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Instant Pot chicken pho in white bowl with garnishes in background.
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Instant Pot Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)

This pressure cooker pho ga (chicken pho) has a rich broth with great depth of flavor. Super easy to make and is ready in just about an hour.
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 389kcal
Author Gary White

Equipment

  • fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • 6 Quart, or larger, Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onions roughly chopped
  • fresh ginger root 2-inch piece, sliced with skin on
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. rice noodles
  • bean sprouts for garnish
  • cilantro for garnish
  • mint leaves for garnish
  • fresh basil for garnish
  • jalapenos for garnish
  • limes for garnish

Instructions

  • Using sauté setting – add oil and onions to pot. Let them begin cooking, not stirring too frequently because you want them to caramelize and get some color on them. After about 5 minutes, add the aromatics (ginger, cloves, star anise, coriander seeds, and black peppercorns). Continue cooking for 5 more minutes, so that the onions have cooked about a total of 10 minutes.
  • Add chicken thighs to pot (skins removed and set aside) along with chicken broth, fish sauce, salt, and sugar. Lock lid and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure.
  • Meanwhile – spread out chicken skins on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and cook under high broiler for 10-12 minutes, or until desired crispiness and char is achieved. Set aside on paper towels until ready to serve. (This is an optional and also non-traditional step. But it’s delicious and adds some great texture to your bowl.)
  • You can also prepare all of your garnish toppings at this point.
  • Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes. Then quick-release remaining pressure.
  • Transfer chicken thighs to a bowl and remove meat from bones in bite-size pieces.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer (or a colander lined with cheesecloth), pass broth though to strain then return to pot. Keep broth warm until ready to serve, but bring back up to a boil first. You can do this using the sauté setting.
  • Prepare rice noodles according to directions on package.
  • Place 1 serving of noodles in bowl. Then add chicken, sliced onions, and herbs to bowl. Finally, pour boiling broth over noodles and chicken. Serve immediately.

Notes

Expert Tips:

  1. I recommend using fresh ginger in this recipe. Attempting to substitute with ground ginger will not yield the same flavor. You can purchase fresh ginger root in the produce section of many grocery stores. You can also find fresh ginger on Amazon.
  2. For a deeper depth of flavor, consider charring the onions and ginger on a baking sheet rather than sautéing. To do so, set oven to 450 F (no need to preheat). Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking oil and add onions and ginger, spread out into a single layer. Place sheet in oven and bake until slightly charred. Then, add to the pot, along with remaining aromatics, and proceed with step 2 of the recipe.
  3. For garnish - use any combination of bean sprouts, limes, jalapeño, basil, mint, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha.

FAQ:

What size Instant Pot did you use? This recipe was developed in a 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo.
How long do leftovers keep? The broth can be stored for 3-4 days in the fridge, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I do not recommend trying to save previously cooked noodles, as rice noodles tend to change texture and break down during the storage and reheating process. 
Can I cook my rice noodles directly in the broth? I recommend cooking your noodles separately. Otherwise, the broth will become starchy, like rice water. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 572mg | Potassium: 665mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.4mg