Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew is an easy and flavor-packed stew
that combines beef chuck roast, All-Purpose
Stir-Fry Sauce
, and tender daikon and carrots. If you plan
ahead, you can cook this Whole30-friendly beef stew on a busy
weeknight or make it ahead to reheat during the week!

An overhead shot of a two hands holding a bowl of Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew.

Got a jar of All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce?

I’ve shared the recipe for my All-Purpose
Stir-Fry Sauce
in our latest cookbook, Ready or Not!, on the blog, and our
iOs app because it really
is that indispensable. I have a jar in my fridge or frozen cubes in
the freezer at all times because I can use it for so many dishes
besides amazingly easy stir-fries. Don’t believe me? Here’s
my
ever-growing list of recipes
that utilize my All-Purpose
Stir-Fry Sauce.

A collage of the cooking steps to make Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew

What other meats can I use in this stew?

Each time I cook this recipe, I plop a different braising cut
into the
Instant Pot
and the stew always turns out great. If you use
lamb shoulder, pork shoulder, boneless short ribs, or brisket, you
can keep the cooking time the same if you cut the meat into 2-inch
cubes. This stew is fabulous with bone-in short ribs, but you will
need to increase the cooking time to 45 minutes under high
pressure.

If you want to make this dish even faster, you can substitute
chicken thighs for the beef. The cooking time under high pressure
is 15 minutes if the thighs are bone-in, or just 10 minutes with
boneless and skinless thighs.

Can I use other vegetables?

Yes! I love daikon and carrots because they absorb all the
flavor of the sauce, but you can substitute cubed potatoes or
cauliflower florets in place of  them and keep the same 3 minute
cooking time under high pressure. When you don’t want to make
greens on the side, stir in some bok choy or spinach to the stew
and cook them on the sauté function until they’re wilted.

Why isn’t this stew on the table in 35 minutes?

Ah yes, a common complaint folks share about Instant Pot recipes
is that they are advertised as cooking under high pressure for “X
minutes” and it ends up taking at least double that time to get
food on the table. Annoying, right?

Although this recipe cooks under high pressure for 35 minutes,
it takes time to prep the ingredients, sauté them in the Instant
Pot, come up to high pressure, and release pressure naturally. All
in all, it may take 90 minutes to complete this recipe (always
check the Total Time on the recipe card before starting).

If you don’t have this much time to spare on a weeknight, dump
all the ingredients in the Instant Pot in the morning and program
it to cook while you’re out for the day—the hands on time for
prepping the stew is about 15 minutes! When you come home, the stew
will be depressurized, piping hot, and ready to add the daikon and
carrots. Alternatively, you can cook this stew ahead of time and
reheat it when you need it.

What is the best way to reheat it?

In the Instant Pot! My rule of thumb is if you cooked the dish
in the Instant Pot, you can reheat it in the Instant Pot. In fact,
I recommend refrigerating your stews in the Instant Pot metal
insert covered with a silicone
cover
so you can just pop the insert back in the Instant Pot
when you want to reheat it. (Yes, it helps to have extra metal inserts if you want to
cook something else.)

An overhead shot of chilled Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew in the metal insert. There is a top layer of hardened white fat on top of the stew.

If you want, you can remove the hardened fat cap on top of the
chilled stew, add any extra vegetables the recipe calls for (e.g.
carrots and daikons), and cook under high pressure for 3
minutes.

What do you serve with Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew?

This is a stew that would traditionally be served with white
rice, so you can serve it with
Simple Cauliflower Rice
. Some other tasty vegetable side dish
ideas include roasted asparagus, stir-fried bok choy, or sautéed
spinach. Remember: you can use the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce to
season your stir-fried veggies, too!

How do you store leftovers?

Keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to four days or in the
freezer for up to 6 months. If you’re going to reheat it later in
the week, refrigerate the stew in the Instant Pot metal insert and
cover it with a silicone lid.
That means you’ll have one less container to wash that day!

What’s your favorite leftover makeover with this stew?

When there isn’t quite enough stew left for another family
meal, transform the stew into a quick and easy soup in the Instant
Pot. To serve four people, fill the Instant Pot with 6 cups of bone
broth and the remaining stew. Also, you should  add some
vegetables (e.g. Napa cabbage, sliced carrots, and cubed potatoes)
to bulk it up. Cook the soup under high pressure for about 3
minutes and release pressure manually. Taste for seasoning and
adjust with salt and/or fish sauce if needed.

How do you make this stew if you don’t have a pressure cooker?

If you want to cook this stew in a slow cooker/Crock Pot, sauté
the onions and garlic in a skillet before transferring them to the
slow cooker insert. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (except for
the root vegetables) and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Add the
carrots and daikon in the last hour of cooking.

Alternatively, you can make this stew in a Dutch oven on the
stovetop or in an oven. Cook the onions and garlic in a
heavy-bottomed dutch oven. When the onions are softened, add the
rest of the ingredients, including the carrots and daikon. Increase
the amount of All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce to 1 cup and add an
additional cup of chicken or bone broth to the stew. Bring the
contents of the stew to a boil over high heat and turn down the
heat to maintain a simmer or place the pot in a 300°F oven . Place
a lid on the pot, leaving it slightly askew so it doesn’t
accidentally boil over. Cook for about 3 hours or until the meat is
fork-tender.

Time to make Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Equipment:

Method:

Shake up a jar of my All-Purpose
Stir-Fry Sauce
if you don’t already have one in the fridge.
Pour out ½ a cup of it and set it aside.

A shot of a smiling woman shaking a jar of All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce.

Toss the beef cubes with the Diamond Crystal kosher salt. (Use
only 1 teaspoon salt if you are using Morton’s brand or a fine
grain salt.)

A shot of someone tossing cubed chuck roast with kosher salt on a gray cutting board.

Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot. When the metal
insert is hot, add the avocado oil and the sliced onions.

The front of an Instant Pot Ultra is shown where someone is programming it to cook on the sauté function. On the right hand side picture, someone is adding sliced onions to the Instant Pot.

Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are slightly
softened.

A closeup shot of the interior of an Instant Pot filled with sautéed sliced onions.

Stir in the minced garlic cloves and salted beef cubes.

On the left, someone is adding minced garlic to an Instant Pot. On the right, cubed beef is being added to the Instant Pot.

Plop in the dried shiitake mushrooms (no need to rehydrate them)
and pour in the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce.

On the left, a person is adding dried shiitake mushrooms to the Instant Pot. In the picture on the right, someone is pouring All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce into the Instant Pot.

Stir well to distribute the sauce evenly.

An overhead shot of someone stirring the contents of Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew before pressure cooking it.

Lock the Instant Pot lid and program it to cook under high
pressure for 35 minutes.

On the left, a hand is shown locking the lid on an Instant Pot Ultra. On the right hand picture, someone is programming an Instant Pot Ultra to cook for 35 minutes under high pressure.

When the stew is finished cooking, wait for the pressure to
release naturally. Impatient? After 15 minutes has elapsed, release
the pressure manually.

An overhead shot of the Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew right after it is finished cooking.

If you’re eating the stew right away, add the daikon and
carrots and program it to cook for 3 minutes under high
pressure.

On the left, someone is adding sliced carrots and daikon into an open Instant Pot. On the right, someone is programming an Instant Pot Ultra to cook for 3 minutes under high pressure.

When it finishes cooking, release the pressure manually.

On the left, someone is manually releasing pressure from an Instant Pot. On the right, an open Instant Pot contains Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew with cooked daikon and carrots.

Check that the root vegetables are fork tender and taste the
stew to check the seasoning. Transfer the stew to a serving
bowl…

A person in a black apron is ladling the Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew into a ceramic serving bowl.

…and top with sliced scallions. Enjoy!

An overhead shot of Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew topped with sliced scallions.