This tender beef is served in a rich Korean-inspired sweet and savory sauce. Cook brown rice at the same time – all in the pressure cooker / Instant Pot!
If you ask my husband about our current use of our Instant Pot, the first thing he would tell you about is this recipe. We’ve been keeping beef stew meat in the freezer just so that we always have an excuse to make it. Beef stew meat can take a long time to turn tender simmering on the stove, but the Instant Pot does it in about the amount of time it takes to give the kids a bath and set the table. As for me, the discovery that you can cook brown rice in a bowl on a rack above the beef at exactly the same time is just another bit of Instant Pot magic.
Korean Beef and Brown Rice Ingredients
- Beef – For this recipe you need beef that is cut into approximately 2-inch cubes (no need to be super precise). Cubed beef labeled as beef stew meat works great for this and is usually super affordable. Any other cut of beef will work, just slice it into cubes. If using beef from the freezer, defrost it in the fridge about 24 hours ahead of time.
- Soy sauce – Standard run-of-the-mill soy sauce or Tamari (for a gluten-free version). I tested this recipe using the Trader Joe’s brand of low-sodium soy sauce.
- Gochujang – This Korean chili sauce is moderately spicy, but is also smoky and a little bit sweet. It has a lot of flavor and is available in most grocery stores in the Asian / international section. This recipe uses a small amount, but add more if you like spice or you can omit it if you don’t want any spice at all.
- Brown rice – You have to use brown rice in this recipe. The recommended cook time insures that the beef will be tender, but will be too long for white rice.
How to Make Korean Beef and Brown Rice
- Make the sauce – Stir together the sauce ingredients. You can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge. The amount of gochujang (Korean chili sauce) listed will result in a dish with a mild level of spice. If you like spice, you can double it. Either way, serve some extra at the table and add more as you like.
- Fill Instant Pot – Combine sauce and beef in the base of the Instant Pot. Place a metal rack on top of the beef. Add a bowl that is approved for use under pressure. Fill it with rice and water.
- Pressure cook – Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to cook at high pressure for 22 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release.
- Thicken sauce – Carefully remove rice and set it aside. Put the Instant Pot on the simmer setting. Whisk together cornstarch and water. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the Instant Pot, while stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly, ~2 minutes.
- Serve the beef and sauce over rice!
Instant Pot– There are many versions of pressure cookers on the market now. I use this 6 quart version. I love this thing.
- Pressure Cooker Rack – This set of pressure cooker racks has all kinds of uses, but it’s great for meals like this – when you want to cook something in the base of the Instant Pot and cook a rice or grain on top. You can also use it to elevate a steamer basket and cook vegetables on top of another dish. It makes for the ultimate one pot meal.
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls – I’ve had the same set of these glass bowls for over a decade and use them daily. Glass bowls like these are safe to use in the Instant Pot, but anything that is approved to be used under pressure will work.
Instant Pot Korean Beef and Brown Rice
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup Beef Stock (substitute any type of stock or water)
- 1/2 cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- 3 1/2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Gochujang, plus more for serving (see note)
- 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 lb Beef Stew Meat (or use any cut of beef, cut into cubes)
- 2 cups Long Grain Brown Rice
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 tsp White Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Green Onions, for serving
- To make sauce, stir together garlic, stock, soy sauce, light brown sugar, rice vinegar, Gochujang, and toasted sesame oil.
- Combine sauce and beef in the base of the Instant Pot / pressure cooker.
- Place a metal rack on top of the beef.
- Combine rice and 2 1/2 cups water in a bowl that is approved for use in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker. (Make sure that all grains of rice are submerged in water.) Place the bowl on top of the rack.
- Close and lock the lid.
- Set the pressure cook / manual setting on high for 22 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release.
- Carefully (it’s hot!) remove the rack and bowl of rice and set them aside.
- Put the Instant Pot on the simmer setting.
- Whisk together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp of water. Slowly pour cornstarch / water mixture over beef. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens slightly, ~2 minutes.
- Serve the beef and sauce over rice with sesame seeds and green onions on top. Serve extra gochujang on the side
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June is a rolling / drooling almost 6-month-old! Can’t eat Korean Beef yet, but we started giving her vegetable purees – hooray for the fun of solid foods!