The following ingredient measurements and cooking time are for a 6-quart size instant pot (electric pressure cooker). If your instant pot size is smaller than 6-quart, please reduce the beef bone and brisket quantity by a ¼ to ½ lb less. Please make sure not to overfill the soup pot. Leave some space to allow liquid come to a boiling state without spilling over.
Pre-boil the bones and brisket: add the bones and brisket to a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring the water to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer for 10 more minutes. Rinse the bones and meat over room temperature tap water.* Set aside. Discard the broth.
Grill the ingredients under “Pho Aroma Combo” in a cast iron over medium heat. No oil added. Rotate and flip the ingredients frequently until you can smell a nice and lovely fragrant. Be careful not to burn the aroma combo. Slightly charred outer surface is okay but not burnt.
Slice the mushrooms. Save the mushroom water. Roughly dice leek. Add aroma combo and leeks to large tea bags or cheesecloth tied with a string.*
Instant Pot Cooking:
In a 6-quart size instant pot, add beef bones, brisket (fatty side up)*, slicedd shiitake, diced carrots, aroma combo, onion, and leeks (in tea bags). Strain the mushroom water as you add the liquid to the pot. Fill the pot with more tap water until it reaches the 4 liter mark. Close the lid in Sealing position - Press Soup - Adjust to 40 minutes/High pressure/More.
Allow the instant pot come to natural pressure release (valve dropped), discard the whole onion and aroma combo in tea bags.
Remove the brisket and soak it in cold water for at least 10 minutes. This will prevent the meat from turning dark color. Discard aroma & leek tea bags, yellow onion, and beef bones. Season the broth with 2 ½ tsp fine sea salt, 1 tbsp fish sauce, and 1 tsp five spice powder (optional).
Thin slice the brisket in 45 degree angle and against the grain. Ladle the broth over bean sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, mint leaves, Asian basil, chili peppers, and sliced brisket. Serve hot with lime wedges.
* For smaller size instant pot (smaller than 6-quart), adjust the quantity to 1 cup dry shiitake mushrooms, 2 loose carrots, and season the broth with 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt. Taste and see if more salt is needed.* Pre-boil the meat/raw bones is an important step to produce a clear pho broth. The boiling process will remove the blood and other small bone fragments/impurities.* Use tea bags to hold the aroma combo and leeks. It’s easier to discard them after cooking. If use cheesecloth tied with a string, be sure the cloth is not too thick so that the aroma flavor can come through.*Please be sure to submerge the entire brisket in liquid/water. * If follow the steps above correctly, there’s no need to strain the broth after cooking. However, you may choose to do so if desired.