instant pot: korean beef (better than takeout!)

Jessica Penner, RDDinner, Recipes4 Comments

korean beef instant pot

Make the healthier version of Korean Beef faster than you can order takeout! As a bonus, each bowl has nearly 3 servings of veggies!

I know this will probably sound strange to many of you but I’ve got to be upfront and honest:

This recipe was my first time cooking with a cut of beef!

As self-proposed flexitarians, we primarily eat vegetarian dishes, with chicken about once or twice a week, shrimp, pork, or beef about once a month, and random attempts sprinkled in to learn to like fish! I’d love to get up to eating fish twice a week but I’m not there yet….#lifegoals

So up until now my beef repertoire has consisted solely of ground beef recipes but I suddenly had a desire to make a Korean beef dish! I adapted this from a few sources and they all used flank steak but when I did my grocery shopping the store was out of flank steak so I bought stewing beef instead. 

Rookie mistake!

One can not be exchanged for the other. The sauce in this recipe was delicious but the meat was a bit tough to swallow. I’m not really a stew kind of person so I just had to choke down the beef. But I decided not to give up on the recipe altogether and I made it again once I found the right cut: flank steak!

And voila: a fantastic beef dish! This Korean beef is super flavourful without a ton of sugar or sodium. In contrast to the high sodium from takeout places, this recipe only has about 500 mg of sodium per serving. 

You also can’t go wrong with the SPEED of this recipe. With the Instant Pot, it only takes 8-10 minutes of cooking time! 

why it’s a smart choice

I often hear from clients that it’s hard to eat the recommended number of servings of veggies a day. All y’all know how important they are! High fruit and vegetable consumption is consistently shown in research to increase health prevent chronic disease and early death. To boost my family’s intake I always include lots of veggies in with my meats, stews, etc. This is such an easy way to boost your produce consumption! In this Korean Beef recipe, each serving has nearly 3 servings of veggies. 

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations!  

korean beef instant pot

instant pot: korean beef

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD
  • Yield: 4


A homemade takeout meal that takes less time than ordering in!


  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tbsp beef bouillon
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • ½ lb snap peas
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • cooked brown rice (for serving)
  • sliced green onions (for serving)
  • sesame seeds (optional for serving)


  1. SAUTE: Pour the oil into the Instant Pot. Add the onions and press SAUTE.
  2. Stir and cook until the onions are soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the garlic and saute one more minute.
  4. TOSS: In a bowl stir together the flank steak, bouillon, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and lemon juice. 
  5. Sprinkle in the corn starch and toss to combine.
  6. COOK: Add the beef mixture to the pot. Then layer with the water, carrots, snap peas, and apple. Do NOT stir.
  7. Press MANUAL and choose 8-10 minutes (depending on how thick you cut your meat!)
  8. SERVE: Open the pot using the quick release option. Serve over brown rice, top with green onions, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Makes 4 servings.

Calories: 320 | Fat: 12.5g | Carbs: 23g | Fibre: 3.5g | Sugar: 9.5g | Protein: 29g | 3 servings of veggies

korean beef instant pot

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4 Comments on “instant pot: korean beef (better than takeout!)”

  1. Thanks for the recipe! It is fun to try new IP recipes. I am just wondering, when do we add the lemon juice?

    1. Oh sorry about that! Thanks for catching the omission. I’ve updated the recipe now. You add it in along with the ginger and stuff 🙂

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