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Pho Bo
/fuh baw/
Beef noodle soup (Instant Pot Edition)
SERVINGS: 4-5 | COOK TIME: 1 HOUR

Ingredients for broth:
3 lbs Beef bones
1 lb Beef (boneless chuck or cross-rib)
½ Medium apple (sweet & sour variety like Fuji, Pink Lady or Honeycrisp)
1 lrg Yellow onion
2 oz Ginger
2 pcs Star anise
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Cloves, whole
2 tsp Sea salt
2 tbsp Fish sauce

 

Ingredients for bowls:
½ lb Beef (top or bottom sirloin or eye of round), sliced thinly
14 oz Package of dried pho noodles
½ Yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 Green onions, chopped
¼ cup Cilantro, chopped

 

Optional garnishes and condiments:

  • Black pepper
  • Sliced jalapeno and/or thai chilies
  • Mint
  • Thai basil
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha
  • Hoisin
  • Fish sauce
Parboiling the bones: (optional)
I find that when I parboil the bones beforehand, the broth turns out more clear. However, it’s perfectly fine to skip this process. 
1.  Rinse the bones. Pat dry with paper/kitchen towels. 
2.  Place in a large stock pot and fill with water to cover the bones. Bring water to a boil. 
3.  Let the bones boil for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the bones clean with cold water. 

 

Directions for broth:
1.  Rinse the bones and boneless beef. Pat dry with paper/kitchen towels. 
2.  Cut the large onion in half. Peel ginger, half it lengthwise. Peel and cut apple into quarter wedges.
3.  Using your Instant Pot, set it on the sauté function on high. When the pot gets hot, toast the star anise, cinnamon and cloves for several minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant. Add the onion and ginger. Stir and cook for a minute or two until there’s a little browning. 
4.  Add the bones, beef and apple and fill the pot with water up to the maximum fill line. Add salt and fish sauce and lock the lid on your Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. While waiting for the broth to cook, do prep work for the bowls. (See below) 
5. 

When timer is done, allow the InstantPot to perform a natural release. This will take some time, about 20 minutes or so, then, carefully remove lid. NOTE: A quick release at this time will cause a lot of hot piping liquid to spew from the top and create quite a mess. So, please be patient and wait for the natural release.

6.  To cool down and keep the boneless meat from drying out, transfer it to a bowl and cover with cold water and soak for 10 minutes.
7.  Strain the broth from the Instant Pot into a stock pot through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth/muslin. Discard the remaining solids and skim the fat from the broth. 
8.  Bring the pot of broth to a boil (medium-high heat) and taste it. Add extra fish sauce/salt/sugar to your preference.

 

Preparing and arranging bowl:
1.  Rare beef slices. You can skip this step if your local butcher can slice the meat for you. If not, you’ll have to freeze the beef for 15-20 minutes. Then slice very thinly across the grain. 
2.  Place the dried noodles in a large mixing bowl. Cover noodles with hot tap water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Drain and rinse to remove starch. Set aside.
3.  Slice yellow onion thinly and soak in water for 10 minutes. Chop green onions and cilantro set aside. Arrange any optional garnishes on a plate. 
4.  Cut cooked beef (from “Step 6” of broth instructions) across the grain into slices, a thicker than the raw beef. Set aside. 
5.  Fill a 3-5 quart pot a little over half way with water and bring to a boil. 
6.  Place a handful of pre-soaked softened noodles into a noodle/mesh strainer and submerge into the boiling water for about 5-10 seconds. Gently shake noodles from the strainer to drain and remove excess water.  Then, put the desired amount of cooked noodles into bowl. Repeat this step for all the bowls you are preparing. 
7.  Lay desired amount of raw and cooked beef, flat, on top of the noodles. Spoon a small mound of chopped onion and cilantro mixture in the center of the bowl. Now, ladle broth in to bowls, distributing the hot liquid evenly to warm all the ingredients.
8.  Serve with array of prepared garnishes and condiments.

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