Instant Pot Korean Spice Chicken (Pressure Cooker)

Instant Pot Korean-ChickenMy family loves Korean food!  Two dishes that we regularly order at a Korean restaurant are Bibimbap, which is a rice bowl with sautéed vegetables, meat and Gochujang (chili pepper paste), and, Bulgogi, which is basically Korean grilled meat, served with rice or lettuce cups. This recipe for Korean Spice Chicken is my weeknight, and pressure cooker friendly combination of the two.

I start by marinating the chicken with ingredients that I use for making Bulgogi– some Gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste), ginger-garlic, honey, onion and ground or grated pear. The pear tenderizes the meat and provides a subtle sweet flavor, which balances the heat from the Gochujang really well.  Then I pressure cook the meat in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Any pressure cooker would work great for this recipe. You can even do this in a skillet on the stove-top. Marinate the meat. Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium high heat and dump everything in. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, remove lid and cook till chicken is tender and the sauce is thick to your liking.

Instant Pot Korean-ChickenMy kids like having rice with Korean Spice Chicken, so, I make it in the same pot using pot-in-pot method. My husband and I like to have it over lettuce cups. The crisp lettuce contrasts really well with the spicy chicken. I have to tell you, that this is one of the tastiest low-carb meals we make at home.

Korean food is almost incomplete without an assortment of side dishes called Banchan.  I make a few of them at home, including the Spicy Cucumber Salad called Oi Muchim. Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers work great for this dish. The fresh and crunchy cucumbers, marinated in Gochujang, salt, vinegar and sesame oil, are a perfect match for this chicken.  They being this meal together beautifully! Try this recipe and let me know how it works for you by leaving a comment.

Instant Pot Korean Spice Chicken

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 6 mins Manual/PC, NPR 10 mins


  • 1.5 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breast halves
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil (for cooking)
  • 1/2-1 cup water (adjust to cooker requirement)
  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 grated or blended pear (or gala apple)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional- adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • Spicy Cucumber Salad- Oi Muchim
  • 1 English cucumbers or 3-4 Persian /Pickling Cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste)(adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (adjust to taste)
  • Rice
  • 1 cup long grain Jasmine Rice, rinsed 2-3 times, till water runs clear
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Low Carb Serving Suggestion
  • Butter lettuce head for Lettuce Cups



In a large mixing bowl, or a gallon size ziplock (easy clean-up), prepare marinade by mixing together everything listed under "marinade". Add chicken and mix well. Refrigerate chicken for an hour.


Heat oil on SAUTE mode. Add chicken along with marinade. Add very little water as the chicken and marinade would also release liquid while cooking. If you want to cook rice using pot-in-pot technique, place trivet on top of chicken. In an oven safe bowl, combine rice, water and salt. Place that on top of trivet. Close lid. Hit Cancel and press Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes, vent set to sealing position.


Wait for 10 minutes and then manually release pressure by turning the knob to 'venting' position. Open lid after pin drops. Remove chicken for slicing. This is optional. If you want to thicken the sauce a little, turn on SAUTE for 2-3 minutes. Add sliced chicken back in the pot and coat with sauce.


Serve with pickled cucumber over rice, or, lettuce cups for a low-carb option.



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