Instant Pot Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

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recipe by Nisha Vora

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
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My first date with my partner was at a Vietnamese restaurant. I had never tasted pho, and he insisted that I try it. I became hooked immediately. Nearly five years later, we found ourselves crouched on tiny plastic stools in the alleyways of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, devouring bowls of steaming broth and noodles that were remarkably light yet complex in flavor. The richness of the broth was perfectly balanced by the endless array of toppings— fresh herbs, spicy chile peppers, tangy lime wedges, and crunchy bean sprouts. To achieve this depth of flavor, pho broth is traditionally simmered for hours. However, with pressure cooking, you can achieve a richly flavored broth in a fraction of the time. Begin by charring onions and ginger for smokiness and sweetness. And some tips about this step: Don’t skimp on the oil, or you’ll have a mess to scrape up; and you may want to wear long sleeves or gloves, as the hot oil can splatter. When topping the pho, tear up the fresh herbs, as it releases their essential oils and perfumes the soup with an intoxicating aroma. You can find pho noodles in well-stocked grocery stores or any Asian market, and they come in various thickness, ranging from 1/16 inch (narrow) to 1/4 inch (wide). For the baked tofu, I recommend a five-spice flavor.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Jun 16, 2020


  • Yellow onion icon
    Yellow onion
    2 (about 280 g)
  • Baked tofu icon
    Baked tofu
    227 g (about 1 cup)
  • Scallion icon
    3 (about 45 g)
  • Thai basil icon
    Thai basil
    1 cup (about 240 g)
  • Hot chili peppers icon
    Hot chili peppers
    as needed
  • Dried rice noodles icon
    Dried rice noodles
    340.5 g (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Grapeseed oil icon
    Grapeseed oil
    2 tbsp (about 27.6 g)
  • Ginger icon
    ¼ cup (about 22.2 g)
  • Cardamom pods icon
    Cardamom pods
    3 (about 6 g)
  • Star anise pod icon
    Star anise pod
    3 (about 2.25 g)
  • Cloves icon
    4 (about 1 g)
  • Cinnamon stick icon
    Cinnamon stick
    1 (about 4 g)
  • Coriander seeds icon
    Coriander seeds
    1 tbsp (about 5.55 g)
  • Fennel seeds icon
    Fennel seeds
    1 tsp (about 2.05 g)
  • Black peppercorns icon
    Black peppercorns
    ½ tsp (about 1.07 g)
  • Fuji apple icon
    Fuji apple
    1 (about 150 g)
  • Cilantro icon
    ½ cup (about 14.4 g)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce icon
    Low-sodium soy sauce
    2 tbsp (about 28.81 g)
  • Coconut sugar icon
    Coconut sugar
    1 tbsp (about 12.75 g)
  • Shiitake mushrooms icon
    Shiitake mushrooms
    2 cups (about 172.8 g)
  • Kosher salt icon
    Kosher salt
    1 tsp (about 2.85 g)
  • Cilantro icon
    1 cup (about 28.8 g)
  • Lime icon
    2 (about 200 g)
  • Bean sprouts icon
    Bean sprouts
    2 cups (about 480 g)
  • Sriracha sauce icon
    Sriracha sauce
    as needed


  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Large mixing bowl
  • kCook icon Inner pot
  • kCook icon Medium bowl

Step preview

  1. Add dried rice noodles to a clean large mixing bowl
  2. Cover with warm water
  3. Soak until pliable - approx 40 min
  4. Drain
  5. Rinse
  6. Add grapeseed oil to the inner pot
  7. Pre-heat until hot - Sauté, Normal
  8. Then add yellow onion and ginger to the inner pot
  9. Cook until charred without stirring - approx 4 min
  10. Add cardamom pods, star anise pod, cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns to the inner pot
  11. Cook while stirring frequently - 1 min
  12. Add fuji apple, cilantro, low-sodium soy sauce, coconut sugar and shiitake mushrooms to the inner pot
  13. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  14. Pressure cook - Manual, High, 15 min
  15. Natural release - 10 min
  16. Release pressure -
  17. Strain broth and return to inner pot
  18. Stir kosher salt into the inner pot
  19. Divide noodles between 4 medium bowls
  20. Pour broth into 4 medium bowls
  21. Add baked tofu to the medium bowls
  22. Top with scallion, Thai basil, cilantro, lime, bean sprouts, hot chili peppers and sriracha sauce
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