Insta-Pot Pho

Something a little DIFFERENT on the blog. Because I need to start saving my recipes somewhere. So why not here? I was not smart enough to photograph my process during the cooking, and #aintnobodygottime, so please don’t expect pretty photos in this post. You’re only getting the recipe. lol

Adapted from this recipe. "Loosely follow" my recipe as well because well, it's not THAT exact either bahaha.


  • 1-2 Large Onion (obvs remove the top/bottom and cut remainder in half)

  • 2 Shallots (remove the top/bottom but don't cut in half)

  • 5 Inch Fresh Ginger Root (I cut in half, but your call)

  • 2½ Pounds Beef Leg Bones

  • 2 Pounds oxtail *

  • 1 Tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt or Sea Salt Flakes

  • 2 Tablespoons white Rock Sugar (supposedly yellow rock sugar works better but I couldn't find it)

  • Water


  • 5 Whole Star Anise Pods

  • 4 Whole Cloves (NOT garlic cloves btw, you want the flower bud spice thing)

  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

  • 2 Tablespoons Coriander Seeds

  • 2 Tablespoons Fennel Seeds

  • 1 Black Cardamon Pod, (optional but I did it)


  • Pho noodles

  • 2-3 limes, sliced into 6-8 parts

  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped

  • Jalepeno(s), sliced

  • 1 package basil (and mint if preferred)

  • 1 onion, as thinly sliced as you can (hard to do but worth it, mandolin?)

  • Bean sprouts

  • Pick your poison if you want other meat: shabu shabu brisket meat, beef balls, any other thinly sliced beef cuts


  1. Toast spice mix together over med heat in a frying pan until aromatic - 5-ish mins

  2. Put them into a spice bag (highly recommended).

  3. Put bones and oxtail into a regular pot of water (not the insta pot, stay with me here) and bring to boiling for 5-10 mins (to get rid of the scum before making broth).

  4. Charbroil onion, shallots, ginger in oven (or if you're lucky, over a gas stove). Option to char the bones too after de-scumming. I was lazy and did not.


  1. If you’re smart, you have a cheesecloth or something to contain the bones, oxtail, onions, shallots, and ginger together. If you’re me, you did not, so you just put the veggies on the bottom w/ salt, spice bag, and rock sugar. Add the bones, then beef. Pour in cold water to fill to the max line. If this is your first time filling it to the max, don’t sweat it. It does end up fine and not overflowing. I know this for a fact.

  2. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Wait 15 minutes, then do a manual pressure release. Remove the oxtail (or other meat if you added other meat).

    1. This is where my bro’s girlfriend and I deviated a bit. We removed the meat from the oxtail and put the oxtail bones back in the pot. I think it definitely added to the flavor BUT it also increased the amt of FAT so beware if you follow us down this uncharted territory. You will be skimming more fat at the end. Our other thought was to trim the fat before cooking. But it tasted amazing so there’s that…

  3. Skim the top for scum and fat at this point.

  4. Maybe take a taste test (and add a little bit of fish sauce at that point if you want to, we did, like a splash).

  5. And then…you got it, fill ‘er up again TO THE MAX (with water in case you needed me to spell this out).

  6. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes this time.

  7. Remove/strain everything so you get only the broth left. Taste test and add more fish sauce if you need - remember this is “to taste” so salt it how you like it.


  1. Make noodles according to package.

  2. Soak onion slices in water for 20 minutes to take away a bit of the raw onion taste.

  3. Fill up your bowls your way! Enjoy!

*Note: so most of my ingredients were purchased BEFORE I found the recipe linked above. I had a list of ingredients to buy from last year (that’s how long ago I’ve been planning to make pho broth haha) BUT I failed to save the instructions from that older recipe and I didn’t realize I should just put brisket meat in the broth to cook alongside (so dumb of me) until I got home. So I had what I had, which was oxtail and beef leg bones. And shabu shabu brisket hahaha The author DID say to play around with different cuts of meat so do as he suggests and for me, just take everything above as basic guidelines and have fun choosing your bones/meats instead of stressing over them like I did b/c I shopped in H-mart and you know how “easy” it can be to find the cuts/bones you want there ;)

Surprise! If you read this far, here are 2 photos from my phone of the pho as a reward.