the freezer for 10 minutes easier slicing. Slice very thinly against the grain, set aside.
- When done, let sit for 10 minutes before doing a quick release. Strain and return to instant pot. Taste and add additional tamari sauce or fish sauce if desired.
- While waiting for the soup to quick release, boil 8 cups water and pour over noodles. (Follow noodle package instructions). Drain and transfer to bowls.
- Serve noodles in a bowl and top with sliced beef. Pour boiling broth over beef and noodles, so the beef cooks. Top with bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, lime juice, sliced jalapeños, etc.
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
Follow first three steps.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste and cook another 30-60 minutes if needed to develop flavors.
When soup is ready, add the beef to the freezer for 10 minutes easier slicing. Slice very thinly against the grain, set aside.
Boil 8 cups water and pour over noodles. (Follow noodle package instructions). Drain and transfer to bowls.
Serve noodles in a bowl and top with sliced beef. Pour boiling broth over beef and noodles, so the beef cooks. Top with bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, lime juice, sliced jalapeños, etc.
Doesn't this recipe look good?! You should probably pin it for later: