Best Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew

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Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

This is the best Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew you will ever make. It is sweet, savory with hints of spice and sesame, and a melt-in-your-mouth tender beef. You will definitely make this beef stew again and again!

It has been a while since we wanted to share this Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew recipe. But, it took three attempts to finally perfect it. So, now we can finally announce that it is finally right!

You might be wondering why this dish had to be perfect when those who can make it can just adjust the seasonings to suit their taste. That is true, but there is a reason!

Korean Beef Stew Origins

Korean Beef Stew is inspired by Galbi Jjim (갈비찜), a traditional Korean dish made from beef short ribs. While galbi jjim can be eaten as a stew or without the broth, it is most commonly served over rice in a bowl. Galbi jjim is popular in both North and South Korea during Chuseok, an autumn harvest celebration.

Legend has it that the famous hot and spicy version of this dish first came from a street in Daegu, South Korea, called Galbijjim. Korean Beef Stew, however, is a perfectly spiced stew with the right balance of sweet-savory flavors. It also includes a melt-in-your-mouth tender beef. Plus, this stew made people eat way too much rice! It’s that good!

Korean Beef Stew Recipe

This recipe is a must-try. Especially those who have ever had that specific Korean beef stew as a child.

The initial research on how to make this was unsuccessful, and there are plenty of recipes online. However, the results were not satisfactory. Either they used too much Korean red chili paste or gochujang (stew was too red), there was no ginger (not Korean without ginger), and some had added broth or water which diluted the seasoning sauce. The end result was too liquid.

However, this delicious beef stew is something that we hope you enjoy. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a whole day cooking the beef on the stovetop. You can also make this in the slow cooker. You can just adjust the timer to 8 hours on low, or until the meat becomes tender.

Don’t forget to add extra helpings of rice to your meal!

Ingredients for Korean Beef Stew

  • 1 whole head of 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 of 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)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Mix the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, gochujang, mirin, and sesame oil in a bowl. Then, set aside.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Select the sauté setting and heat the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the beef, in batches, until they are nicely browned.
  4. Then, sauté the red onion slices in the remaining oil in your instant pot for about 1-2 minutes. You can add more oil if needed. While you are sauteing the onion, deglaze the pan (remove any brown bits).
  5. Add the beef chunks back to the pot. Then, pour the sauce and the grated or pureed apple puree/pear. Stir for a bit.
  6. Switch off the instant pot and choose the manual pressure. Cook on high for 35 min, and let it release naturally for about 15-20 minutes. Then uncover.
  7. Get a ladle and pour it into a bowl. Then, garnish with extra scallions or toasted sesame. Serve the Korean Beef Stew with rice!
  8. Enjoy your incredibly delicious dinner!

Recipe Notes

  • The boneless short ribs can be replaced with a chuck roast. Just chop them into bite-sized (1.5-inch) pieces.
  • You will taste a spicy kick on the first day (just enough heat), but it will mellow the next day.
  • To make it more authentic, you can add Asian pear or green apples. You can use as many as two pears or apples, or one of each. The stew can also be made with and without fruit as they are equally delicious.

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