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!
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!
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!
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
(FULL RECIPE WITH INSTRUCTIONS and TO PRINT see the RECIPE CARD BELOW)
- 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
- Short Ribs (Bone-in and Boneless, combo) – boneless ribs may be replaced by roast
- 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.
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!
- 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)
In a bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, Gochujang, mirin and sesame oil. Set aside.
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.
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.
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!
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.