This is the best pho ga instant pot recipe because it is the quickest and the easiest. In under 30 minutes, you can have chicken pho with tender chicken and a very flavorful broth!
Chicken pho, or pho ga, is a light soup that is a popular item in Vietnamese restaurants. Pho is Vietnam’s national dish, and it includes a rich broth, rice noodles, meat(s), and plenty of herbs for garnishing. The dried rice noodles that are used are called bánh phở and come in many different widths. The spices typically included in the broth are:
- cloves, star anise, coriander seed, fennel, cinnamon, black cardamom, ginger, and onion.
I believe that adding ginger, sugar, fish sauce, star anise, onion in my pho ga instant pot recipe help is vital for a great broth.
The most popular type of pho uses beef for the meat. Using beef results in an ultra-savory and rich broth. However, it traditionally also requires a long time of preparation and cooking to extract all of the flavors out for the best broth. Pressure cooker pho ga uses chicken, which shortens this process significantly.
If dark chicken meat is used, less attention and time is needed to cook a flavorful broth. So, this quick chicken pho recipe shortens the typical hour-long simmer for a great broth down to just twenty minutes in the Instant Pot. The step to brown the aromatics first is optional, which makes this a simple chicken pho recipe.
How to Make This Pho Ga Instant Pot Recipe
Clean the excess fat off of the chicken. This reduces the need to skim off fat after the soup is cooked.
Which Type of Chicken Should Be Used for This Pho Ga Instant Pot Recipe?
Chicken thighs typically have more meat than drumsticks, so I recommend using chicken thighs. However, I have also tried using drumsticks with great success.
Optionally use the Instant Pot saute function to char the onion and ginger for a few minutes and toast the spices for a minute. Place the cleaned chicken and the rest of the soup broth ingredients in the Instant Pot.
Pressure cook the soup on high pressure for 15 minutes and natural release for 10 minutes.
Prepare the Noodles and Garnishes
While the pho ga is cooking, boil the rice noodles according to the packaging instructions. Wash the herbs and other garnishes, such as mung bean sprouts.
Fish out the spices from the chicken pho. Optionally remove the onion as well. Add the chicken, broth, and cooked noodles to a bowl and garnish generously with the fresh herbs and other toppings.
Notes on This Pho Ga Instant Pot Recipe
- Cutting off the excess fat from the chicken before cooking prevents the need to skim off the chicken fat after pressuring cooking.
- The step to brown the onion/ginger and toast the spices is optional. Restaurants char the onion and ginger and peel off the burnt parts to introduce a greater depth of flavor into their soup. I typically do not do this step, but it can make the soup more closely mimic restaurant-quality chicken pho.
- To have an easier time removing the spices after cooking, place all of them in a spice bag/sachet/cheesecloth before adding to the Instant Pot. This way, the spices can be taken out at the same time.
- Remember to prep the rice noodles, herbs, and other toppings while the pho ga is pressure cooking to reduce the total cooking time.
- Using all of the toppings below is not mandatory. You can choose a few from the list. I would recommend at least adding mung bean sprouts, Thai basil, mint, and lime.
Pho Ga Instant Pot (Chicken Pho)
- 1 white onion quartered
- 1.5 inches ginger sliced
- 1.5 – 2 lbs chicken thigh or drumsticks
- 3 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp fennel
- 4 star anise
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- flat rice noodles bánh phở
Toppings (choose what you like)
- mung bean sprouts
- Thai basil
- lime cut into wedges
- white onion thinly sliced
- hoisin sauce
- jalapeno sliced
- Cut off any excess fat from the chicken thighs.
- Optional: Turn the Instant Pot onto Sauté mode. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pressure cooker before adding the onion and ginger. Cook the onion and ginger until charred/deeply brown. Add the spices and toast for about one minute until fragrant.
- Add the remaining broth ingredients to the pot. Close the Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pot natural release for about 10 minutes.
- While the broth is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Cook the rice noodles according to its packaging and wash the herbs. For the sliced onions, you can place them in a bowl of water for 15 minutes to lessen their pungency.
- Strain out the spices. Optionally strain out the cooked onion as well. (I keep the cooked onion in the soup for less effort).
- Add some noodles, broth, and chicken to a bowl. Add your desired toppings and enjoy.