Vietnamese Macaroni Soup (Súp Nui): Easy Instant Pot Recipe
Vietnamese macaroni soup with pork spare ribs (súp nui sườn) is light yet so comforting! This Instant Pot version takes just 35 minutes to make and the pork is literally fall of the bone tender!
What is Vietnamese Macaroni Soup?
Vietnamese Macaroni Soup is also known as súp nui. Súp means soup and nui means pasta in Vietnamese.
So technically súp nui directly translates to “pasta soup”.
It can really be made with any shape of short pasta. The most popular shape is elbow macaroni.
Growing up, my mom would often make súp nui with the fun and nostalgic alphabet pasta as well.
The broth is clear and light, most popularly made with pork spare ribs or sườn heo.
Súp nui can also include vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or daikon.
It is not a dish that you’ll find at a restaurant but it is enjoyed in many Vietnamese homes.
Vietnamese Macaroni Soup is a childhood comfort food of mine that I still love to this day.
It’s perfect on chilly days and always reminds me of home whenever I eat it.
The súp nui sườn recipe I’m sharing here is reminiscent of how my mom made it for me growing up but using an Instant Pot instead for a quicker yet equally delicious meal!
Vietnamese Macaroni Soup Ingredients
Before you begin making Vietnamese Macaroni Soup, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Pork Spare Ribs: The pork bones give the broth a light yet rich flavor plus super tender rib meat to make this dish more hearty. I recommend ribs that are about 2-3 inches.
- Macaroni: The best to use is rice macaroni which can typically be found at your local Asian supermarket. Regular elbow macaroni works great as a substitute. You can also use other short pasta shapes like shells, rotini, fusilli, alphabet, etc.
- Onion: Onions add a lot of flavor, savoriness, and natural sweetness to the broth. You do not need to cut it up since it will be removed before serving.
- Carrots: Chopped carrots are another ingredient that adds natural sweetness and brightness to the broth. If you add carrots, you do not really need to add more sugar to balance out the savory broth.
- Water: This soup is clear and light so water is all you need to make the broth.
- Chicken Bouillon: This adds a more savory, salty, and umami flavor. My favorite is Knorr chicken bouillon. You can substitute with MSG, mushroom seasoning, or other types of bouillon.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. It adds saltiness, umami, and an extra oomph to the súp nui sườn. Don’t worry, it does not make it taste super fishy.
- Salt: An essential seasoning to add saltiness to the soup. Adjust the amount to your liking.
- Black Pepper: Black pepper adds just a hint of warmth to Vietnamese Macaroni Soup.
How to Make Vietnamese Macaroni Soup
This Instant Pot Vietnamese macaroni soup is pretty easy to make and ready to eat in about 35 minutes!
You can also make this recipe in a regular pot but the pork spare ribs come out so much more tender in less time using an Instant Pot!
The rib meat will literally slide of the bone, that’s how tender it is!
Let’s walk through this súp nui sườn recipe step-by-step together so you can recreate this perfectly at home!
As always a recipe card is at the end that you can print out, pin to Pinterest, or save for later.
Step 1: Parboil Pork Spare Ribs
In a pot on medium heat, add enough water to cover the pork spare ribs.
Boil for about 10 minutes. This is called parboiling.
In the picture below, you’ll see that the water becomes murky and foamy.
Discard that water and rinse off the pork.
This removes the scum and impurities to create a clearer broth.
The pork does not need to be cooked all the way through at this step.
Optional Step: How to Cut Carrot Flowers
Growing up, my mom would often cut carrots into cute little flower shapes.
I used to think it was a waste of time but now I totally get it.
It gives me a little boost of serotonin just looking at them and hope that it makes whoever I’m serving this to smile as well.
Start by peeling carrots and cutting off the ends.
Then make a very shallow cut, about 1/6 of the width of the carrot, at a slight angle parallel to the long side of the carrot.
Repeat with another cut right next to the first one but in the opposite angle.
The angles should meet at a point like a triangle to remove a sliver of carrot.
Continue to do this five more times to create a five petal flower.
Finally, chop the carrots to separate into individual flowers.
Step 2: Make Broth for Vietnamese Macaroni Soup
Next, in an Instant Pot, add the rinsed pork spare ribs, fresh water, onion, carrots, chicken bouillon, fish sauce, salt, and black pepper.
Stir to evenly combine all the ingredients.
Place the lid on the pot and turn to lock.
Make sure the steam release handle is set to the sealing position.
Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes on the soup/broth setting.
If you want to cook in a regular pot instead, increase the cook time to 40-60 minutes.
The longer you cook, the more tender the pork becomes.
Step 3: Cook Macaroni for Vietnamese Macaroni Soup
While the broth is cooking, in a separate pot on the stove on medium heat, cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions.
You can also use a different short pasta shape.
Once cooked, drain then set aside.
You do not need to save any pasta water.
Step 4: Release the Steam
When the Instant Pot cooking time is complete, turn the steam release handle to the venting position to manually release the steam.
Very hot and strong steam will be released so do not put your face by it or stand too close.
Wear oven mitts when releasing the steam to be safe since there might be a little bit of splatter.
Make sure the circular silver float valve drops down before taking off the lid.
You will know when the float valve drops when it is not in line with the black part of the lid.
The Instant Pot lid is pictured in the venting position and dropped float valve below.
Step 5: Taste & Adjust Vietnamese Macaroni Soup
Once the Instant Pot lid is safely removed, remove the onion from the pot.
Taste test the broth and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Add more water if the seasonings are too salty or strong.
Step 6: How to Serve Vietnamese Macaroni Soup
Finally, divide the cooked macaroni pasta into separate serving bowls.
This recipe makes about 4 servings of súp nui sườn.
Ladle the piping hot broth on top of the pasta. Make sure to include carrots and pork spare ribs in each serving.
Top the Vietnamese Macaroni Soup with the following garnishes of your choice and enjoy!
- Green Onions: Sliced green onions adds a bite and mild onion flavor.
- Cilantro: Chopped cilantro adds freshness and herbiness to the soup.
- Black Pepper: Black pepper adds more warmth and spice.
- Fried Shallots: Fried shallots add a crispy texture and onion flavor.
- Lime: Lime makes the soup more sour and zesty.
- Chili: If you like it spicy, you can add slices of Thai chili peppers or chili oil.
Leftovers & Storage
I love making a big pot of Vietnamese Macaroni Soup to save as leftovers to eat throughout the week.
This is my favorite kind of meal prep!
After cooking, let the broth and macaroni cool.
Then place them each into their own separate and sealed containers.
Do not store the macaroni in the broth because the macaroni will soak up the liquid as it sits, expand, and become mushy.
You can store súp nui sườn leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat, you can use either stovetop or microwave.
How to Reheat: Stovetop Method
For the stovetop method, simply add the amount of macaroni and soup you want to eat into a small pot.
Turn the stove on low to medium heat. Simmer until it reaches your desired temperature.
Be careful not to overcook to avoid making the pasta mushy.
How to Reheat: Microwave Method
Alternatively, you can also place súp nui sườn into a microwave safe bowl and reheat it in the microwave.
I recommend heating the macaroni for a little bit first, then adding the broth and reheating it more. This helps it to heat more evenly.
Time depends on your preference and microwave. A few minutes for each should be sufficient with a little more time for the broth.
Again, avoid overheating since the pork and macaroni are already cooked.
You don’t want to end up overcooking it making the pasta to become mushy.
More Vietnamese Soups You Might Like
Once you try making this Vietnamese Macaroni Soup, here are some more soups that I think you would love!
Save This Vietnamese Macaroni Soup Recipe
I hope this step-by-step tutorial for how to make súp nui sườn was helpful and that you try to recreate this Vietnamese Macaroni Soup with pork spare ribs at home!
It’s such a nostalgic recipe for me and also a great one to try if you are new to Vietnamese homestyle cooking.
Be sure to save this so you remember to make it later and share this recipe with your family and friends!
Please leave a rating and comment below if you try it. I’d love to know what you think!
Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on IG @feedmi_ or TikTok @feedmi
Instant Pot Vietnamese Macaroni Soup (Súp Nui)
- Instant Pot
- 1 lb pork spare ribs, 2-3 inch pieces
- 2 cups macaroni, uncooked
- ½ onion
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 8 cups water
- 1 tbs chicken bouillon
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 green onions, sliced
- handful cilantro, chopped
- pinch black pepper
- fried shallots
- lime, cut into wedges
- Thai chili peppers or chili oil
- In a pot on medium heat, add enough water to cover the pork spare ribs, and boil for about 10 minutes. Then discard the water and rinse the pork. This removes the scum and impurities to create a clearer broth.
- In an Instant Pot, add the rinsed pork spare ribs, fresh water, onion, carrots, chicken bouillon, fish sauce, salt, and black pepper.
- Place the lid on the pot and turn to lock. Make sure the steam release handle is set to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes.
- While the broth is cooking, in a separate pot on the stove on medium heat, cook the macaroni according to package instructions, drain, then set aside.
- When the Instant Pot cooking time is complete, turn the steam release handle to the venting position to manually release the steam until the float valve drops down before taking off the lid.
- Remove the onion. Taste test and adjust to your liking.
- Serve with the cooked macaroni, garnish, and enjoy!