How to Make Pho Using Instant Pot – Secret Restaurant Recipe

How to Make Pho Using Instant Pot  – Secret Restaurant Recipe

Pho was originated from Northern Vietnam and was popularized in the South when the country was divided and over a million people fled from the North. The pho that you commonly see today is the modernized Southern version, which includes more herbs and cuts of meat. 

When you speak of Vietnamese cuisine, the first thing that pops into everyone’s mind is pho. But what makes this dish so popular?

In my opinion, it is the combination of aromatic and flavorful soup and fresh herbs and the complex texture in the variety of meat cuts that make this dish so exciting and irresistible. 

When I was little, I used to have a strong craving for pho; but my family was not well off and I could only eat it on occasions.

Thus, whenever I had a chance to walk by the vendors, I would take my time and inhaled all the amazing aroma that’d escaped from the soup pots and imagined that I was eating an amazing bowl of pho. That sweet and wonderful scent will forever be engraved in my memory. 

Today, I’m going to show you how to make this amazing dish, Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup), in an Instant Pot. I promise that this traditional Vietnamese recipe will delight all your senses! 

This is a highly sought after restaurant recipe that’s hard to find anywhere.  Please note that I’ve made minor modifications so that we can make it using the Instant Pot. This slight change will make things a lot easier and will save you so much time and frustrations.

 You might ask, “Why did you say this is a restaurant recipe?”

A little about my background, I was an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry. I’ve owned a few restaurants and just retired recently, but it was not by choice.

This recipe is the one that I used in my restaurant. It gives me great pleasure to see other people who can follow my recipes and have success with them. So please let me know how it turned out for you.

Now, are ready to dive in?  Let’s start the Vietnamese culinary journey!


13-14 Bowls (you can cut the ingredients in half if you want to make smaller portions)

Ingredients (1 Soupspoon = 1.5 Tbsp)

  • 5 lbs (~2.5 kgs) Beef Bone
  • 3 lbs (~1.5 kgs) Beef Neck Bone
  • 3 lbs (~1.5 kgs) Brisket
  • File Mignon or Eye Round
  • Beef Balls (Optional)
  • 3 oz (84g) Rock Sugar
  • 3 Soupspoon (55 g) Chicken Soup Powder
  • 2 Soupspoon (70 g) Sea Salt
  • 170 g Ginger
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Green Onions (chopped into long pieces)
  • 3 Shallots (Optional)
  • 3 Tsp (14.3 g) Whole Pepper
  • 1 bag of Old Man Que Huong Pho Spices (1.5 oz / 43 g)
  • 1 Package of Pho Hoa Spices (2 oz / 56.7 g)
  • Fresh Rice Stick Noodle (any brand). 1 Bag is enough for 3 bowls.
  • Sides: Green Onions, Jalapeno, Basil, Cilantro, Bean Sprouts, Limes, Culantro
  • Sauce: Siracha + Hoisin Sauce

Where to Buy?

Most of these ingredients and cookwares can be purchased at a Vietnamese Supermarket. But if you don't live near one, here's where to buy them online. Please note that these are Amazon affiliate links:


1. Soak all the bones and brisket in water and vinegar for 30 minutes. Rinse well.

2. Place them in a boiling water pot (make sure they are covered in water) and boil for 5 minutes. The purpose is to clean out the bones and meat.

Pho Instant Pot - Briskets and Bones in Big Soup Pot
Pho Instant Pot - boiling bones

3. Once the pot is boiling 5 minutes, take the bones and meat out and wash in cold water.

4. Using an 8-quart (7.6 liters) Instant Pot, place the bones only (not the meat & neck bone) in and fill water up to “Max” 2/3 line.

5. Add 1 soupspoon (35 g) seasalt and 1 tsp (4.7 g) whole pepper.

Pho Instant Pot - bones and pepper in pot

6. Set the pot to Manual for 60 minutes.

7. When the timer is done, we open the val knob slowly. The steam will come out from the val knob. Wait until the red pin dropped then open the lid and strain the broth to remove the bits from the bone and meat. Make sure to use a fine strainer for a clearer broth. Set this broth aside in a big pot, about 15 quarts (14 liters) in size.

Pho Instant Pot - Finished broth in instant pot
Pho Instant Pot - straining broth second time

8. Now place the bones back in the Instant Pot.

9. Add in the brisket, neck bones and  1 soupspoon seasalt (35 g) and 1 tsp (4.7 g) pepper.

10. Fill water to the “Max” line.

11. Set Instant Pot to Manual / Pressure Cook for 30 minutes.

Pho Instant Pot - adding bones to Instant Pot

12. While the pot is heating, grill the ginger and onion on medium heat then peel and scrape off the burnt area. Clean and wash thoroughly.

Pho Instant Pot - Grilling the onions and ginger

13. Now we need to heat up the spices to release the flavor. Open the Old Man Pho Spices bag and place the content into a pan and stir on low heat. Remember to put the large pieces in first so we don’t burn the smaller pieces. Once you can smell the aroma from the spices, you can turn off the heat and place them in the white spice bag provided.

14. Back to the Instant Pot, when the timer sounds after 30 minutes, we let it sit for another 30 minutes (this process is call NPR). Please Note: I put a whole big piece of Beef Brisket, if your piece is smaller then decrease the timing.  

15. Open the val knob, wait until the red pin dropped then open the lid, be careful with the steam) and strain the broth into the big pot where we stored the first batch of broth.

Pho Instant Pot - Bones and briskets in Instant Pot
Pho Instant Pot - straining the broth

16. Fill the remaining of the pot, up to the bottom of the handle, with water which is 12 liters total.

17. Place all the bones into the pot. Do not put the meat in.

Pho Instant Pot - preparing soup base

18. Then, add all the ingredients in the pot. The spice bags (Old Man and Pho Hoa), chicken powder, ginger, onions, shallots (if you want), green onions, 1 tsp whole pepper and rock sugar. Set to medium heat and wait for it to boil for 90 minutes. Use medium low heat.

Pho Instant Pot - adding spices and onions to soup pot

19. While waiting, prepare the herbs by chopping the green onions and cilantro and slicing the jalapeno.

20. Slice the brisket into thin slices (TIP: Dip the brisket into ice water  before cutting for easier cuts).

21. Next, slice your Filet Mignon or Eye Round into thin slices.

Pho Instant Pot - Chopping cilantro and other greens
Pho Instant Pot - Slicing briskets
Pho Instant Pot - Slicing the rare meat

22. Remove the white onion from the pot.

23. Boil a small pot of water. Dip the noodles in for 5 secs and remove.

24. Place noodle in bowl. Add sliced briskets, eye round, beef ball. Pour in broth and serve with the greens. 

Pho Instant Pot - Dipping Noodles in boiling water
Pho Instant Pot - Finished cooking bowl of Pho, greens, dipping sauce

25. For dipping sauce, we use Siracha mix with Hoisin sauce.

And that’s about it. Not too bad right? Now, all that’s left is for you, your family, and friends to dig in and enjoy an amazing bowl of Pho.

Take care and may your passion for cooking stay strong!

Let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

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