Before summer comes and while you’re still craving something heartwarming, make this Instant Pot Korean Beef. You’re gonna love everything about it. Your family is gonna love it. Your friends are gonna love it. And you’re gonna feel like a veritable god or goddess of the Instant Pot.
Fair warning, tho, if you make Instant Pot Korean Beef: the succulent beef coated in that caramelized sauce is going to be your undoing. You’re gonna want to serve it in bowls over rice, maybe with some steamed veggies. Maybe you’ll want to add to a ramen bowl like this Spicy Steak Ramen Bowl (just sub in the Korean Beef) or serve it in oh so messy but oh so wonderful lettuce wraps.
About Instant Pot Korean Beef:
You’re probably going to want to make fusion-y tacos like those pictured here. And picture them with Pickled Daikon & Carrots (or maybe these super easy Vietnamese Pickled Carrots) for some cool crunchiness, a little Chipotle Yum Yum Sauce (it’s the simplest mix together sauce in the world) and maybe some Kimchee if you’d like. Or not. Then toss little cheese over those tacos. Not regular cheese. Maybe some bright Feta or Queso Fresco.
And you might even find yourself in front of the fridge at two a.m. answering the siren’s call. Alone, with only the refrigerator light for ambiance and your cat for company since Chance (my labradorable) has more sense. Or maybe that’s just me? And all this explains why out of a huge pot of Instant Pot Korean Beef, I only have photos of a few tacos and a small bowlful that was left. No worries, tho, a little can go pretty far in tacos!
One of the things that makes this Instant Pot Korean Beef recipe so great is that instead of thickening the sauce at the end with cornstarch (whoever heard of Korean Beef with cornstarch?!) like a lot of recipes I’ve seen, I give it time to cook down to caramelized perfection. It takes some time, true, about 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the recipe, but Korean Beef SHOULD be caramelized goodness. If you’re really in a rush, it’s your call, but I beg you not to skip that step.
No Instant Pot for the Instant Pot Korean Beef? No Problem:
This Instant Pot Korean Beef is super simple but if you don’t have an Instant Pot I’ve got you covered in another post on Bulgogi (Korean Beef – the link is at the bottom of this page, just click on the photo) that you can do on the stove or grill.
I actually adapted that recipe when I came up with this one, staying as true as possible to the Korean roots as I could, so you know it’s just as good.
Saving Time & Money on Instant Pot Korean Beef:
And I made sure to use enough beef (it’s a good-sized pot full) so you’d have a meal and some leftovers. Coz this is one of those meals that just gets better and better. Don’t let my photos of the leftover bit fool you…I just couldn’t get it together to get photos when this was first served. But as you can see, a couple of days in the fridge had done no harm. Let’s hear it for umami goodness!
As far as cost savings when shopping for this recipe, it goes without saying that you’ll want to watch the sales on the beef. I like a firmer, leaner beef like a sirloin, not something like a chuck which will dissolve into shreds. Really watch for good sales on your beef and chuck it in the freezer. You do have a deep freeze, right?
Beef is seasonal, and the best sales are in the fall when so many beef go to market and around big winter holidays when the specialty roasts are on sale. Hey, they have to do something with all the lesser cuts and roasts. During the summer, a lot of that goes for ground beef but in the winter you’ll find great prices on Sirloin Roasts, Tri-tip, Chuck, Rump, Round.
If you can’t find Asian pear, use whatever the store has. And keep your ginger in the freezer door – just chop it or grate it frozen and put it back. It usually doesn’t freeze too hard to grate, especially in the door, but if it does, leave on the counter for a minute or two. If there is frost, knock it off. 🙂Print
Instant Pot Korean Beef
This Korean Beef rivals any made at home Korean Beef, ever! The secret to this Instant Pot recipe is to use a beef that’s leaner so it is less prone to shredding so you’ll have beautiful bite-sized pieces coated in that caramelized sauce.
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- 2 1/2 pounds lean roast, sirloin or other cut from the loin, rump or round
- 1 onion, cut in half; cut one of the halves into half moons, the other half in chunks
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped ginger
- 1/2 Asian pear, in chunks
- 1/3 cup soy
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Slice roast into 1 1/2″ chunks
Place the beef and sliced onion in a gallon freezer bag or a large bowl and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the chunked onion, garlic, Asian pear and grated ginger and process until it’s broken down. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar and pulse until combined. Pour over steak and onions and mix to combine. Add the sliced green onion and pepper and mix again. Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to overnight.
When ready to cook, add the marinated beef and sauce to the Instant Pot. Using the manual setting, adjust for 30 minutes, high pressure. Quick release when time is up.
Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and set aside, lightly covered. Set Instant Pot to Saute, high, and reduce the juices, stirring now and then, until thick to your liking and beginning to take on a little caramelized color, 10-15 minutes. Turn off pot, add beef to pot and stir gently to coat the beef with the sauce.
If you don’t have Asian pear, use whatever pear is available and reasonable.