When I was looking for another recipe to adapt to the Instant Pot, I ran across a family favorite that is loosely based on Korean kalbi (barbecued short ribs) marinated overnight and then cooked up quickly on the grill. The Instant Pot made them next-level tender and flavorful, without needing the overnight marinade. I tweaked the basic recipe a bit, adding some Korean Gochuchang sauce for a little heat, and some applesauce for a deeper, more caramelized flavor. The sticky sauce is so good you will want to drink it, and it’s delicious over rice.
You can find Korean-style short ribs (also known as flanken) at Asian markets. The ribs are cut in thin lengthwise strips across the bone, rather than along the bone like you see in baby back or St. Louis ribs. The recipe I’ve used for many years involves simply marinating the ribs overnight and then grilling them up quickly. For a fast meal, the Instant Pot cuts out the marinating stage and is perfect for one-pot cooking. You can finish these off on the broiler, if you want a little crisp to them, but these are so delicious and tender without that step. The sauce is delicious poured over the ribs and served over rice.
Since these ribs are cut across the bone, there are often very small bone fragments stuck to the meat that you will want to remove before cooking. Rinse the ribs carefully under running water to remove bone fragments, and pat dry with paper towels.
What is gochujang paste? It’s a peppery and delicious Korean concoction found in many international markets, located with the soy sauces and marinades. I bought a “mild” version, which adds the perfect amount of heat to the sauce, but there are spicier products available.
Combine the beer, soy sauce, unsweetened applesauce, brown sugar, garlic, grated ginger, gochuchang, and spring onion in the stainless-steel Instant Pot insert. Add rib strips, turning to coat in sauce, but stacking them sideways as shown to form a single layer in the pot.
If you wish to cook rice with the ribs, you can do this pot-and-pot, since any recipe that calls for 10 minutes of high pressure and natural pressure release will cook white rice beautifully at the same time. Place a tall rack/trivet over the chicken. Rinse 1 cup of white rice. Combine the rinsed rice with 1 cup of water, and place in a stainless-steel insert pan.
Place lid on pot and set to Seal. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, with a full natural pressure release (NPR). I generally use NPR for all meats, to keep them moist.
When all pressure has been released, remove lid. If you cooked rice, remove it from the pot and fluff with a fork. If you wish to broil the ribs, place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper (I like these unbleached precut parchment sheets, and I use them for everything) or sprayed with cooking spray.
Now prepare the sticky sauce: Whisk together 2 tablespoons potato starch (or cornstarch) with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set Instant Pot to Sauté and heat until bubbly. Whisk in potato starch mixture and continue to stir until mixture thickens. Remove from pot.
If you are broiling the ribs, brush them with some of the thickened sauce and place under broiler for barely 2-3 minutes, or until slightly charred. Watch the ribs carefully, as they can overcook and burn very quickly. Serve with additional sauce and rice, if desired.
Instant Pot Asian-Style Beef Short Ribs
- 2 lbs Korean short ribs (flanken cut)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 oz beer
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Gochuchang paste
- 2 tablespoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- Rinse rib strips under cold running water to remove any bone fragments. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Add garlic, beer, soy sauce, ginger, scallion, applesauce, and Gochuchang paste to Instant Pot and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Add beef strips, turning to coat in sauce. Place strips sideways in a single layer in Instant Pot.
- If you are cooking rice with the meat, place a trivet over the meat. Combine 1 cup of rice, rinsed, with 1 cup of cold water, and place in an insert pan on top of trivet.
- Place lid on pot, set to Seal, and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow a full natural pressure release, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove ribs from pot, leaving sauce in pot. If broiling, place on a parchment lined pan or spray pan with cooking spray.
- Whisk potato starch, salt, and cold water together in a small bowl to make a slurry. Set Instant Pot to “Sauté” setting. When mixture begins to bubble, slowly whisk in slurry and continue to cook until sauce begins to thicken.
- If desired, brush ribs with sauce, and place under broiler for 2-3 minutes until lightly charred. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced scallion, and serve with additional sauce as desired.