There was this vietnamese place near my house that my entire family would always go to. When I say my entire family I mean my entire family from my mom, my dad, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone in between else in between. And if you knew my family we would take you there to eat. Now that I'm thinking about it we did some good advertising and marketing for them. But they really did have the best pho in all of Brooklyn along with the best fried vietnamese spring rolls. You know the ones that they served with lettuce and the sweet vinegar. Soo so good!
No matter how many times in a week we would go I would always ALWAYS get their pho. Their beef pho broth was extremely flavorful and super comforting despite it being really light. I could eat a whole bowl of pho without feeling like I needed a nap or needed to eat something more.
It is the perfect bowl of soup for literally any occasion.
Sadly the owner decided to sell the business a few years ago and the new owners just aren't the same. Not bad just not the same. So since then I've been trying to recreate my favorite pho soup at home. It took batches of soups, meats, and pots to get to a broth that I liked. Originally I started out with pork and i figured out that it was wayyyy to fatty for a good pho. For ramen good. For pho no. So off I went to the good ole beef, which is the traditional meat used for pho, and I love the beef flavor but somehow I got into making it with chicken legs. To me its like chicken noodle soup but 100x better! But you know what make it like 200x better though? The fact that it will be done in no time because you make it in your instant pot! Of course you could make it on the stovetop but I usually leave it for 3 sometimes even 4 hours and it tastes the exact same if you made it in an instant pot.
Also, one the key ingredients in my pho is the fish sauce. So no matter what you do you must put it in. It is quite strong in flavor and taste but when diluted it taste delicious and there is barley any smell.
Note: There are two sizes for the instant pot and I have the large instant pot so this recipe is for the larger instant pots!
instant pot chicken pho
Makes 10 cups of broth
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon green cardamon pods
4 star anise pods
1 teaspoon of whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 large onion, skin peeled and cut in half
1 piece of ginger, skin on
3 whole cloves of garlic, skin peeled
4 chicken legs
1 tablespoon of oil
Approx. 10 cups of Water
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
Salt to taste
1 chicken breast, boiled and sliced
Pho noodles, cooked according to the instructions
1 wedge of lime
handful of bean sprout
Stem of thai basil leaves
In a small pan with medium heat, toast the coriander, green cardamom pods, star anise pods, cloves, and cinnamon stick until they become fragrant and a little burnt. Set them aside and let the spices cool.
With an open flame, char the two onion halves and piece of ginger until the outsides blacken. This will take about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, set your instant pot to saute and add in the oil.
Once the oil gets hot, brown the chicken legs. You are not looking to cook the chicken just to get the skin browned and a little crispy. Approx. 10 minutes total.
Once the chicken is ready, put all the spices in a spice bag and throw it into the instant pot along with the charred onions, ginger, and fill the instant pot to the top mark on the inside of the pot. For me this was approx 10 cups of water. It may vary for you.
Set the instant pot to high pressure for 1 hour.
Once the time is up, release the pressure, carefully take the lid off, and add in the fish sauce. Taste it and then add in as much or as little salt as you'd like. I normally do about 1 teaspoon.
At this point you can either jar up the broth in clean glass jars and save it for another day or you can serve it immediately. I like to eat it with slices of chicken breast, pho noodles, bean sprouts, some thai basil, and a wedge of lime. But honestly the options are endless!