My Instant Pot Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup has tender pieces of chicken, bouncy glass noodles, and a light yet flavorful broth with notes of ginger. It's the perfect comfort food for cold winter days.
With the cold weather raging across the US, we’ve been staying warm with a lot of soups. Today I’m sharing a Hanoi specialty that my paternal grandma made frequently, miến gà, or Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup. For as long as I could remember, my grandma made this for every single family gathering.
When I was younger, I thought this dish was too boring compared to the other well known noodles like pho, bun bo Hue, and banh canh. As I grew older, I came to appreciate the simplicity of this dish. It’s made with a handful of ingredients and the end result is a comforting, light yet flavorful soup that totally hits the spot. I made this chicken glass noodle soup in the Instant Pot which means you can enjoy it in 30 minutes instead of a few hours.
Tips for creating a flavorful broth
Unlike other Vietnamese noodle soups, my Instant Pot Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup is seasoned with just a handful of basic ingredients, ginger, scallions, shallots, salt, fish sauce, and sugar. The trick is to char the ginger and shallots which adds a smoky aroma resulting in a more complex and deeper flavor broth. It’s a simple yet necessary step that will take the broth to the next level.
How to char the ginger and shallots
I place the ginger and shallots directly over the burner grate of my gas stove for about 5 minutes making sure to char all the sides. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can use your oven to get the job done. Place the ginger and shallots on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place it on the top rack in your oven with the broiler setting on. Char the ingredients for 10 minutes, turning them once to get all the sides.
Tips for making the soup in the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot cuts down the cooking time to a fraction of what it would take on the stove. I used a whole, free range chicken for this recipe but you can substitute with your favorite cuts (thigh, drumsticks, breast). Free range chicken has a firmer texture once cooked.
- Place the chicken breast down in the Instant Pot.
- I have an 8-quart IP which holds about 12 cups of water. 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 10 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure.
- Skim off the fat at the surface if you're concerned about the calories.
- Taste and adjust your seasoning at the end.
How to prep the glass noodles
Glass noodles, also called cellophane noodles and bean threads, are dried and wiry. They need to be soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes before you eat them. Once cooked, they become translucent and look like glass, hence the name. With their long length, snip them with kitchen shears before you serve so it’s easier to eat.
What to serve the glass noodle soup with
Unlike pho, the accompaniments for Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup are simple. You just need sliced scallions, a few sprigs of cilantro, and dried shallots. You can also serve it with a gingery dipping sauce but this is completely optional.
With the Instant Pot, you can enjoy a bowl of Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup in under 30 minutes. With every bite you get bouncy glass noodles, tender chicken, crunchy pieces of fried shallot, and a light yet flavorful soup with notes of ginger. There’s nothing better than slurping up this comforting bowl of noodle soup on a cold winter day.
Instant Pot Vietnamese chicken glass noodle soup
- 8-quart Instant Pot
Chicken soup base
- 1 3.5-4 pound whole range chicken
- 12 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 ounces ginger, smashed and cut into small pieces
- 2 large shallots
- 1 bunch of scallions, white part only, cut into 2 inch lengths
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 ounces glass noodles
- ¼ cup fried shallots
- ¼ cup scallions, green parts, julienned
- 2 tbsps cilantro, chopped
- Place the ginger and shallots directly over the burner grate of the gas stove for about 5 minutes making sure to char all the sides.
- Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towel.
- Season the skin and cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. 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 scallions, charred shallots and ginger in the inner pot. Add 12 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 10 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.
- Place the glass noodles in a large bowl and pour enough hot water to cover the noodles. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Drain and snip the noodles with kitchen shears into 6 inch lengths.
- Taste the broth and season with additional fish sauce and sugar to your liking.
- When ready to serve, divide the noodles among serving bowls and add shredded chicken.
- Ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with green scallions, cilantro, fried shallots, and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.