Best Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew (Kimchi Style)

Seriously, the yummiest Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew you’ll ever make! Sweet, savory with hints of sesame and spice plus melt-in-your-mouth tender beef, you’ll be making this delicious beef stew over and over again!

 

Korean Beef

 

I’ve been wanting to post this Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew recipe on the blog for the longest time! However, I didn’t want to do so until I have perfected it. It took 3 attempts but I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally nailed this to a T!

 

Korean Beef Stew

 

You’re probably wondering why I needed to perfect this dish when people who make it can simply adjust the seasonings to their liking. True but I have a reason why!

This particular Korean beef stew is based on my number one favorite Korean beef stew from a mall-based restaurant in the Philippines called Kimchi. It was so popular in the 90s and pretty much everyone’s favorite food.

 

 

It was such a food court staple that my friends and I often ordered this when we’re in the mall as it’s super yummy – perfectly spiced stew with the perfect balance of sweet-savory flavors and melt-in-your-mouth tender beef. I ate too much rice every time I ate this stew!!! It was that good!

I cannot mess up with this recipe as everyone who grew up eating this Korean beef stew knows exactly how it tastes like. I didn’t want to disappoint my friends who’ve been waiting for this copycat recipe for quite a while now.

 

 

Thankfully, I’m happy to announce I’ve done it! In fact, it was so good that my husband – not a huge fan of Korean stew had at least double servings when I made this, with extra rice naturally. Ha! He told me it was so good – in fact, perfect indeed!

Just one look at that delicious bowl above and you can see how delicious it is! 

 

Korean Beef Stew

 

Initially, I’ve made searches online on how to make this and there are quite a few recipes available. But, I was not satisfied with the results – either too much gochujang or Korean red chili paste was added (stew looked too red), no ginger ever used (not very Korean without ginger in my opinion), and some with added water or broth which diluted the seasoning sauce and ended up with too much liquid.

 

 

So I finally decided to abandon trying to adjust these recipes and instead used my own go-to Korean marinade and added just the right amount of gochujang,  fresh ginger for that classic Korean taste, used Korean mirin (sweet cooking wine) and left out the water/broth so the flavors were not diluted – the result —– perfection! It’s exactly how I remembered that Korean beef stew from the mall tasted like!

You cannot believe how happy I am to achieve this! I even thought of having a happy dance! LOL.

Hope you try it and I guarantee, you will love this beef stew. Best of all, I made this version in the instant pot so you don’t need to take the entire day trying to make the beef tender on the stovetop. This can easily be done in the slow cooker, too. Simply adjust the length of time to about 8 hours on low or until the meat is tender.

Enjoy with extra helpings of rice!

 

 

WHAT INGREDIENTS TO USE FOR THE KOREAN BEEF STEW

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Gochujang (Korean red chili paste) – this is a must as it adds that subtle hint of spice and gives the stew its signature reddish color. This can easily be found either in the Asian section of your grocery or at any Asian store. Worth buying this as it adds depth and extra umami flavor to stews and marinades for meat dishes. I honestly prefer this over Sriracha as it’s not as intense.
  • Asian pear or green Apple
  • Mirin  (Sweet Cooking Wine)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt
  • Short Ribs (Bone-in and Boneless, combo) – boneless ribs may be replaced by roast
  • Oil
  • Onion
  • Scallions (garnish)
  • Toasted Sesame seeds (garnish)

 

HOW TO MAKE THE KOREAN BEEF STEW

(FULL INSTRUCTIONS IN THE RECIPE CARD BELOW)

 

Make the sauce first by combining the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, Gochujang, mirin, and salt. Look at the tasty seasoning below!

 

 

Brown the beef in batches in the instant pot. Do not skip because this adds depth of flavor to the meat and is so easy to do with the saute function in the instant pot.

 

 

Looking good already just after searing, right? 

 

 

Saute the onion slices then return the beef chunks. 

 

 

Pour in the sauce made earlier (plus the grated or pureed Asian pear or green apple, if using) then cook in the instant pot.

 

 

Ladle in a bowl and garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame. Serve with rice.

 

Korean Beef Stew

 

Super easy, right? What are you waiting for? Make it today!

Best Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew (Kimchi Style)

Seriously, the yummiest Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew you'll ever make! Sweet, savory with hints of sesame and spice plus melt-in-your-mouth tender beef, you'll be making this delicious beef stew over and over again!

Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Asian Cuisine, Korean
Keyword best instant pot korean beef stew, instant pot korean beef stew, korean beef stew, korean beef stew kimchi style, korean braised short ribs recipe, spicy korean beef stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2-3 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup soy sauce, like Kikkoman
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
  • ½ cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3-4 lbs bone-in and boneless short ribs, cut into bite-size pieces ( 1½ inch cubes/length)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (for seasoning the beef)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large red or yellow onion
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly for garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 1 Asian pear or green apple, grated or pureed (pulsed briefly in blender or food processor)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, Gochujang, mirin and sesame oil. Set aside.

  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper. 

    Choose the saute setting in the instant pot and heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, sear the beef, in batches, until nicely browned.

  3. In the remaining oil in the instant pot (replenish the oil, if needed), saute the red onion slices for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan (remove brown bits) as you saute the onion.

  4. Return the beef chunks into the pot. Pour in the sauce made earlier and the grated or pureed pear/apple. Stir briefly.

    Turn off the instant pot and choose manual pressure. Cook on high for 35 minutes. Allow natural release for 15-20 minutes. Uncover.

    Ladle in a bowl and garnish with extra scallions and toasted sesame. Serve with rice! Super yummy dinner!

Recipe Notes

NOTE: You may replace the boneless short ribs with a chuck roast. Simply cut into bite-size (1.5 inches) pieces.

The first day you make this, you would taste some spicy kick (just the right amount of heat - not too much) but it would mellow down the next day. 

Add the Asian pear or green apples to make this more authentic. You can use up to 2 pears or apples or one of each. I have made the stew both with and without the fruit and they are both yummy either way so - your choice.

 

 

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23 Comments

  1. Emily Liao
    August 27, 2020 / 1:35 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! Loved how easy this actually came together in the instant pot! So flavorful and the beef was super tender.

  2. John
    August 27, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    5 stars
    THIS SOUNDS INCREDIBLE!!!

    I’ve got the biggest tub of Gochujang in my fridge and cannot wait to dive into it! The meat looks so so tender, I’m ready to rock!

    Ps. Would it be a travesty to mop up the leftover juice with a slice of bread???

    • abigail
      Author
      August 29, 2020 / 7:57 am

      Mop it all up John! I’d do that for sure but with rice. Thanks, and enjoy!

  3. Dannii
    August 27, 2020 / 2:09 pm

    5 stars
    I am always looking for new ways to use my Instant pot, and this Korean Beef Stew looks delicious.

  4. Jenn
    August 27, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    This Korean beef stew looks so good and comforting! I cannot wait to try it in my Instant Pot!

  5. Sue
    August 27, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    5 stars
    This korean beef stew looks just melt in your mouth delicious! I know what my Instant Pot will be making next!

  6. Chef Dennis
    August 28, 2020 / 3:24 pm

    5 stars
    The flavors of your stew must be incredible! I can’t wait to give it a try in my kitchen!

  7. Taleen
    August 28, 2020 / 5:44 pm

    5 stars
    Everything about this Korean beef stew looks amazing! I can’t wait to make this for dinner next week, my husband is going to love it too!

  8. Marta
    August 28, 2020 / 9:08 pm

    5 stars
    I love any and all things Korean, so this made me so excited to read. I already have everything I need to make this beef stew, so I’m going to make it for dinner on Sunday! Thanks, Gail!

  9. Stine Mari
    August 29, 2020 / 12:33 am

    5 stars
    That beef looks so flavorful and tender! I absolutely love the flavors of Korea, the gochujang and sesame are so important!

  10. Amy Liu Dong
    August 29, 2020 / 5:01 am

    The presentation is awesome and this definitely looks so delicious. The sauce looks incredibly tasty plus the creamy texture will makes you crave. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  11. Meesha
    August 29, 2020 / 5:56 am

    5 stars
    This looks amazing!! Always wanted to try out more Korean cuisines and I will sure give this beef stew a go!

  12. Maria
    August 29, 2020 / 5:58 am

    5 stars
    This looks delicious!!! I love how simple it is to make and all the flavors that go into it. Looks like the perfect week night meal especially when it can be cooked so quickly.

  13. Lesli Schwartz
    August 29, 2020 / 7:55 am

    5 stars
    Oh, I must try this Korean beef stew! I think I can smell the aromas through my computer screen! Looks so delicious, Abby!

  14. Leslie
    August 29, 2020 / 4:13 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my stars…talk about a mouth-watering recipe! This Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew looks so flavorful!

  15. Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    August 30, 2020 / 12:55 pm

    5 stars
    What a great use of the instant pot! The beef comes out perfectly and the flavors are lovely. Great dinner idea and can’t wait to make it again.

  16. Beth
    August 31, 2020 / 1:46 am

    5 stars
    This looks so good! My son who loves all Asian cuisines would love it. I’m glad you explained why gochujang is better than sriracha, and I hope Japanese mirin is ok, since that’s what I can find in Honolulu.

    • abigail
      Author
      August 31, 2020 / 8:29 am

      Yes, that is certainly fine to use Beth. Thanks, and enjoy it.

  17. Kushigalu
    August 31, 2020 / 4:09 am

    5 stars
    Love how tender and flavorful the beef in this Korean stew is. A great recipe to make on the instant pot! Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing recipe.

  18. Ramona
    August 31, 2020 / 5:02 am

    5 stars
    Oh my!! The look of this dish!! I so want it right now for breakfast. I will make this for my guests this afternoon. Need to get out and get some good beef for it – I have all the other ingredients 😉 I am so looking forward to having this Korean beef stew!

  19. Jacqueline Debono
    August 31, 2020 / 9:42 am

    5 stars
    Wow your Korean beef stew looks fantastic. I need to get some gochujang and mirin and then I’m going to put it on the menu for next weekend!

  20. sapana
    August 31, 2020 / 10:30 am

    5 stars
    Instant pot beef stew sounds like a healthy dish to gobble on cold nights. The best part is it will be ready to eat in just few minutes in an instant pot.

  21. Sophia
    August 31, 2020 / 8:52 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious, I love that it is made in the instant pot, making it even easier. So good!

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