J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's Pressure Cooker Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Soup)



We love our Instant Pot. We love our friends Meghan and John who gave us our Instant Pot for our wedding. We love this chicken pho. 

This chicken pho will make your whole house smell like a warm hug. This chicken pho will drive your cats nuts. 

As far as authenticity goes, I think this tastes pretty spot-on, but I am not Vietnamese, and I have not ordered chicken pho in years (beef pho is our jam) so take this with a grain of salt. Or a dash of fish sauce. 

Pressure Cooker Pho Ga
(Recipe from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and Serious Eats)

  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, split in half
  • 1 small hand of ginger, roughly sliced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp rock sugar, or granulated sugar
  • 4 servings pho noodles
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 cups mixed herbs
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

  1. Heat oil in Instant Pot over high heat until smoking. 
  2. Add halved onions and ginger, cut side down. Cook for 5 minutes without touching the onions or ginger, allowing them to char. 
  3. Add cilantro, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, fennel, coriander, and chicken to the pot. Add 2 quarts of water, the fish sauce, and the sugar to the pot (don't worry about stirring any of this). 
  4. Close the lid, set to seal, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, boil your pho noodles until chewy (do not follow the instructions on the back of the packaging! I did this and mine were overcooked). 
  6. When Instant Pot is finished cooking, quickly release pressure. Open the lid, transfer the chicken drumsticks to a plate, and carefully strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Discard any solids and skim any scum off the surface of the broth. 
  7. Season broth to taste with more fish sauce and sugar (mine needed a few tablespoons more fish sauce and a sprinkle of sugar).
  8. Serve by placing prepared pho noodles, chicken drumstick, and onions in individual soup bowl. Pour hot broth over the noodles and top with bean sprouts, herbs, and lime. 


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