By now, most of you are likely to have an Instant Pot either sitting on your kitchen counter or at the top of your wish list. There’s not much left to say about this multifunction cooker that hasn’t already been mentioned. Even The New York Times has credited the Instant Pot as the “gadget that spawned a religion.”
The verdict is in: It’s truly a one-pot wonder that makes cooking a breeze. It’s perfect for any mom who doesn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, any millennial whose rental lifestyle won’t let them commit to more than one pan (let alone a rice or pressure cooker), and any home chef who needs a versatile device to experiment being a Master Chef with.
Now that we’re in the heart of winter, it’s the perfect time to put your Instant Pot to work by trying out these Asian winter pot recipes.
The mother of all Asian comfort foods, congee exists in various forms throughout the continent. While individual ingredients and preparation methods may vary by country or region, the recipe is always built upon a base of soupy rice porridge. Various meats, vegetables, and spices are then added and slow cooked to create a delicious, belly-warming dish that’s often consumed during cold weather or as an easily digestible meal for those fighting through winter colds and flus. Check out this recipe from Amy + Jacky, which includes immune-boosting ginger. Feel free to experiment by adding your own favorite spices and ingredients.
Rendang is a very popular dish on Indonesia’s many islands, consisting of meat — usually beef — that’s slow cooked for several hours in coconut milk and a unique blend of spices until the meat has absorbed almost all of the flavor-infused liquid. This highly aromatic dish is served over freshly steamed white rice, making it a robust and filling meal for a cold winter day. Along with turmeric and ginger, this recipe features the antibacterial galangal root. An Instant Pot-friendly recipe can be found at What to Cook Today.
This chicken and chickpea masala recipe from the folks at Serious Eats is everything you want in a winter Instant Pot recipe. Hearty, rich, and full of warming Indian spices, you’ll want to cook enough to have leftovers for a week — curries often get even better after spending a day in the fridge! It also contains many culinary, yet medicinal spices, you may know from Ayurveda, such as the anti-inflammatory turmeric.
While sushi might be Japan’s most famous culinary export, curry might be its most underrated. Full of savory, sweet, and mildly spicy flavors, Japanese curry is the perfect alternative for those who don’t enjoy the intensity of South Asian spices. This recipe from Amy + Jacky features a base of caramelized onion puree that pairs wonderfully with the beef.
Chicken adobo is quick and easy to make in an Instant Pot, but don’t let the simplicity of its preparation diminish your expectations of its taste. This Filipino classic is bursting with flavor and will satisfy any winter cravings. Serve this savory, sour, and sweet dish over bowls of steaming hot rice. Amy + Jacky have a super-easy, 40-minute Instant Pot recipe you won’t want to miss out on. It’s got a whopping 10 cloves of cold-combating garlic and a nice red chili to really kick the flu out.
A good stew takes hours on the stove to develop a depth of flavor, but this Instant Pot recipe for kimchi stew will give you the same results in a fraction of the time. Kimchi, which has numerous health benefits, almost achieved legendary status when it was touted as a cure for avian bird flu (this hypothesis was quickly disproven). The stew version is often eaten with a serving of rice. Ahjumma Recipes has an Instant Pot version, but if you’re not a fan of spicy, there’s plenty more Korean stews that’ll become quick winter favorites.
If you’re looking for an Instant Pot recipe that combines savory, spicy, tangy, and sweet flavors — look no further. This warm, filling beef noodle soup utilizes Taiwanese BBQ sauce and broad bean paste to create its distinctive base. Head down to your local Asian grocery to pick up these ingredients and then follow What to Cook Today’s recipe, which contains a healthy dose of infection-fighting ginger.
Pho has experienced a worldwide surge of popularity in recent years. Its rich, aromatic broth has enough familiar flavors to be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences. Beat away the winter sniffles with this Vietnamese take on chicken soup that’s packed with bacteria-killing onions. This recipe from Viet World Kitchen utilizes the pressure cooker feature of the Instant Pot to cut down a traditionally long simmer time into a one-night affair.
Sometimes it can be tricky to keep stewed chicken from becoming dry, but the pressure-cooking function of the Instant Pot keeps chicken juicy and tender. Thai green curry is fragrant and complex, but make your own curry paste from scratch for the best results. The eggplant and squash in this recipe serve to thicken the coconut milk-base for a delicious winter-worthy dish. Serious Eats’ recipe has a nice healthy addition of the detoxing ingredient cilantro and other herbs.
The recipes above could also be cooked in pressure or slow cookers, not just the Instant Pot. If you’re wondering what the difference between an Instant Pot, a slow cooker, and a pressure cooker is, it’s that the Instant Pot can function as both! However, the Instant Pot requires time to pressurize and depressurize (this can take up to 20 minutes).
Funny how this function is also one we can all learn from, especially in the middle of a difficult work week. If something is stewing up inside you, take the time to depressurize and breathe before indulging.
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Preston Hartwick is co-founder and farm manager of Common Farms — Hong Kong’s first indoor vertical urban farm that grows microgreens, herbs, and edible flowers. Their goal is to revitalize local food production in one of the world’s most densely populated cities — where over 99 percent of fresh produce is imported from around the planet. Find out more by following them on Instagram or visit commonfarms.com.