Make this Comforting homemade Instant Pot Pho Ga (Pressure Cooker Chicken Pho)! This fragrant Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup warms the heart and nourishes the soul. So easy to make!
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After studying (mostly eating 😛 ) bowls & bowls of Chicken Pho in pursuit of the yummiest bowl of Pho Ga, we’re finally ready!
Phở or pho (pronounced “fuh”, rhymes with “duh”), a steaming hot bowl of comfort, is taking North America by storm! 😀
This Vietnamese soothing sweet-savory broth filled with fresh, simple & familiar ingredients (at a cheap price!) is winning lots of hearts.
Due to a big population of Vietnamese immigrants, we’ve been blessed with countless Vietnamese restaurants right in our community. So, Pho stops is a must for our dates since our teen years. 🙂
What’s awesome is that Vietnamese restaurants often offer a variety of options for you to create your own bowl of pho. You can choose the type of noodles and toppings or ingredients.
Chefs from different regions of Vietnam offer varying styles & flavors of Pho, and that’s the beauty of Pho!
Generally, Phở bò (Beef Pho) is the biggest player, Phở gà (Chicken Pho) is also well-loved. But bún bò Huế (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup) is the one that conquered our hearts. 😀
As we study each bowl of Chicken Pho, we found that some restaurants serve it with the same broth as their Beef Pho; others serve Pho with barbecued chicken on the side; some broths are sweeter in flavor, some broths are clearer, while other broths are darker in color.
After all the hard work (eating 😛 ), we’re finally ready to share our Instant Pot Pho Ga Recipe!
What We Look for in Instant Pot Pho Ga:
Broth: clear broth with depths of chicken fragrance and flavors; light, delicate flavors
Chicken: flavorful chicken with a good mouthfeel
Noodles: al dente noodles that is cooked through with a satisfying mouthfeel
Garnishments/Herbs: fresh, balance the noodle soup’s flavors, and not overpowering
You’ll Enjoy Instant Pot Chicken Pho Because:
Easy to make at home!
Healthy & nourishing Asian chicken noodle soup
Comforting hot bowl of noodles is satisfying & heartwarming to eat, especially during cool seasons
Simple, clear broth with lighter flavors, but full of chicken fragrance
Time to make Chicken Pho in Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
Make this Easy Homemade Instant Pot Pho Ga Recipe: comforting & fragrant Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup that warms the heart & nourishes the soul.
(roughly 3 ~ 4lbs)
good quality whole free range chicken (or 3.5lbs drumsticks + thighs)
medium onions (one yellow 241g, one white 249g)
, peeled and halved
, unpeeled & cut into long strips
small bunch fresh cilantro
yellow rock sugar
or 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
fine table salt + more to taste
medium banh pho (flat rice noodles)
, soaked in lightly salted hot water for 18 – 25 minutes (70g – 80g per person)
Garnishes on Noodles:
small white onion
, thinly sliced
, leafy part
1 – 2
stalks green onion
, finely chopped
A touch of freshly ground black pepper
Optional: Hard boiled quail eggs
Herb Platter on the side:
Bean sprouts (40g per person)
, cut into 6 wedges
Thai chili pepper
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
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Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot Pho Ga
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Pho
1 (roughly 3 ~ 4lbs) good quality whole free range chicken, (or 3.5lbs drumsticks + thighs)
2 medium onions (one yellow 241g, one white 249g), peeled and halved
1 tablespoon (13g) ginger, unpeeled & cut into long strips
1 (36g) small bunch fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, crushed
15 grams yellow rock sugar or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ (3g) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon (5g) coriander seeds
8 cups (2L) cold water
2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon fine table salt + more to taste
2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
Medium banh pho (70g – 80g per person)
Garnishes on Noodles
1/2 small white onion, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro, leafy part
1 – 2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
A touch of freshly ground black pepper
Optional: Hard boiled quail eggs
Pho Herbs Platter on the side
Bean sprouts (40g per person)
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
Optional: Mint, Thai chili pepper, Thai basil, Hoisin sauce, Sriracha
What is Yellow Rock Sugar 黃冰糖?
Yellow Rock Sugar 黃冰糖 are irregular hard lumps of crystallized sugar made from unprocessed sugar cane. They’re not the same as White Rock Sugar.
It’s commonly used in Chinese cuisine for making marinades, sauces, soups, traditional Chinese medicine, dessert soups, and in tea.
Since Yellow Rock Sugar is not as sweet as white sugar, it works well to balance flavors in Chicken Pho’s delicate broth by imparting a mild sweetness.
Where to Buy it? You can find them in Asian supermarkets or Amazon
Lung Po Rock crystals Sugar (Yellow Lump Raw Cane Sugar) 16oz x3pk
Net weight of each box: 454g (16oz)
*Fun Tidbit: When I was a kid, I often sneaked in the kitchen to hunt for hidden chocolate or candies. If I couldn’t find any snacks to satisfy my sweet cravings, my last resort would always be the Yellow Rock Sugar in the yellow paper box wrapped with cellophane. hehe~ 😛 I would make my way through the huge hard lumps to find some tiny ones I can suck on.
What is Free Range Chicken?
Free Range Chickens have been raised in farms that let them freely roam outdoors (for at least part of the day), rather than being locked in cages.
Why Free Range Chickens? They are more firm, flavorful, and have a better mouthfeel. 😀
*Pro Tip: The chicken is the soul of Chicken Pho. So the chicken’s quality makes a world of difference in making this Pho Ga. If you wish is to make a yummy bowl of Pho Ga, it’s essential to buy a high quality chicken!!
We highly recommend using Free Range Chickens because they have better texture & stronger chicken flavors to impart into the Chicken broth. But if you don’t have access to Free Range Chickens, regular chickens will also work. 🙂
Place 1 tbsp (5g) coriander seeds, half a cinnamon stick, and 4 cloves in the pressure cooker.
Heat up your pressure cooker over medium heat (Instant Pot: press Saute button).
When you smell the fragrance released from the spices (~2mins), remove and set aside the toasted spices.
Char Onions and Ginger
Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be over medium heat (Instant Pot: wait until the indicator says HOT).
Pour in 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil and ensure to coat the oil over whole bottom of the pot.
Carefully place 2 halved medium onions (flat side down) and the ginger pieces in the pressure cooker. Allow the onions and ginger to char without touching them (~5 mins).
At the four minutes mark, add in the crushed garlic clove.
*Pro Tip: Don’t skip this step as charring the onions & ginger will bring out their flavors. It will not only deepens the Instant Pot Pho ga’s overall flavor.
Pressure Cook Chicken Broth
Pour in ½ cup (125ml) cold water and fully deglaze the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Add in the toasted spices, 15g yellow rock sugar, 1 (36g) small bunch fresh cilantro, 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce, ½ tsp fine table salt.
Pour in 3½ cups (875ml) cold water.
Carefully add in the whole chicken (or chicken drumsticks + thighs) with a kitchen tong. If your chicken comes with neck and feet, add them in as well.
Pour in 4 cups (1L) of cold water.
*Pro Tip: Try not to pour the water directly at the chicken as it can splatter chicken’s germs outside of the pressure cooker. Make sure the chicken is at least 90% submerged into the liquid.
Close lid and pressure cook at
Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes Natural Release
After 20 minutes, turn the venting knob to venting position to release the remaining pressure.
Open the lid carefully.
While the pressure cooker is pressure cooking, thinly slice ½ small white onion and place the slices in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes to reduce the pungency.
Prepare the remaining garnish as described in the ingredients list.
Prepare Banh Pho
When the pressure cooker starts natural releasing, place dried Banh Pho (70 – 80g per person) in a large mixing bowl.
Pour lightly salted boiling water into the mixing bowl until the dried pho is fully submerged. Stir & loosen them up occasionally.
Once the Banh Pho are cooked through (for 18 – 25 minutes), drain and run them under cold tap water to stop the cooking process.
Strain Chicken Broth
Transfer whole chicken to a large mixing bowl filled with cold water.
*Pro Tip: The whole chicken will most likely fall apart. This step firms up the skin and cools the chicken to touch.
Strain chicken broth through a fine mesh strainer and remove the fat with a fat separator or skim them off with a ladle.
Season Chicken Broth
Bring the chicken broth back to a boil over medium heat (Instant Pot: press Saute button).
Taste the chicken broth and adjust the seasoning accordingly by adding more salt. It will need quite a bit.
Once the chicken is cooled to touch, debone and serve in small pieces or serve in large bone-in pieces.
Serve Instant Pot Chicken Pho
Place cooked Banh Pho and chicken pieces in a large bowl.
Garnish with white onion slices, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro (leafy part), hard boiled quail eggs (optional) and some freshly ground black pepper.
Pour in boiling chicken broth and serve it piping hot.
Step 9Eat Pressure Cooker Chicken Pho
Sip some of the hot soup first, then try adding the garnish one by one to taste how they change the flavor of the soup.
When you add some Thai basil leaves, the soup will have more complexity.
When you squeeze in some lime juice, the whole bowl will transform into another flavor profile.
We served our Instant Pot Chicken Pho with a side plate of Bean Sprouts, Lime Wedges, Thai Basil, Peppermint Leaves, and Thai Chili Pepper.
*Pro Tip: In our opinion, using Hoisin sauce and Sriracha as a dip on the side is more suitable for beef pho as those two sauces can overpower chicken meat.
Ta da! A steaming hot bowl of Instant Pot Chicken Pho Ga! Enjoy~