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Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup - Instant Pot)

This recipe for Bun Bo Hue is my streamlined shrimp-free version, made in an Instant Pot. It features a beef and pork bone soup flavoured with lots of lemongrass, thick rice noodles, and a Vietnamese sate chili oil. 
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 221kcal
Author Michelle


  • Instant Pot (pressure cooker)


Lemongrass Base Soup Broth

  • 2 lbs beef bones
  • 2 lbs pork bones
  • 3 lbs boneless beef shank
  • 8 stalks lemongrass halved and bruised
  • 1 large onion halved
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon coconut sugar or granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • enough water to cover the meat and bones

Annatto Seed Oil

  • 1 tablespoon annatto powder
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon lemongrass minced

Vietnamese Sate Chili Oil

  • C high smoke-point oil canola, grapeseed or peanut
  • 5 fresh Thai chilies chopped
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

To serve:

  • 1 pkg dried round rice noodles cooked, drained & rinsed
  • 1 pkg cha lua (Vietnamese ham) sliced
  • beef shank (from the lemongrass soup) sliced
  • pork blood optional, cooked + cubed
  • 1 banana blossom sliced + soaked in water & lemon juice
  • 1 pkg bean sprouts lightly blanched
  • mint
  • basil
  • Thai chilies or jalapeno optional
  • 1 lime cut into wedges


Make the lemongrass base broth:

  • Rinse and clean the beef/pork bones.
  • Place the bones into a large pot and cover with water.
  • Bring the bones up to a vigorous boil for 5 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the scum off the bones under running water.
  • Add the par-boiled bones to the Instant Pot liner.
  • Next, add in the beef shank, bruised lemongrass stalks, onion, salt, sugar, fish sauce and chicken broth.
  • Top with enough water to cover the bones and meat.
  • Place the lid on, set the vent to SEAL, and use the MEAT function: 50 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE.
  • Do a quick release and open the lid.
  • Remove the bones, aromatics (lemongrass, onion) and beef shank.
  • Remove the meat from the bones, discard lemongrass and onion.
  • Strain the soup broth through a sieve into a large pot to remove any impurities.
  • Keep the broth warm.

Make the annatto seed oil:

  • In a small sauce pan or frying pan, heat up 3 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
  • Add in minced shallot, garlic, lemongrass and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon annatto powder and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir all of the annatto seed oil into the lemongrass base broth.

Make the Vietnamese sate chili oil:

  • In a small sauce pan, add in oil and heat over medium heat.
  • Add in Thai chilies, minced shallot, garlic, lemongrass and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Next, add in chili powder, paprika, fish sauce, salt and sugar.
  • Continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a clean glass jar.
  • Store at room temperature.


  • Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions (the thicker round rice noodles will take at least 20 minutes).
  • Drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water.
  • Portion the noodles into each bowl.
  • Add cha lua (Vietnamese ham), sliced beef shank, cubed pork blood (if using) and ladle the hot soup over top.
  • Garnish with sliced banana blossoms, bean sprouts, mint, basil, and a squeeze of lime.
  • Add Vietnamese sate chili oil to your taste and enjoy immediately.


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1557mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg