Pressure Cooker Pho (Paleo Friendly)

If you can make awesome Pho in the slow cooker, why not a pressure cooker? And this Pressure Cooker Pho tastes so good! Packed with fresh herbs and strips of succulent beef, all in divine broth! 

pho

Why This Pressure Cooker Pho Is So Good

  • An easy Instant Pot Pho recipe.
  • Great for batch cooking.
  • Packed with amazing Vietnamese flavors!
  • You can control the spice levels to suit different tastes. 

Ingredients For This Pressure Cooker Pho

  • Spices: whole star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom
  • Coriander seeds
  • Butter or cooking oil 
  • Fresh ginger
  • Yellow onion
  • Meat : Beef cross shanks, oxtails, beef brisket, beef eye of round roast
  • Fish sauce
  • Shirotaki noodles (Non-Paleo version: dried rice noodles)

FOR THE TABLE:

  • Limes
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Thai basil (or regular Italian basil)
  • Fresh mint
  • Bean sprouts
  • Sriracha sauce (store bought or 20 Minute Sriracha Recipe)

How To Make This Pressure Cooker Pho – Step by Step

  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add all spices and toast until they become fragrant. Take care not to burn them! Place them in a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth and tie it up. Place the sachet into the pressure cooker pot.
  • In the same sauce pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter (or oil) and add onion and ginger pieces. Brown until there is a nice sear on them. Remove them from the pan and place them in the pressure cooker.
  • Sear the meat in batches: add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and sear the shank, oxtail and brisket. You’ll do this in batches, all in a single layer. Give everything plenty of space so that they SEAR and brown. Crowding the pan will not brown the meat. Sear each side, remove each meat from the pan and add them to the pressure cooker.
  • Cover the contents of the pressure cooker with water or up to the fill line. Set your pressure cooker to cook for 60 minutes. This means it will cook under pressure for 60 minutes. It will take time to build up pressure (usually 30 minutes) and additional time to release pressure after cooking (usually 30 minutes).
  • Approximately: 30 minutes to build up pressure + 60 minutes under pressure + 30 minutes to release pressure. Exact timing is really not that important – and also depends on your pressure cooker system. Follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Once finished cooking and safe to open, open the pressure cooker and using a fine mesh or ladle, remove the top layer of fatty liquid that has accumulated on the surface of the broth and discard (there will be lots of it.) Remove the onion, ginger and spice sachet and discard. Remove the meat to your cutting board. Shred the brisket using two forks. Remove any other meat from bone.
  • The resulting broth is a concentrate. Dilute the pho concentrate with 4-6 cups of water. Season the Pho broth with fish sauce. Taste and add additional fish sauce if needed. Bring to a simmer on stovetop right before you are ready to serve.

Assemble the Pho Bowls:

Serve to order. In a large bowl for each person, add shirotaki noodles and meat (including the sliced eye of round). Pour the just-simmering hot broth into each bowl. Hot broth will cook the sliced eye of round. Serve with the remaining sides a la carte so each person can add whatever they’d like to their soup.

bowl of Vietnamese pho

Using A Pressure Cooker For Pho

The only limitation of using a slow cooker or pressure cooker is space. Both appliances aren’t that big, and if I’m going to take the time to make Vietnamese Pho, I want to make a BIG BATCH of it! Well, enough to serve 4 people and some broth for the freezer too (freeze in quart containers or bags to make the best “instant noodle” broth ever.)

My solution for Pressure Cooker Pho is to treat the pressure cooker as a “pho broth concentrator” – the ingredients in the recipe are sufficient enough to create such a rich pho broth concentrate. You can add water to adjust after the broth is complete.

Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup)

Paleo Friendly Vietnamese Pho!

Here’s a bonus. The recipe is Paleo friendly. Vietnamese Pho is generally Paleo friendly, as-is. The only ingredient substitution is the type of oil and noodles. Paleo grain-free “noodles” can be Shirotaki noodles (slippery little noodles made from Asian mountain potatoes – found in refrigerated section next to tofu at the store), Zucchini noodles (watch my video reviewing different gadgets to cut zucchini noodles), Kelp noodles made from seaweed.

 

What’s The Best Way To Cook Dry Rice Noodles

If you’re regular eatin’ folk, the traditional Vietnamese Pho noodles are rice noodles. You can find fresh rice noodles at Asian markets or you can get dried rice noodles at your grocery store. They come in different widths, just get one that you like. Generally, I can easily find the 1/4″ thick noodles very easily.

Dried rice noodles cook differently from the regular wheat-based Italian style pasta that you’re used to. The great news its that it’s faster! Dried rice noodles cook in as quickly as 1-3 minutes! If you overcook the noodles, they become mushy and pretty much inedible.

Here’s the best way to cook the dried rice noodles:

  1. Soak the dried noodles in hot water (not boiling water, just hot water from tap) for about 10 minutes. This will soften up the rice noodles. Drain.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. You don’t really need a ton of water (like you do for pasta) – just enough so that all the noodles can be submerged in the hot water. Turn off heat.
  3. Add drained rice noodles to the hot water. Let it sit for 1 minute. Very thin noodles will be ready after 1 minute. Thicker rice noodles will need a couple of minutes. Drain.

Can I Cook The Noodles In Pho broth?

I know you’re gonna ask me: why not cook the noodles directly in the Pho broth? I never do this. Here’s why:

  1. Because the rice noodles cook so darn quickly, it’s so easy to over cook them. I don’t want to ruin a batch of hard-earned broth with overcooked noodles!
  2. Cooking any type of noodles releases starch. For example, when you cook noodles, the water becomes cloudy from the extra flour. I don’t want that in my Pho broth!
  3. Related to #1 is that because the rice noodles can get mushy if submerged in boiling water too long, I add the noodles to each personal bowl first. When everyone is ready to eat (at the table, all staring at me, impatiently tapping their chopsticks on the table) – I will pour the Pho broth INTO the bowls one by one and serve immediately. Basically, I make the bowls to-serve.

No Pressure Cooker? No problem!

Just follow all instructions and simmer the broth for 4 hours on your stovetop. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Fill with 2-1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat so that the water is BARELY simmering – just tiny bubbles here and there. Simmer slightly covered for 3-4 hours. Skim surface of fats and stuff that floats frequently.

Top Tips For This Pressure Cooker Pho

  • Dried rice noodles cook differently from the regular wheat-based Italian style pasta that you’re used to. They cook really fast – 3 mins.
  • You can cook this recipe on the stove top too. 
  • Cooking any type of noodles releases starch. For example, when you cook noodles, the water becomes cloudy from the extra flour. So do not cook the noodles in the Pho broth.
  • Serve with the remaining sides a la carte so each person can add whatever they’d like to their soup.

Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup) Recipe Video

Check Out These Other Delicious Vietnamese Dishes

Have you tried this Pressure Cooker Pho recipe? Feel free to leave a star rating and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

5 from 3 votes
Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

If you can make awesome Pho in the slow cooker, why not a pressure cooker? And this Pressure Cooker Pho tastes so good! Packed with fresh herbs and strips of succulent beef, all in divine broth! 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: instant pot pho, noodle soup, pho recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 773 kcal
Author: Jaden Hair
Ingredients
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 green cardamom pod
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided (Non-Paleo version: cooking oil)
  • 8 slices fresh ginger unpeeled, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 large yellow onion peeled
  • 2 pound beef cross shanks 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 1-1/2 pound oxtails
  • 1-1/2 pound beef brisket
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 pound beef eye of round roast very thinly sliced (keep refrigerated until ready to serve)
  • 8 cups shirotaki noodles Non-Paleo version: dried rice noodles
FOR THE TABLE:
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 2 jalapeño peppers sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh Thai basil or regular Italian basil
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • Sriracha sauce store bought or 20 Minute Sriracha Recipe
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add all spices and toast until they become fragrant. Take care not to burn them! Place them in a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth and tie it up. Place the sachet into the pressure cooker pot.
  2. In the same sauce pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter (or oil) and add onion and ginger pieces. Brown until there is a nice sear on them. Remove them from the pan and place them in the pressure cooker.
  3. Sear the meat in batches: add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and sear the shank, oxtail and brisket. You'll do this in batches, all in a single layer. Give everything plenty of space so that they SEAR and brown. Crowding the pan will not brown the meat. Sear each side, remove each meat from the pan and add them to the pressure cooker.
  4. Cover the contents of the pressure cooker with water or up to the fill line. Set your pressure cooker to cook for 60 minutes. This means it will cook under pressure for 60 minutes. It will take time to build up pressure (usually 30 minutes) and additional time to release pressure after cooking (usually 30 minutes).
  5. Approximately: 30 minutes to build up pressure + 60 minutes under pressure + 30 minutes to release pressure. Exact timing is really not that important - and also depends on your pressure cooker system. Follow manufacturer instructions.
  6. Once finished cooking and safe to open, open the pressure cooker and using a fine mesh or ladle, remove the top layer of fatty liquid that has accumulated on the surface of the broth and discard (there will be lots of it.) Remove the onion, ginger and spice sachet and discard. Remove the meat to your cutting board. Shred the brisket using two forks. Remove any other meat from bone.
  7. The resulting broth is a concentrate. Dilute the pho concentrate with 4-6 cups of water. Season the Pho broth with fish sauce. Taste and add additional fish sauce if needed. Bring to a simmer on stovetop right before you are ready to serve.
Assemble the Pho Bowls:
  1. Serve to order. In a large bowl for each person, add shirotaki noodles and meat (including the sliced eye of round). Pour the just-simmering hot broth into each bowl. Hot broth will cook the sliced eye of round. Serve with the remaining sides a la carte so each person can add whatever they'd like to their soup.
Nutrition Facts
Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 773 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 163mg54%
Sodium 640mg28%
Potassium 1091mg31%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 66g132%
Vitamin A 543IU11%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 107mg11%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Big thanks to Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans Cookbook by my friends Michelle Tam and Henry Fong for another stellar recipe. LOVE this cookbook, I can’t recommend it enough and have purchased copies for my friends.

If you’re non-Paleo, don’t worry. I’m creating notes for Paleo and non-Paleo recipe the Vietnamese Beef Pho using the pressure cooker.