We have been spending more time at home and no longer eating out, so we’ve been cooking more. I wanted to write this post to share some of our favourite Instant Pot recipes that you might like to try during this time. Of note, we have the IP-Duo 80 V2, which is their classic 8 Quart model. I like this size as it is big enough to fit large pieces of meat as well as the fact that it makes a good large batch with plenty for leftovers. I like it so much I even purchased the small rice cooker version, the Instant Pot Zest, to cook rice and steel-cut oats. I dislike waiting by the stove and this allows me to plug it in and walk away without causing any kitchen mishaps (theoretically, of course…not that it has happened before… more than once…).
So let’s get started with the recipes. I will start with some simple recipes and will work our way up to the more involved dishes.
One thing the Instant Pot definitely excels at is cooking meat. It allows you to have fall-off-the-bone meat which are usually only achievable with many hours in the smoker/oven/slow-cooker in a fraction of the time.
My favourite meat recipes are:
1. Instant Pot Pulled Pork by What Great Grandma Ate
This recipe makes the most tender and juicy pulled pork with the right balance of spices. The acid from the pineapple juice and apple cider also helps to soften the pork even further. I actually add the spices in with the pork the Instant Pot instead of at the end because I like the meat to soak in the spices during the pressure cooking process.
2. Instant Pot Whole Chicken by Omnivore’s Cookbook
This recipe is new find and so simple to make. There is some planning ahead as you will need to brine the chicken prior to putting it in the Instant Pot. I was worried that it will not be too flavourful but I was so wrong. The chicken is probably the juiciest and some of the tastiest I’ve ever had. We served this with some Spicy Szechuan-Style Green Beans and jasmine rice and it was lovely. The spices between the dishes worked well together.
Another great use of the Instant Pot is to make curry. Usually when I think of curry, I think of making a huge batch for the whole extended family or to freeze for future meals. The Instant Pot is perfect for this.
My favourite curry recipes are:
1. Instant Pot Coconut Fish Curry by Hip Pressure Cooking
This recipe came with the Instant Pot in the manual and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. It’s our go-to fish curry. Instead of salt, we season with fish sauce and it adds to the South East Asian flavours of the dish. If you don’t have all the ground spices, you can also use pre-mixed curry powder which makes it a super easy dish to cook!
2. If fish isn’t your thing, then try this Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga) by Dzung Lewis
Vietnamese curry is generally less spicy compared to other types of curry so if you have a more mild palate, this is for you. You can serve this with rice or my family typically eats this with baguette or vermicelli noodles.
There was a time when I wasn’t a huge fan of congee. It was the sad, tasteless rice porridge I would have to eat when I was sick. I later realized that congee doesn’t have to be tasteless and it can be very tasty if made with the right ingredients.
- My favourite congee to eat when I’m in need of something warm and comforting is this Vietnamese Chicken Congee (Chao Goi Ca) by Katie’s Test Kitchen
Traditionally, this is served with some refreshing chicken salad on the side. It’s so comforting and perfect for a cold winter day. I hope you like fish sauce because there are tonnes of that in both the congee and salad. I keep my recipe simple and forgo the Chicken Soup Base, Mushroom Seasoning and Vietnamese coriander as these are more difficult to find at grocery stores. Instead I add some chicken broth/stock if I have any to flavour the broth. For the salad dressing, sometimes I cheat and just mix fish sauce with chilli garlic sauce with a dash of sugar to taste for my simplified version of nuoc mam.
2. Another congee recipe I like is this Turkey Congee recipe by Pressure Cooking Today
This is great use of the quantities of turkey leftover you have after a holiday meal. Remember to keep the bones and use it in this congee as it will elevate the flavours of the soup base. If you don’t have turkey lying around, then throw in whatever animal carcass you have. We often bake whole chickens (and recently pressured cooked them – see above) and kept the carcass to make this congee. There’s no need for any chicken stock/broth if you have some bony remnants as that will definitely add enough flavours to the soup base. The carrots are a nice touch to this recipe as it sweetens the dish. We balance this off with some fish sauce to taste instead of salt. Trust me, I’ve mentioned this magical ingredient more than once on this post but fish sauce is truly the key to delicious Asian food.
One of the more involved dishes we made in the Instant Pot is Bo Kho (or a Vietnamese Beef Stew). Usually stews like this or soups like pho should ideally simmer for hours on the stove top to allow the spices and meat to really create the deep flavours of the soup. The Instant Pot allows this to be accomplished in less than an hour’s time.
We worked off this recipe by I am a Food Blog and also incorporated some elements of this entertaining recipe by Cuong Can Cook. Even if you don’t follow the recipe, you should still watch this video for the entertainment value.
There are quite a few ingredients and some may be more difficult to get from your usual grocery store but if you can get your hands on these, I highly recommend trying this recipe! Tip: lemongrass usually comes in a huge package. You can freeze these for later use! This stew is usually served with egg noodles and/or baguette. Aaron decided to experiment a little too much last time we made this and added more spice than I would’ve liked but it was still a delicious meal and our guests loved it!
So that’s all folks! Happy cooking!
Appliances included in this post: