How to Make Brisket Pho?

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You may have tried different noodle soups but brisket pho has a completely different flavor. It’s a rich combination of light broth cooked for hours and poured on noodles, bean sprouts, thin meat slices, and a lot of other fresh herbs.

Different cuts of beef, like flank shank or chuck roast, can be used as thinly sliced meat in pho but brisket is preferred by many of us due to its low-cost and amazing results. Brisket also has a texture that goes very well in the pho broth. Its long grains and balance of fat prevent the meat strips from getting too dry or chewy.

In this article, we will discuss brisket pho. We will discuss how to make it, not only with the traditional stovetop method but how to cook it in the instant pot, pressure cooker, or slow cooker (affiliate link) to save time.

What is Brisket?

man holding a large piece of brisket

Brisket is a less expensive cut of beef and has a reasonable amount of marbling on the side. The cut is preferred due to its perfect balance between fat and meat. Brisket has many tough tissues, so it is suitable for simmering for hours and yields a deep rich flavor. The meat has long strands of thread that, cooked properly, taste delicious.

How to Cut Brisket for the Pho?

As brisket has long threads, cut the meat against the thread. Cut at 45 degrees. To make sure the beef is cooked properly, Cut in thin slices so that they are easy to cook.

How to Make Brisket Pho?

Beef brisket is the ultimate comfort food. It may be high in calories, but the beef broth, thinly sliced meat, fresh herbs, and spices make this recipe an all-time favorite.

The Vietnamese recipe, originally served as breakfast, has been gaining popularity worldwide. Pho is prepared with different meats but beef and chicken are the two most popular choices. Check our guide pho meat guide. The broth is prepared with beef bones and served with tender beef strips added and cooked in it.

How to Make Beef Broth

Beef broth is the base of this recipe. And it is the most time taking process, requiring hours of cooking. So make it a couple of hours earlier.

Remember we are talking about cooking bones, connective tissues, beef knuckle bones, or whatever you are using to make broth. Assembling everything in a bowl takes a few minutes but cooking broth may take 5-6 hours.

You can use two pounds of beef leg bones with bone marrow, and two pounds of beef rib bones. Brisket cuts will be added later to the broth. See our complete guide on how to make bone broth here.

Put 8 cups water in a pot. Add dried spices, bones, an onion, and ginger to the pot.

Dry Spices for Pho

Dry spices add the flavor, depth, and aroma to your pho. Here is a list of dry spices you can add to the broth:

  • Dry spices that are added to pho are
  • Star Anise
  • Clove
  • Black cardamom pods
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Coriander seeds
  • Thai Basil

Be careful while adding the dry spices as a little more and they are potent enough to make your broth bitter. Balncing the flavor is important. all of them except corriander seed have strong flavors and aromas and if you add too much of one it will overpower the overall taste. Read our complete guide on pho spices. Dry roast all dried spices before adding them to the water.

Stove-Top Method

Its the traditional way of making broth. Add everything into a big pot and fill it with water. Leave it to cook for 4-5 hours on slow steady heat, when it comes to a rolling boil remove scum from the broth using a ladle. That’s why we don’t need to blanch in this method. Let it cook until the bone marrow, fat, and meat become tender.

Once stock seems ready, add the thinly sliced brisket and cook it for an hour or until the briskets are cooked. You can add spices at this time as well. Recipe instructions change a little with different cooking methods.

Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooker for cooking beef

The pressure cooker can reduce cooking time as it cooks in steam and pressure, meat and bones are tender in less than an hour. Cooking process remains the same with a few changes.

To cook in pressure cooker, you need to blanch the bones before cooking as you cannot remove the scum from the top from time to time like in a pot. You can use both an electric instant pot and a stovetop pressure cooker. Blanching is important as it will remove all scum and impurities and will make clear soup.

Use an 8 lb cooker. Before adding bones and water, roast all dry spices on medium flame. When you feel aroma of all spices take them out and add onion and garlic. Saute them and add bones, roasted spices with water. Lock the lid and leave it to cook on medium heat.

After 20-30 minutes of whistling sound, turn off the heat. Let the pressure come off inside the cooker and open it.

Add brisket strips at this stage and cook them for another 5-6 minutes. The broth is ready to strain with a strainer or use a cheesecloth.

Beef Pho Instant pot

Instant pot for cooking beef

If you have an Instant pot, making brisket pho becomes even easier. It’s an electric pressure cooker that cooks on a controlled temperature. Instant pot is easy to cook, you can cook it fast or even slow. Some instant pots offer slow cooking option as well.

Like a pressure cooker add everything to the pot and set the timer. If your instant pot have the saute option, roast all dry spices, onion, and ginger separately. However if your instant pot does not offer a saute option, you can do that in oven all spread on a baking tray or in a skillet as well. Use a preset option or set the time manually. Stop the instant pot after 30 minutes and add brisket strips. Cook for another 6-7 minutes and turn it off.

Please take care while using pressure cooker, electric pressure cooker or instant pot and do not try to open it right after you turned it off.

Brisket Pho in Slow Cooker

Slow cooker for cooking beef

Nobody can deny that the real taste of broth comes out when you let it simmer for hours. A stockpot or slow cooker (affiliate link) is an excellent way to do that.

A slow cooker (affiliate link) cooks the beef bone for a long time on slow heat. It’s an excellent way to prepare beef bone at a consistent and controlled temperature. You can set the timer and go away doing other chores, and it will be ready by the time you are back.

Like in an instant pot, you can’t roast the spices in slow cooker (affiliate link) as well (unless you have the saute option). You can dry roast the spices in a small skillet. Simply add it to skillet or pan and let the heat do the magic. Or spread them in a tray and put it for a few minutes in a preheated oven. When you can feel the aroma of dry spices simply take them out and add to your broth.

Set the timer for 4-5 hours and let it simmer. Make sure there is enough water in the slow cooker (affiliate link) to cover the bones. When it is cooked for a long time beef collagen and bone marrow become a part of the boiling broth. Once the broth is ready in the slow cooker (affiliate link), you can add fresh herbs and serve the hearty beef brisket soup.


Once you have the broth ready you can remove some of the fat from its surface. Rest is easy, simply add noodles, cooked briskets, bean sprouts, and everythign else to serving bowls and garnish it with some fresh herbs and serve hot.

You can prepare broth in large quantity and freeze the serving size. Check the spice level in the broth first. Adjust the spice level according to your taste or the recipe below. All you have to do is to cook some noodles, reheat everything and serve whenever you need a quick and fulfilling lunch or dinner.

Recipe for beef soup

Brisket pho is a nutritional recipe with a special beef flavor. It’s a perfect winter light supper. It’s rich in flavors; too many herbs and dried spices make it a fragrant beef broth. it has great nutritional value(Read the complete nutritional guide on pho) and is great to ward off seasonal colds and flu.

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Brisket Pho

Brisket Pho Recipe


Brisket pho is a nutritional recipe with a special beef flavor. It’s a perfect winter light supper. It’s rich in flavors; too many herbs and dried spices make it a fragrant beef broth. it has great nutritional value and is great to ward off seasonal colds and flu.



For the Pho broth

  • 45 lb beef bones of choice
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and slightly bruised
  • 46 cloves of garlic, gently pressed
  • 4 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 8 sticks cinnamon
  • ¼ cup whole black peppercorn
  • 34 pods of star anise
  • 2 lb beef brisket
  • kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fish sauce(or to taste)

For Serving

  • 1 lb flat rice noodles(You can use Zucchini or any other Noodles)
  • 1 cups bean sprouts(200 g)
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 jalapeño sliced(optional)
  • 1 large bunch of fresh Thai basil
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • hoisin sauce
  • siracha


Step One: Blanching

  1. Place beef bones and brisket in a pot, fill it with water for blanching.
  2. The water level in the pot should be 2 inches higher than the bones.
  3. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard water completely. Gently rinse the bones and brisket.

Step Two: Make the Broth

  1. Saute all dried spices(clove, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and star anise) until aromatic, about 30 seconds to 1 minute (no oil!)
  2. Add ginger and onions and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Add the bones and brisket back in, and an additional 7 cups of water. If using stovetop bring to a boil and let simmer for 4-5 hours. If using slow cooker (affiliate link), turn on high for 4-5 hours. If using instant pot set to 20 minutes of high pressure (around 12 psi) and let release naturally.

Step Three: After the Broth is Done

  1. Take out the brisket and immediately submerge in ice bath for 10 minutes. This keeps it from overcooking. Once cooled, slice at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Remove all remaining solids from the broth and discard
  3. Add fish sauce to taste – I start with 3 tablespoons and go from there.
  4. Meanwhile, cook your noodles according to package instructions. Once it is el dente, rinse immediately under cold water and optionally add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil (this prevents “clumping” of the noodles)

Step Three: Serving

  1. Divide the noodles into the serving bowls.
  2. Add briskets and bean sprouts to the noodles.
  3. Ladle hot broth generously over the noodles and meat.
  4. Serve immediately with chopped onion, jalapeño, Thai basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha alongside.

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