Instant Pot Khao Piek Sen Broth & Handmade Tapioca Rice Noodles

by Saeng Douangdara

It was a cold day, so I wanted to test the Instant Pot with a beloved Lao noodle dish called khao piek sen. This dish is usually made with a whole chicken, but I wanted to continue with my craze over spare ribs. This recipe cuts down the time to make a broth by hours.

When I was in Laos, the morning stalls had either chicken or pork khao piek sen. I would switch between these two options everyday. This dish is a breakfast comfort food for Lao people; heck, I eat it for lunch and dinner too. It usually takes hours to get a really full tasting broth, but with the IP, it only took me less than 1 hour. The noodles are also to be praised in this soup because it is handmade. Imagine the consistency of a boba ball but in a long strand of noodle.



With the pork bones, I boil them in a separate pot for 10 mins to get the impurities out. You can see in the picture the coagulated blood that comes out and I toss that water out. Now the bones are ready for the broth.

While the pork bones are being cooked in the hot water, grab the garlic and shallots and mince them. Add a little cooking oil in the instant pot and press the “saute” button. Cook the aromatics until it is golden brown and make sure to continually stir because it can burn easily.

Take the boiled pork bones, spare ribs, and pork belly and add it to the IP. I like using a variety of pork parts to give dimension to the broth.

Slowly pour all the water into the pot. You can add less water if it gets too close to the top; 1 inch to the rim is fine. Add a whole yellow onion cut in half, slices of ginger smashed, lemongrass smashed, cilantro stems, fish sauce, soy sauce, and salt.

Put the lid on and press the pressure cook setting on “more” for 30 minutes. It will take awhile until the IP starts cooking down since it has a lot to warm up but be patient. After 30 minutes, let the broth sit for another 15 mins. After letting it sit, you can now release the valve to let all the steam come out. You may want paper towels next to you since some broth may come out.

The noodles are easy and fast to make. Grab your measured out rice flour and tapioca flour and whisk them in a medium sized bowl. Add the measured out boiling hot water and slowly mix with a spoon. Once the mixture is warm, you can start needing with your hands. You want the dough to be firm. Flatten it out with a rolling pin and cut to your desired length and thickness. The noodles only need about 1 minute of cooking in boiling water.

Now is the time to start adding dozens of condiments! I ladled a few scoops of broth and topped the soup with cilantro, lime, green onions, fish sauce to taste, chili oil, fried garlic, and fried shallots. You can also eat this with patango, blood cubes, and chicken feet. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Khao Piek Sen Broth & Tapioca Rice Noodles (pork)

Khao Piek Sen is a traditional Lao tapioca noodle soup. This version shortens the amount of time and uses pork instead of chicken. The noodles are handmade and gluten free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, noodle, Soup
Cuisine: Lao, laotian
Keyword: Asian food, lao, lao food, lao food movement, laos, laotian, los angeles, noodle soup, noodles, Southeast Asian, spicy food
Servings: 12 people
Author: Saeng Douangdara


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp shallots minced
  • 1 lbs pork bone
  • 2 lbs spare ribs
  • 1 lbs pork belly pieces
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 whole yellow onion
  • 1 handful cilantro stems
  • 6 thin slices ginger lightly crushed
  • 1 lemongrass stalk lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • Extra rice flour for dusting



  • Fill a large pot with water halfway and bing it to a rolling boil. Place the pork bones in the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  • In the Instant Pot, add the cooking oil and press the "saute" setting. Add the minced garlic and shallots; saute the aromatics until lightly golden.
  • Add the bones, ribs, and pork belly and sauté for 1 min. Make sure to add the water before the aromatics start burning.
  • Add water, onion, cilantro stems, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, salt, soy sauce, and salt.
  • Put the lid on and set on pressure cook “more” for 30 mins. Afterwards, let it sit in the pressure for another 15 minutes then turn the valve to quick release.


  • Boil 1/3 cup water.
  • In a medium bowl, add the rice flour and tapioca flour and whisk.
  • Slowly add the boiling water into the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture is cool enough to mix with your hand, start kneading the dough.
  • Flatten out the dough and cut it into the desired thickness of strands.
  • Cook the noodles in a separate pot of boiling water for 1 minute.

Putting it Together

  • Put the noodles in a serving bowl. Scoop out the desired amount of broth. Add the meat.
  • Add a wedge of lime, fried garlic, fried shallots, chili oil, more fish sauce to taste, cilantro, and green onions


If you can get it in the grocery store, I suggest adding 4-6 lime leaves and coriander roots.  

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1 comment

LAO FOOD & MORE FOOD May 13, 2020 - 5:23 pm

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