Instant Pot Oxtail Ho Fun Noodle Soup

Instant Pot Oxtail Ho Fun Noodle Soup

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Marvellina
Print Recipe


  • 3 -4 lbs of oxtails trim off some excess fat, but not all, you need some for flavor
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 3 inch knob fresh ginger peeled and slice into 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 large onion peeled and halved
  • 6 cups water


  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce or more to taste


  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Serve with:

  • 1 lb dry ho fun / wide flat rice noodle sticks soak in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 2 -3 bundles of fresh bokchoy separated and wash with water
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • Thai chili doused in soy sauce optional
  • Few fresh sprigs of cilantro

One of these cooking equipment recommended:


Cooking on instant pot:

  • Press the saute mode on Instant Pot. When it says hot, add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add oxtail pieces to sear, do this in batches so they sear properly. Flip to the other side to sear, about 3 minutes each side. Once all the oxtails are done searing, remove from Instant pot. In the same pot, add the spices and ginger. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the oxtail pieces back in along with the onion. Pour the water in. Add seasonings and stir to mix. Turn off the saute mode and close the lid and press the pressure cooker button and set to high pressure. Set the time to 1 hour. Make sure steam release handle is sealed
  • It will take about 10 minutes or so for Instant Pot to pressurize and then your 1 hour will start after that
  • Once the 1 hour is up, do natural release. Let the float valve comes down on its own, which may take 20 minutes or so. Once the valve is down, open the lid. Remove from Instant Pot. Scoop up any visible scums if you spot any. The soup isn't as cloudy as I thought it would be. Discard the spice packet and cinnamon stick
  • Have a taste and add more seasoning to your taste if needed and keep warm for however long you need it to before serving. 

Preparing noodles and bok choy:

  • Cook the noodles in hot boiling water until it's soft. It shouldn't take long since we've soaked them, about 5 minutes or so. Drain and refresh with running water. Toss with about 1 tsp of oil to prevent sticking together, but this step is optional.

Assembling and serving:

  • Portion the ho fun noodles into an individual serving bowl. You can serve the oxtail whole or shred the meat. The meat is so soft anyway it just falls off the bone. Divide the oxtail into individual bowl. Top with some bean sprouts and steamed bok choy and then ladle the soup generously over the noodles. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and chili if using. Serve immediately
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and then blanch the bok choy until they are soft but still have that crunch and refresh with water to preserve that bright green colors. Set aside

For non-instant pot method, using slow cooker:

  • Follow step 1 on the very top until searing the meat and sauteing the spices .Transfer to slow cooker. Add onion and set slow cooker on low for 4 hours, 6 hours if you can if you have large pieces of oxtail. Add seasonings at the end of cooking. Scoop up any visible scums. Proceed to assemble and serving above