Instant Pot: Korean Bulgogi Beef

Asian cuisine will always be comfort food to me. It doesn't matter if it's Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese or even Korean food. I like to get a dose of any of these cuisines at least once a week. One of my favorite Asian cuisines is Korean for its combination of sweet with spicy flavors, various textures and all the delicious banchan (side dishes) Korean cuisine is known for. A dish my husband and I are especially fond of is Korean Bulgogi Beef. The secret to this dish is all in the marinade....

Korean Bulgogi is a dish of thinly sliced sirloin beef that's marinated overnight. Once marinated, it's grilled or cooked in a hot skillet with julienned carrots, green onions and white onions. But the key part of this dish is the marinade. It's a soy sauce based marinade with sesame oil for flavor and aroma, garlic, sugar, seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper) and pear nectar. It may seem odd to have a fruit nectar included but it adds a nice bit of sweetness and is said to help tenderize the beef as it marinates.

* You can find pear nectar in the juice aisle and/or in the Hispanic/Latin food aisle, oddly enough. Look for the Kern's, Goya or Jumex brand that's sold in 12 oz cans.

Korean Bulgogi Beef
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds + more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pear nectar (or substitute with pineapple juice)
1 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup beef broth
1 carrot, julienned
1 green onion, chopped into 1-2 inch lengths
1/2 yellow onion, sliced

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper and pear nectar and add the beef. Seal the bag and distribute the marinade throughout the beef. Allow the beef to marinate for at least 3 hours, however overnight is best.

Press SAUTE on the IP and add oil. When shimmering, add the beef and discard the marinade. Cook until slightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

Add the broth to the IP

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 5 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 5 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 5 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.

Press SAUTE and add the carrots, green onions and sliced white onions. Cook until the vegetables start to become tender but still maintains a slight crunch. Serve over steamed rice garnished with more sesame seeds or in large lettuce leaves, rolled up and eaten like a burrito.