Lamb stew (instantpot)

2 tablespoons olive oil, butter or ghee
1 ½ –1 ¾ pounds lamb stew meat ( shoulder, leg or shank) cut onto 1 ½  inch cubes
1 onion, diced
4–6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 teaspoon of each: salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin seeds ( seeds are optional, add another teaspoon ground cumin if no seeds)
½ teaspoon chili flakes 
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
1  1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 x 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained — or use dried beans and pressure cook them yourself (use bean broth for stock, if so)
¼ cup raisins or  dried apricots (chopped)
Serve with cooked quinoa, couscous or basmati rice

Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to the Sauté function. Add some oil, sear lamb cubes on 2 sides until lightly browned. Remove.

Add some oil, saute the onions for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add garlic, salt and all the spices and saute for 2-4 more minutes until fragrant. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, stock, and raisins and stir until combined. Add lamb.

Cover and set the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker)  to  pressure cook setting for 30 minutes on normal/high. Naturally release. Check on lamb meat – if it is tender, continue to next step. If not tender enough, pressure cook for 5-20 more minutes (depends how tender you want it).

Add beans while stew is still hot, stir in. Note that it will thicken a bit as it sits.

Make it in the morning, let the flavors meld all day for better flavor. Reheat before eating.

Instant Pot Sticky Rice

  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  1. Soak rice at least 6 hours or overnight
  2. Drain rice
  3. In Instantpot, put 1 cup water, steamer rack or basket, and a metal steam bowl. Add drained glutinous rice. Add 1/2-2/3 cup water until the surface of rice is covered.
  4. High pressure 12 minutes. Natural release 5-7 minutes. Fluff.

Pot Roast in Instant Pot

2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut in half
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small yellow or red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3/4 cups dry red wine
1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 fresh woody herb sprigs, such as a mix of thyme, sage and rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, rosemary or sage)
2 lb root vegetables, such as a mix of peeled carrots and parsnips, cut into 2-inch chunks

  1. Season the beef generously all over with about 1/2 Tbsp salt. Using the sauté setting, warm the oil in a 6- to 8-quart electric pressure cooker. Add one chunk of the beef and sear one side until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and sear other side. Remove beef and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, vinegar and 1/4 cup broth; season generously with black pepper and lightly with salt. Using a metal or wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Turn off the sauté setting. Add the herbs and nestle the beef into the liquid. Cook on high pressure for 45 min – 1 hr.
  3. Allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually. Add the vegetables to the pot, tucking them below the liquid. Cook on high pressure until the beef and vegetables are both tender, an additional 4 minutes. Quick-release.
  4. If you’d prefer a thicker gravy, strain the cooking liquid and return it to the pot. Using the sauté function, bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, combine 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour in a small bowl and knead it together with your fingers until it is uniform, almost like a dough. Once the liquid is boiling, drop the butter-flour mixture into the pot, whisking well to combine. Let it bubble until it is lightly thickened, about 5 minutes, then drizzle some gravy over the pot roast and vegetables, and top with drained, pickled onions. Serve extra gravy on the side.

Herbed Bean and Sausage Stew

  • 1 pound Italian (or any kind of ground) sausage – removed from casing
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-4 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2-4 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through, soaked 3-10 hours
  • 6 cups water or broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 4 thyme sprigs + 2 large rosemary sprig tied together in a bundle with kitchen twine
  • 2 bay leaf
  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a separate bowl.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove half of veggies to the bowl with the sauage (you will re-add it at the end, so veggies aren’t mushy). Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, 6 cups broth/water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Instant Pot high for 30 minutes, natural release.
  4. Re-add reserved veggies and sausage. High pressure for 5 minutes.
  5. Optional: puree a cup of beans for thicker stew texture.
  6. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Adjustments for Canned Beans

  • 2.5 cans (36 oz) canned beans, preferably white, chickpea or kidney, drained and rinsed
  • In step 3, do not add the canned beans. Add the canned beans in step 4.
  • Add 4 cups of water/broth at first, up to 6 cups, since canned beans do not absorb water

Chinese sticky ribs

  • 1 (6-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup Chinese rice wine, Xiaoshing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 5 – 6 pounds pork spareribs (2 racks, 2 1/2- to 3-pounds each), preferably St. Louis-style, cut into individual ribs
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  1. Pulse ginger and garlic in food processor until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer ginger-garlic mixture to Dutch oven. Add honey; hoisin; soy sauce; ½ cup water; rice wine; five-spice powder; and pepper and whisk until combined. Add ribs and stir to coat (ribs will not be fully submerged). Bring to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally.
    Instant pot: add above ingredients and ribs, stir to coat, then pressure cook high for 15-18 minutes.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Using tongs, transfer ribs to large bowl. Strain braising liquid through fine-mesh strainer set over large container, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Let cooking liquid settle for 10 minutes. Using wide, shallow spoon, skim fat from surface and discard.
  3. Return braising liquid to pot and add sesame oil. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until syrupy and reduced to 2½ cups, 16 to 20 minutes.
    Instant pot: add sesame oil to braising liquid in Instant Pot. Sautee function until liquid is syrupy, 4-8 minutes.
  4. Set wire rack in aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet and pour ½ cup water into sheet. Transfer half of ribs to pot with braising liquid and toss to coat. Arrange ribs, bone sides up, on prepared rack, letting excess glaze drip off. Roast until edges of ribs start to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip ribs and continue to roast until second side starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Transfer ribs to serving platter; repeat process with remaining ribs. Serve.

Instant Pot Coq au Vin

  • ~2 lbs chicken thighs or legs with skin
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2-3 celery, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • White or red potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 onion, cut into big chunks
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Thyme (1 tsp dry, or 5 fresh sprigs)
  • 2-4 pieces of garlic, smashed, but whole
  1. Add a little olive oil. Sear the chicken skin side down on Saute function or in skillet on stove, 3-4 minutes until skin is golden brown and released some fat. Do this with all the chicken, without crowding in pan.
  2. Sear the onions, celery, carrots, garlic in chicken fat in pot for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add wine, deglaze pot, bring to a simmer.
  4. Put chicken on top of veggies.
    1. Chicken thighs with bones – pressure cook 10 minutes
    2. Chicken legs – pressure cook 20 minutes
  5. Release steam. Add potatoes. Pressure cook 3 more minutes.
  6. Remove veggies and chicken to serving bowl. Turn on saute function and bring sauce to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a little water. Simmer until thick (may need to add another tablespoon cornstarch). Pour sauce over chicken and veggies. Serve with rice.

Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Prepare a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. Turn chicken halfway during marinade.

Add everything to Instant Pot. 8 minutes high pressure, then natural release 15 minutes.

Serve with yogurt sauce:
Mix 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/2 lemon juiced + lemon zest, 1 minced garlic in a bowl. Optionally, add minced fresh herbs (basil, chive, etc.). Cover. Chill for 4-5 hours.

Chinese beef stew


  • 2 lb beef brisket or stew meat or tendon mix, trimmed of fat, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 lb Chinese turnips, white daikon radish, or carrots; peeled, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3-5 cups chicken broth
  • 3.5 oz. ginger, thickly sliced
  • 5 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 bean curd sticks, soaked in water 2 hours and cut into 1.5″ pieces
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted, stemmed and sliced, with liquid reserved


  • 2 licorice slices 甘草片
  • 1 tsao ko cardamon (Amomum tsaoko) 草果
  • 1 dried tangerine peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick (½ of it’s fresh)
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 dashes white pepper powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 tsp Szechuan peppercorn


  • 3.5 oz / 100g Chu Hou sauce
  • 5g five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 100 ml shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  1. Lightly flour the beef cubes and sear on all sides until light brown. Add to crockpot with the cubed turnip/daikon/carrot.
  2. Sauté the shallots, garlic, ginger until fragrant.
  3. Add the aromatics ingredients for a quick sauté.
  4. Add the sauce ingredients, stir in 3 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add boiling sauce to crockpot. Now add remaining boiling chicken broth to crockpot until ingredients are covered.
  6. Cook for 2 hours on high. Add the bean curd sticks. Continue cooking for 4 more hours, or until beef is tender. Let sit overnight for best flavor.

For Instant Pot: add 0.5 cup of the shiitake mushroom liquid instead of 3-5 cups broth. Pressure cook beef, mushrooms, liquid, sauce and aromatics on High for 30 minutes. Remove beef. Pressure cook radish/carrots and bean curd on High for 10 minutes. Combine everything together.