Instant Pot Pho Bo Dac Biet (Beef Pho)

Everyone knows that the ultimate Vietnamese soup is Pho. Beef Pho has grown in popularity because of the multitude of flavors featured in the broth. The broth is cooked using charred onions, charred ginger, toasted herbs and beef bones to combine the best part of each ingredients flavor. Traditional Pho takes 10-12 hours of simmering the broth (over night) to have good and tasty broth. However, this Instant Pot recipe will take less than 2 hours thanks to the pressure cooking feature. Pho Bo (Dac Biet) which is a Vietnamese translation for all sorts of special beef variants such as: raw sliced steak, brisket, tendons, beef tripes & Vietnamese beef meatballs. This is what you would usually order at a Vietnamese restaurant. The noodles are just as important as the broth, because if you don’t use the right type of noodles, the soup won’t be as good as it could be. I always prefer fresh banh pho (pho noodles) over dry because the texture is completely different. But if you cannot get fresh noodles, dry noodles are a good substitution. Also, traditional with Pho, is the at the table additions of your preferred amount of hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, lime, fresh bean sprouts, culantro, Thai basil and sliced Jalapeño to complete both the presentation and the bowl.

If I had to list something for a last meal; well made Beef Pho would be a top three for further consideration. I love this too much, I swear it will make you feel better just eating it. The secret to a successful soup is the attention you give to the creation of the stock. The richness that is infused in the liquid from the bones can not be underestimated. I have made several attempts at recreating the stovetop version using my Instant Pot, and I believe I have cracked the code. The Pressure cooker in concert with the quality of the ingredients will yield a soup that most folks would not be able to detect any differences between this and the stove top version. 

Once satisfied with my additions of hoisin sauce, sriracha and a spoonful of fish sauce marinated jalapeños with a squeeze of lime I love to sip (my soup to see if anything else is required). The hot washing of flavors across my tastebuds provide an abundance of stimulation of pleasing flavors. I immediately appreciate the richness of good beef marrow stock and proceed to gather my first bite of noodles. Using my personal method of preparation, the noodles are guaranteed to be very hot and the broth will, as a result, be steaming with flavor. The soft tender noodles fill my belly with almost burning satisfaction as search my bowl for a slice of rare steak. Once I have my first bite of fresh meat, I then explore my bowl for something crunchy and find fresh bean sprouts and my favorite Thai Basil. The basil gives sophistication to anything it is added to and this beef pho is no exception. I have been working off and on for years to figure out a good recipe for beef meatballs and I am proud to say I have found a recipe that is so tender, spongy and juicy it makes the mechanically created versions a thing of the past for me and my family.

Eating a large bowl of pho requires a big appetite and a love for dang good food. Once you have worked your way through the peppers and beef tendons you will find yourself fishing though the broth for more bits of noodles and bean sprouts of delicious loose morsels. This recipe is so good, you will be drinking the last drops of the broth from your bowl. Simply follow the instructions below and watch the short demonstration to be on your way to creating something that can take years to perfect. Be sure to toast the seasonings, being carful not to scorch them. My husband will sometimes grill the onions and ginger to the point they are ready to burst which adds a new dimension to the eatfoodlicious experience. Share this or any of my recipes and let me know if you tired one, I love to talk food!

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Add bean sprouts, culantro, Thai basil leaves and sliced Jalapeños to the bowl. Serve & enjoy!

5 lbs Bone marrows, 3 beef tendons & 2 lbs brisket.

In a large pot: add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the meats and boil for 10 minutes.

Scoop out the grayish floating foam (scum) from the water and discard.

Transfer the meat and bones to a strainer, then rinse under the sink (make sure to remove the scum bits on the meat).

Heat a pan to medium-high. Place all seasonings in the pan and toast for 5-6 minutes or until very fragrant, then turn off the heat. Remove the seasonings, place them in a tea bag or ball infuser and set aside.

In a clean pan: place 2 onions and ginger in the pan. Char each side for 4 minutes or until blackened. Turn off heat. Remove the ginger from the pan and transfer to a cuting board. Smash the ginger until it splits. Alternative: Place the onions and ginger in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for 25 minutes (flip half way).

Stack in this order: Place parboiled bone marrow, tendons & brisket.

Charred onions & smashed ginger in the cooker. Pour 12 cups of boiling water into the cooker (this will help expedite the process of establishing optimal pressure). The water should be under the ⅔ max line (do not go over the max line). Add seasoning bag (on top of the meat & not in the water), rock sugar and salt.

Place the lid on. Pressure cook on high for 1 hour and natural release for 30 minutes (exercise caution when releasing pressure from the cooker). Follow the manufacture instructions for how to do a quick release. Remove lid.

Remove the brisket and tendons; transfer them to and let rest in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes or until cool to touch.

Remove/discard the onions, ginger & bones. Add 8 cups of boiling water to the cooker. Place the lid on. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes and a quick release (exercise caution when releasing pressure from the cooker). Follow the manufacture instructions for how to do a quick release. Remove lid.

Optional but recommended – Place a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a large bowl or pot. Slowly pour the stock through the filter. This will help to significantly reduce the fat which leaves a clear pho broth. Transfer the broth back to the instant pot cooker (make sure to clean the pot before reusing) or stock pot.

Place the steak in the freezer for 30 minutes (this will help to slice the meat thinly). Cut the steak thinly against the grain and set aside. Slice the brisket, cover and then set aside. Slice the tendons into ¼”-½” thick strips and set aside. Rinse, clean and slice the tripe very thin. Cook the tripe in boiling for 2-3 minutes, drain and set aside. Optional: slice the meatballs in half.

Preferred method: Place fresh noodles in a bowl. Pour boiling water in and blanch for 10-12 seconds. Drain and return the cooked noodles back to the bowl (exercise with caution as the bowl might be hot).

On the stovetop: In a medium size pot: fill ~half way with water and bring to a boil. If using fresh pho noodles, blanch for 5-7 seconds in boiling water. If using dry noodles, follow the package instructions for cook time. Remove and strain the noodles then transfer to serving bowl(s). 

Side toppings: Bean sprouts, culantro, Thai basil leaves and sliced Jalapeños .

Arrange and Assemble

Gently pour boiling broth over the noodles and meat.

Season with hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce and lime (to taste). Optional: season with more fish sauce if you prefer. 

Add bean sprouts, culantro, Thai basil leaves and sliced Jalapeños to the bowl. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Instant Pot Pho Bo Dac Biet (Beef Pho)

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 3 mins
Natural Release 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 53 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, vietnamese
Servings 8
Calories

Equipment

  • Instant Pot (8 qt)

Ingredients
  

Seasoning

  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 4 anise seeds
  • 2 Saigon cinnamon sticks
  • 1 amomum costatum aka black cardamom

Broth

  • 20 cups, divided boiling water filtered
  • 5 lbs beef bone marrow or neck bones, beef knuckle bones
  • 2 lbs beef brisket trim off fat
  • 3 beef tendons
  • 2 sweet onions sliced in half
  • 4-5" ginger
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 oz rock sugar about 2 big chunks

Noodles & Toppings

  • 3 lbs fresh pho noodles or dry pho noodles
  • 1-2 lbs steak sirlion, rib eye or new york strips
  • 1-2 lbs beef tripe
  • 1 lb pho beef meatballs
  • 1 lb fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion bunch finely chopped
  • fresh Thai basil leaves only
  • culantro
  • hoisin sauce
  • sriracha sauce
  • 2-4 lime sliced
  • 1-3 Jalapeño or Red Chile Peppers sliced

Instructions
 

Parboil Bones & Meat

  • Clean and rinse the tendons, bone marrow & brisket.
  • In a large pot: add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the meats and boil for 10 minutes. Scoop out the grayish floating foam (scum) from the water and discard. Transfer the meat and bones to a strainer, then rinse under the sink (make sure to remove the scum bits on the meat).

Roast & Char

  • Heat a pan to medium-high. Place all seasonings in the pan and toast for 5-6 minutes or until very fragrant, then turn off the heat. Remove the seasonings, place them in a tea bag or ball infuser and set aside.
  • In a clean pan: place 2 onions and ginger in the pan. Char each side for 4 minutes or until blackened. Turn off heat. Remove the ginger from the pan and transfer to a cuting board. Smash the ginger until it splits. Alternative: Place the onions and ginger in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for 25 minutes (flip half way).

Pressure Cook

  • Stack in this order: Place parboiled bone marrow, tendons, brisket, charred onions & smashed ginger in the cooker.
  • Pour 12 cups of boiling water into the cooker (this will help expedite the process of establishing optimal pressure). The water should be under the ⅔ max line (do not go over the max line).
  • Add seasoning bag (on top of the meat & not in the water), rock sugar and salt.
  • Place the lid on. Pressure cook on high for 1 hour and natural release for 30 minutes (exercise caution when releasing pressure from the cooker). Follow the manufacture instructions for how to do a quick release. Remove lid.
  • Remove the brisket and tendons; transfer them to and let rest in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes or until cool to touch. Remove/discard the onions, ginger & bones.
  • Add 8 cups of boiling water to the cooker. The water should be under the ⅔ max line (do not go over the max line).
  • Place the lid on. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes and a quick release (exercise caution when releasing pressure from the cooker). Follow the manufacture instructions for how to do a quick release. Remove lid.
  • Add fish sauce to the broth and stir. Season with sugar & salt if needed. Discard the seasoning bag.
  • Optional but recommended – Place a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a large bowl or pot. Slowly pour the stock through the filter. This will help to significantly reduce the fat which leaves a clear pho broth. Transfer the broth back to the instant pot cooker (make sure to clean the pot before reusing) or stock pot.
  • Instant Pot: Press the sauté button and set to high ~20 minutes. Stovetop: Bring the broth to a boil.
  • Add meatballs to the broth.

Slice Meat

  • Place the steak in the freezer for 30 minutes (this will help to slice the meat thinly). Cut the steak thinly against the grain and set aside. Slice the brisket, cover and then set aside. Slice the tendons into ¼"-½" thick strips and set aside. Rinse, clean and slice the tripe very thin; cook the tripe in boiling for 2-3 minutes, drain and set aside. Optional: slice the meatballs in half.

Cook Noodles

  • Preferred method: Place fresh noodles in a bowl. Pour boiling water in and blanch for 10-12 seconds. Drain and return the cooked noodles back to the bowl (exercise with caution as the bowl might be hot).
    On the stovetop: In a medium size pot: fill ~half way with water and bring to a boil. If using fresh pho noodles, blanch for 5-7 seconds in boiling water. If using dry noodles, follow the package instructions for cook time. Remove and strain the noodles then transfer to serving bowl(s). 

Arrange and Assemble

  • Place the cooked noodles in the middle of the bowl.
  • Place raw sliced steak, meatballs, brisket, tendons & tripe in the bowl.
  • Add chopped green onions and sliced white onions.
  • Gently pour boiling broth over the noodles and meat.
  • Season with hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce and lime (to taste). Optional: season with more fish sauce if you prefer. 
  • Add bean sprouts, culantro, Thai basil leaves and sliced Jalapeños to the bowl.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

    Video

    Notes

    Note: If you have a 6 qt Instant Pot, cut the recipe in half.
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    3 thoughts on “Instant Pot Pho Bo Dac Biet (Beef Pho)

    1. I have a 3 quart IP, do I half the recipe? I’d love to try this! My grocery stores sells sliced raw beef, which might be ideal, don’t you think?

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