Yukgaejang, the spicy Korean beef stew, comes as an comfort food when the weather outside is dreary. I made my Korean beef stew in an instant pot that I got last Christmas. I think I like it, so I even joined the facebook Instant Pot community! LOL
Pressure cooking is actually quite common cooking method in many Korean household. It shines so well in braised dish recipes. Traditionally, Yukgaejang is made over stove top. The stew is simmered for long time which yields fall apart tender beef with variety of chewy vegetables in a spicy broth. It takes time and lots (I mean a lot) of effort in each cooking step. I made into simple version and easy to put together with only a couple of addition. Leek and mushroom. Asian leek would be the best option but western leek can do the job close enough if you can’t find the Asian leek. For the mushroom, use oyster or shiitake instead of button mushroom. The texture of oyster and shiitake are much meatier which goes so well with rest of the stew.
You will need to make beef stock first. I used beef brisket. Skirt steak or flank steak is an alternative if brisket is not available. You will also need radish and onion for the stock.
Just dump them in a instant pot.
And cook for 40 minutes under Meat/Stew setting. Make sure to secure the venting knob to be closed.
You will want to ventilate the steam naturally. It takes some time, I think about 15 minutes, so I don’t think making the yukgaejang in an instant pot saves whole lot of time compared to stove top version. However, the tenderness of beef is so much better.
Nice stock! Take the meat out and strain the stock. Drop a couple of dried sea kelp to the stock and let it sit for 10 minutes or longer. Discard the kelp after that.
Shred the beef into bite size.
Under a Saute function, add some oil and saute leek with Korean chili flakes until soften. about 3-5 minutes.
Add mushroom, beef, stock, and garlic. Stir, of course.
Bring it to boil. I was quite supersized how quickly it brings to a boil.
Season the stew with Kroean soy sauce for soup, and a little bit of Korean soybean paste, doenjang. Doenjang is an optioanl thing. It brings a little bit of country flavor but you can easily omit it if you don’t care for it.
At last drizzle some beaten egg and stir gently. Turn off the power and the spicy Korean beef stew is ready to serve.
Looks good, doesn’t it?
Serve with rice and kimchi. Yukgaejang doesn’t require fancy side dishes. A good kimchi is all you need to serve with, which makes very handy meal. It is not that spicy either so don’t be afraid of its red color. It is flavorful and the beef is extremely tender. Another good news is that the leftover is even better on the next day. So make a potful of the stew and enjoy for a few days.
Instant Pot Korean Beef Stew, Yukgaejang
- 1-1/4 lb brisket
- 1 large onion quartered
- 1 small Korean radish diced
- 8 cups water
- 2 Asian leeks or western leeks white and light green parts only
- 5 oz oyster or shiitake mushroom torn into bite size
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2-3 tablespoons Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 2 tablespoons Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang)
- 1/2 tablespoon Korean soybean paste (doenjang) optional
- 2 eggs beaten (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the brisket, onion, radish, and the water in an instant pot and cook for 40 minutes under meat/stew setting with ventilation closed. When done, release the steam naturally. It might take up to 15- 20 minutes.
- Take the meat out, and collect the stock. Discard the onion and the radish. Drop 2 pieces of dried sea kelp to the stock and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Remove the sea kelp.
- Shred the brisket into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- Press the Saute button on the instant pot. Clean and slice the leeks into desired size.
- Heat the oil, add the leek and Korean chili flakes. Saute until the leeks are soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the mushroom and continue to saute. Add the stock, beef, and garlic to the pot. Bring it to boil and cook for 3 minutes. Season with Korean soy sauce for soup. Add the Korean soybean paste, if using, Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
- Drizzle the beaten eggs on top and stir briefly. Serve hot with rice and kimchi on the side.