My first attempt at beef pho. If you haven’t made pho before, I would recommend trying Pho Ga first. Neither recipe is difficult, but the Pho Ga is a little easier and a little more straight forward. And less messy. I would also check out Cuong Can Cook’s video down below (See Source.)
~2-2.5 lbs of beef bones (I used ~2 lbs of beef bones and ~1 lb of oxtail
1 yellow onion
1 palm sized piece of ginger
1/2 cup of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
packet of pho spices
This was one of the items available at my local Asian Market. $3.00 for 5 spice packets.https://www.amazon.com/Pho-Hoa-Beef-Noodle-Spices/dp/B003GRMUCUThe filter bag becomes really fragile after the cooking process. Use a ladle to remove the packet as to not break the spice bag during removal.
Proteins: Sliced beef from the shabu shabu section, bo vien (beef/tendon meatballs), brisket, tendon, tripe (whatever you desire)
In the Instant Pot (on saute) or a stock pot on the stove, bring the beef bones/oxtail and water to a boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes. You want to boil the beef bones until it releases the fat/gunk. Once boiled, set aside the beef bones/oxtail and dump the remaining water. With the remaining bones, rinse and gently clean with clean water.
Over direct heat gas flame, char the whole onion and ginger. If a gas burner is not available, you can use cut the onion and ginger in half and broil in the oven.
Place beef bones, fish sauce, sugar, charred onion and ginger, salt, and spice packet into Instant Pot and fill with water to a little under the max line in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, set vent knob to Sealing, and use Manual (High Pressure) for 60 minutes.
While the broth is cooking, slice green onion and cilantro into small pieces; and prepare any other items. Do this step at a later time if you are pre-making beef pho for a later time.
After the 60 minute cooking time elapses, allow a NPR (Natural Pressure Release). If you do a Quick Release, the Instant Pot will make a mess with this recipe. Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and carefully fish out the spice packet, onion, and ginger. The spice packet is very delicate and can break easily if you aren’t careful. If there is any fat or gunk at the top of the broth, now is the time to remove it. Taste and season broth as needed with fish sauce and/or salt.For the best results, allow the broth to cool, then place the Instant Pot inner pot in the refrigerator overnight. As the broth cools, the fat will form at the top and will be easier to remove.
In a separate pot, boil some water, Using a noodle strainer if available, boil the dry pho noodles about 5 to 20 seconds until it is loose and pliable. Place into soup bowl.
Add your proteins on top of the rice noodles.
Garnish with additional green onion and cilantro. Pour the boiling soup broth into bowl. If the noodles are cold prior to adding the broth, consider microwaving the bowl for 30-45 secs prior to adding the broth.
Garnish with your favorite pho condiments (green onions, cilantro, lime, Sriracha, etc.)
Super easy chicken noodle soup recipe! Just follow the recipe. Fair warning that you’ll have a lot of chicken meat. Either save the meat and use it for a different recipe, or consider getting a smaller chicken and supplementing with chicken bones or chicken broth.
5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces KB: Too much carrots. The broth tastes more like veggie soup than it does chicken. Will try 3 carrots next time.
2 celery sticks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces KB: I like celery. I will do 3 celery sticks next time.
1 whole 5 pound chicken, giblets removed and discarded
2 tablespoon of soy sauce
8 cups of water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces of extra wide egg noodles
1/4 cup of minced fresh flat leaf parsley
KB: Notes: Here’s the original recipe from No. 2 Pencil I’ve added my notes in bold. I’ve been spoiled with Pho Ga growing up, so I tend to like my chicken noodle soup with prominent Chicken flavors. Easily serves 5-6 people.
Set Instant Pot to Saute function.
Heat olive oil and onions until onions start to soften and become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another minute.
Add whole chicken to Instant Pot, followed by water, soy sauce, 2 teaspoon of salt and several turns of freshly ground pepper.
Turn off Saute function, lock Instant Pot lid in place, make sure pressure valve is set to sealing and set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 20 minutes, via manual mode. KB: As the broth didn’t really bring out the chicken flavor, I would recommend running the Instant Pot for a little longer. I ran mine for 25 minutes.
Instant Pot will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure, then will countdown from 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes at high pressure, Instant Pot will beep and switch to keep warm mode.
Turn pressure release valve to Quick Release pressure.
Carefully open Instant Pot, keeping lid angled away from you to avoid very hot steam.
Remove whole chicken and set aside to shred.
Turn Instant Pot back to Saute function and let chicken broth come to a boil.
Stir in egg noddles and let cook for about 5 minutes.
While noodles are cooking, shred chicken into bite sized pieces discarding bones and skin.
Once noodles are cooked, stir in chicken meat and fresh parsley.
4 bone in chicken breasts KB: Bone in is important. If you find that you don’t have enough flavor, you can also buy chicken bones by itself. I also found that 4 chicken breasts left me with way too much chicken. My second attempt was with 1 chicken breast with rib bone and 2 carcasses of chicken bones.
1 onion KB: I used a yellow onion.
1 palm sized piece of ginger
¼ cup fish sauce plus to taste KB: Use 1/2 cup. Taste your broth before serving. You’ll need to add a little fish sauce and/or salt to the broth in order to get it to the flavor/taste you are looking for. Don’t be afraid of adding too much though. Like Cuong said, the noodles will dilute the broth and flavor.
2 TBS sugar (preferably palm sugar) KB: Use 1 tablespoon instead of 2.
1 teaspoon of salt
packet of pho spices (can omit) KB: This was one of the items available at my local Asian Market. $3.00 for 5 spice packets. https://www.amazon.com/Pho-Hoa-Beef-Noodle-Spices/dp/B003GRMUCU
The filter bag becomes really fragile after the cooking process. Use a ladle to remove the packet as to not break the spice bag during removal.
Cooking Directions (From Cuong Can Cook with personal notes in bold):
Over direct heat gas flame, char the whole onion and ginger, 5 minutes. If a gas burner is not available, you can use a dry pan on the stove, broil in the oven, or use your outdoor BBQ grill.
Place chicken, fish sauce, sugar, charred onion and ginger, salt, and spice packet into Instant Pot and fill with hot water (can use cold, it just takes longer to heat up). Close lid, set vent knob to Sealing, and use Manual for 20 minutes. KB: Try to use hot water if possible. It will save you a lot of time. We also found the chicken to be a little bland. Consider preparing the chicken ahead of time by seasoning with some salt and pepper.
While the chicken is cooking, slice green onion and cilantro into small pieces
After 20 minute cook time, you can QR (Quick Release) or NPR (Natural Pressure Release). Taste and season broth. KB: I ended up cooking on Manual for 25 minutes. I also don’t think it hurts to let the broth sit after cooking. I feel like the flavors really start to settle in more the longer you let it sit. My only recommendation is to remove the spice packet with a ladle as I think the packet will become more prone to breaking. According to Cuong, you want the broth to be a bit more flavorful than what you like. When you add the rice noodles into the soup, it will dilute the flavor a little bit. This is very much true!
In a separate pot, boil some water, Using a noodle strainer if available, boil the dry pho noodles about 5 to 20 seconds until it is loose and pliable. Place into soup bowl. KB: I was told to wash the noodles again after cooking it. Something about a better taste.
Slice or pull chicken meat and add to soup bowl
Garnish with green onion and cilantro, pour hot soup broth into bowl KB: If the noodles are cold, consider microwaving the bowl for 30-45 secs prior to adding the broth.
Top with Thai basil and a squeeze of fresh lime juice
Stay lubed during all steps of the cooking process!