Cuong's Instant Pot Beef Pho
  • 2 pounds beef oxtails
  • 1 palm sized piece of ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bag of Pho spices (can be whole spices or a prepared bag of ground spices). Alternatively use your own mixture of Star Anise, Cloves, Coriander Seeds, Fennel, Cinnamon, Licorice, and Cardamom.
  • Fresh or dry pho noodles (white rice noodles about the size of linguine)
  • Garnishes: sliced green onion, cilantro, white onion; thai basil, sawtooth herb (ngo gai), jalapeno, lime, hoisin sauce, sriracha.
  • Optional Items: 1 pound beef brisket, 1 piece beef tendon, bo vien meatballs, thin sliced eye of round beef
  1. 1) Place oxtails in boiling water (either in a pot on the stove, or Instant Pot on Manual) for 3 to 5 minutes. Discard liquid and scum that forms, rinse oxtails and pot well in clean water
  2. 2) Char ginger and onion over open flame (or in toaster oven) until well charred. Rinse slightly
  3. 3) Toast pho spices in dry pan, and place into spice bag or tie into some cheesecloth. You can also use a metal tea infuser ball
  4. 4) Place the above into Instant Pot set to Manual 45 minutes, cover with water to anywhere below the Max fill line. Add in ¼ cup of fish sauce and 1 TBS of sugar. Also add in brisket and tendon, if using
  5. 5) When completed cooking, carefully vent the Instant Pot. It may spew broth because it is so full, I suggest using the slow vent method where using tongs or a wooden spoon, lift the vent up partially and hold until you are sure it won’t bubble out. Remove the brisket and tendon to a cutting board and slice tendon into bite size pieces. Let brisket cool and then slice across the grain into thin slices (if you try to slice while it is hot, you will end up with pulled brisket)
  6. 6) Taste the soup and adjust seasoning as necessary with additional salt and fish sauce or sugar. You want it to taste especially well seasoned at this point, as adding it to the noodles later will bland out the soup
  7. 7) Add cut up meatballs to the soup, if using, and skim off top layer of grease/oil. Hit the sauté or manual button on the Instant Pot so your soup is hot and boiling as you serve
  8. 8) Hydrate your pho noodles in boiling water, and place into your soup bowls
  9. 9) Top with brisket and tendon, and rare beef slices if using
  10. 10) Ladle meatballs, an oxtail, and boiling soup over rare beef slices to partially cook the pieces
  11. 11) Garnish with all herbs, lime, and all sauces to your individual taste (‘Murica!)
  12. 12) Stay well lubricated by enjoying your favorite beverage from steps 1 to 11