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!
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.
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.)
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.
- All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce: This indispensable sauce is my short cut to deliciousness in this Asian-inspired stew. Alway shake up a jar and keep it in your fridge.
- Beef chuck roast: My favorite cut for beef stews is beef chuck roast, but cubed boneless short ribs or brisket also work. Not into beef? Cubed pork shoulder or lamb shoulder also work great in this recipe.
- Umami Stir-Fry Powder or Spicy Sichuan Powder: I love to season the beef with one of my nomtastic seasoning salt because they add a lot of oomph compared with plain kosher salt.
- Avocado Oil
- Dried shiitake mushrooms
- Daikon radish: If you can’t find daikon radish, you can definitely use Russet potatoes.
How to make Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew!
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.
Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot. When the metal insert is hot, add the avocado oil and the sliced onions.
Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are slightly softened.
Stir in the minced garlic cloves and salted beef cubes.
Plop in the dried shiitake mushrooms (no need to rehydrate them) and pour in the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce.
Stir well to distribute the sauce evenly.
Lock the Instant Pot lid and program it to cook under high pressure for 35 minutes.
When the stew is finished cooking, wait for the pressure to release naturally. Impatient? After 15 minutes has elapsed, release the pressure manually.
If you’re eating the stew right away, add the daikon and carrots and program it to cook for 3 minutes under high pressure.
When it finishes cooking, release the pressure manually.
Check that the root vegetables are fork tender and taste the stew to check the seasoning. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl…
…and top with sliced scallions. Enjoy!
Want more recipes that utilize All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce? Go here!
Craving more Instant Pot recipes? I’ve got all of them here!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew
- ½ cup All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce
- 3½ pounds beef chuck roast cut into 2-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons Umami Stir Fry Powder Spicy Sichuan Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or cooking fat of choice
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 5 medium garlic cloves minced
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms rinsed
- 1 pound daikon radish peeled and cut into 1½ inch cubes
- 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 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.
- Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot. When the metal insert is hot, add the avocado oil and the sliced onions. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are slightly softened.
- Stir in the minced garlic cloves and salted beef cubes.
- Plop in the dried shiitake mushrooms (no need to rehydrate them) and stir in the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce.
- Lock the Instant Pot lid and program it to cook under high pressure for 35 minutes.
- When the stew is finished cooking, wait for the pressure to release naturally. Impatient? After 15 minutes has elapsed, release the pressure manually.
- If you are eating the stew right away, add the daikon and carrots and program it to cook for 3 minutes under high pressure. When it finishes cooking, release the pressure manually.
- Check that the root vegetables are fork tender and taste the stew to check the seasoning. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and top with sliced scallions. Enjoy!