This Instant Pot chicken broth was nourishing with a gentle kick from ginger and fragrant notes of lemongrass and makrut lime leaves.
The night of my birthday I came down with an annoying cough that lasted for hours. Thinking I was exposed to COVID at work, I got a rapid test and it came back positive. For the next two weeks, I moved into the guest bedroom for quarantine. COVID changed my sense of taste and smell and made them more sensitive. A lot of food made my stomach churn and lose my appetite. I survived mainly on my mom’s Instant Pot chicken broth with ginger and lemongrass. Each time I was hospitalized or sick, my mom would make this broth to help my body recover. The chicken broth was nourishing with a gentle kick from ginger and fragrant notes of lemongrass and makrut lime leaves.
- Chicken: I used a whole, free range chicken for this recipe but you can substitute with your favorite cuts (thigh, drumsticks, breast). I prefer free range chicken for its firmer texture once cooked.
- Ginger: for this recipe I used fresh ginger. Fresh ginger is less fibrous, more tender, and lends a peppery and spicy kick to the broth. Peeling the skin is a personal preference. I use organic ginger so I leave the skin on. Crush them with the back of your knife to release their natural oils.
- Lemongrass: much of the lemongrass’s flavor is concentrated in its lower, cane-like stalks. Look for firm, pale-green stalks with fat, bulbous bottoms. Trim off the spiky tops and the bases and crush the stalks with the side of a knife to release their aromatic oils.
- Makrut lime: they are one of the most aromatic herbs and a wonderful addition to many soups, curries, and desserts. We grow our own but you can find them in the fresh herb section at many Asian grocery stores. Look for fresh makrut lime leaves that are dark green, shiny, and without any browning or yellowing.
Tips for Making Chicken Broth in Instant Pot
- Place the chicken breast down in the Instant Pot.
- I have an 8-quart IP which holds about 12 cups of water. I used 10 cups for this recipe. Avoid going over the maximum line.
- If you’re using a 6-quart IP, use a 3 pound chicken and about 8-10 cups of water.
- If the water goes over the line, make sure to ladle some out.
- Cook the chicken on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure.
- Skim off the fat and impurities at the surface.
- Taste and adjust your seasoning at the end.
- For a clear broth, strain it through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth.
While this Instant Pot chicken broth is basic, you can add in steamed veggies like bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and fresh Vietnamese herbs. I simply shredded the chicken and added to the broth with Vietnamese coriander, scallions, cilantro, bird’s eye chilis, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The chicken broth was comforting with a wonderful combination of heat, sour, salty, umami, and a touch of sweetness.
Instant Pot Chicken Broth with Ginger and Lemongrass
- 8-quart Instant Pot
- 1 3.5-4 pound whole range chicken
- 10 cups water
- 4 ounces fresh ginger, crushed
- 2 lemongrass stalks, coarse outer layers removed, top and bottom trimmed, and cut into 3 inch batons and smashed
- 5 makrut lime leaves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup Vietnamese mint, picked and washed
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup scallion, white and green parts, julienned
- Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towel.
- Tuck in the legs and wings so it fits snugly in the pot. Place the chicken breast down in the inner pot of the pressure cooker.
- Place the ginger, lemongrass, and lime leaves in the inner pot. Add 10 cups of water making sure the water level doesn't go above the maximum fill line. Take out some water if necessary. Add salt, fish sauce, and sugar.
- Lock the lid and pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Let the steam naturally release for 15 minutes before manually releasing the rest.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and let it rest until cool enough to handle. Pull the chicken from the bones and place the meat on a plate and set aside. Discard all the solids.
- Skim off the fat and impurities. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer.
- When ready to serve, add shredded chicken and ladle soup into bowl. Top with fresh Vietnamese mint, cilantro, and scallion.