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Vietnamese Pho is a beautifully fragrant and healthy noodle soup. Pho can be made using any kind of protein, the most popular being beef pho, but our favorite is Chicken Pho. Chicken Pho is much easier to make and the broth is much lighter than beef. Lending a more subtle flavor, while being extra nourishing!

Chicken Pho in Bowl.

Let’s chat about our favorite two shortcuts to make this incredible noodle soup.

  1. Use whatever bone-in chicken is on sale at your grocery store or has been hiding in the back of your freezer.
  2. Use an electric pressure cooker! This has become a very common appliance in many kitchens, but if you don’t have one, be sure to put it on your holiday list! 

Shortcuts don’t equal less flavor, they just equal less time making dinner. We use these shortcuts because they make dinner time easier without sacrificing zero flavor and will have a meal in a fraction of the time!

noodle soup in a white bowl with shredded chicken and herbs.

What spices do we need for Chicken Pho? 

Spices are a quintessential part of this Vietnamese Chicken Pho. They create tons of flavor by just simply being sautéd and hanging out in the broth. These spices will infuse your Pho broth and contribute to that rich and decadent flavor broth. 

  • Ginger
  • Garlic 
  • Coriander Seeds 
  • Star Anise 
  • Cloves (optional) 
  • Fish Sauce – fish sauce with only 2 ingredients, anchovy and salt is best! 

Up close photo of chicken pho topped with bean sprouts and herbs.

Steps to Create Chicken Pho  

With these four quick and easy steps you will have the most flavorful Vietnamese Chicken Pho on your table in less than one hour!

  1. Sauté your onions, ginger, garlic, and spices together until lightly caramelized and fragrant. 
  2. Add your bone-in chicken, cover with water, and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure. While your broth is cooking, cook your rice noodles. 
  3. Remove chicken from the broth and shred once cool enough to handle. 
  4. Drain spices from the broth and add the broth back to the pot. 
  5. Divide noodles and chicken among your bowls and customize with your favorite toppings! 

Spices for instant pot chicken pho.

Assembly and Customization of your Chicken Pho 

We love a customizable bowl over here at Steamy Kitchen! This is a great meal for all because you can make it totally your own. Don’t love one of the toppings or something too spicy? Leave it out! Love extra herbs and bean sprouts and want to shout it from the roof tops? Go nuts! So line up your table with all of the fixings and create your own. We love a good BYOB (Build Your Own Bowl!) 

  1. Thinly sliced onion, soaked in water – this tones down the raw onion bite 
  2. Fresh herbs: Our non negotiables are Thai or regular basil, cilantro, and green onion. Mint is a nice addition but totally optional! 
  3. Sliced jalapeño – For the spice lovers in your life! 
  4. Bean sprouts – Can’t beat the crunch and freshness of added bean sprouts! 
  5. Lime – Acidity is crucial for your Chicken Pho and will always bring out the flavors of your dish even more. 
  6. Hoisin and Sriracha – A little sweet and spicy sauce action. The combination of both sauces really level up your Chicken Pho. 

Hungry for more nourishing noodle bowls? Check out some of our favorites here:

Instant Pot Vietnamese Chicken Pho

This Vietnamese Chicken Pho is the definition of a cozy and comforting meal. In less than 1 hour you will have a nourishing bowl of warm noodle soup!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people


For the Pho

  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken either a whole chicken or bone-in parts: breast or thigh
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons of whole coriander seeds not ground coriander
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2" nub of ginger peeled and sliced a few times
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 whole cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Noodles and Toppings

  • 1 package dried rice noodles about 10-12 ounces, prepared according to package instructions, and drained
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced and soaked in cold water
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • few sprigs of Thai basil or regular basil
  • 1 lime in wedges
  • 1/2 pound fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 jalapeno chile sliced
  • Sriracha and Hoisin Sauce


Make the Broth

  • Turn the pressure cooker to "sauté" and heat the oil until smoking. Add the onion, ginger slices and cook until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, coriander, and star anise and sauté for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add in the chicken and 2 quarts of water to cover the chicken and seal the pot. Set to pressure and cook 20 minutes on high.
  • Make your rice noodles while your broth is cooking.
  • When the cooking is complete, carefully release the pressure then remove the lid once all pressure is released. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a large bowl and let chicken cool off a bit. Strain all the spices from the broth and discard. Turn the pressure cooker on "boil" or "sauté" to keep the broth very hot.
  • Season broth with the fish sauce and sugar. Taste. If the broth is too bland, adjust with more fish sauce and sugar.
  • Remove the chicken meat from bones, shred with fingers. Set aside.

Make the Pho Bowls

  • Drain the onions, Set your table with the onions, all of the herbs and condiments so that each person can customize their own bowl.
  • Divide the chicken and prepared noodles amongst the bowls.
  • Return the pho broth to a boil. Ladle the hot pho broth into each bowl, and serve.
Keyword instant pot pho, pho recipe, vietnamese pho
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