16 Lunar New Year Recipes To Make In Your Instant Pot That'll Make Everybody Think You Cooked All Day
Warning: Every picture on this page is going to make you drool with hunger. With the Lunar New Year coming up, it's a great time to plan a feast featuring flavors from all over Asia. And it's surprisingly easy to do that while the help of a pressure cooker. There are tons of Instant Pot recipes for Lunar New Year that will satisfy any craving.
The Lunar New Year begins on February 5 this year, and the festival is celebrated in countries including China, Vietnam, South Korea, and Tibet, according to Brittanica.com. It's also known as the Spring Festival, and it's been around for thousands of years. Families traditionally get together to share a New Year's Eve feast, according to CNN, and children receive cash gifts in red envelopes called hongbao — tons of amazing food and free money makes standing around waiting for a ball to drop seem way less cool in comparison.
Traditional dishes fit for a feast would usually take hours to perfect if you cooked them in the oven or on the stove, but with the Instant Pot, you'll have way more time to get back to the festivities. Here are 16 delicious Instant Pot recipes to celebrate the Lunar New Year with.
1. Nian Gao (Chinese New Year Cake)
You'll need just three ingredients for this recipe for New Year's cakes from What To Cook Today, plus some banana leafs to keep things from turning into a gooey mess. The blog explains the legend behind why people serve up this super sticky and sweet confection on the holiday, which is worth a read in itself.
2. Braised Pork Baby Ribs And Long Beans
You may need to pay a visit to your local Asian supermarket for some of the ingredients in this braised pork ribs dish from Mao Mao Mom, but if the picture is any indication, it'll be well worth the trip. You'll start by sautéing the pork before you pressure cook everything together, but all told, it'll still be ready in less than a half hour.
3. Beef Pho
Is there anything better than a steaming bowl of noodles and soup on a cold winter day? The answer is definitely not. This recipe for Instant Pot beef pho from Little Family Adventure shows you how to prepare a rich, flavorful broth, and you can customize it with whatever sort of garnish sounds good to you.
4. Asian Pulled Pork
I love pulled pork because it's so versatile — you can turn into sandwiches, add it to a noodle dish, serve it over rice, etc. It can take all day to get a side of pork so tender it'll shred, but this Instant Pot pulled pork recipe from Just One Cookbook cuts the time down to about an hour and half (and you won't have to babysit the stove in the process). You'll only need a handful of ingredients, and if you're into Asian cooking, there's a decent chance you'll have many of them on hand.
5. Sweet And Sour Chicken
Sweet and sour chicken may not be the most authentic recipe, but sometimes you just can't ignore that craving for Americanized takeout Chinese food, right? This recipe for Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken from This Old Gal imitates the kind of dish you'd see being sampled at a mall food court, but makes it way better. If you want to serve it with a side of rice, the blog shows you how to cook both things at the same time by using a trivet in the Instant Pot.
6. Short Ribs
These Instant Pot short ribs from My Korean Kitchen are packed with sweet and savory flavor, thanks to ingredients like apples and honey. If you want to get the texture on the meat just right, the blog walks you through the process of depressurizing the pot over the correct amount of time. Serve the ribs with sautéd veggies or rice and you'll have a super satisfying Lunar New Year meal.
7. Chicken Bone Broth
If you think bone broth is just a fancier name for soup, think again — the flavors are so much deeper and richer. This Instant Pot bone broth recipe from I Heart Umami calls for the use of a whole chicken, but it only takes about half an hour to cook. That's basically magic.
8. Chinese Five-Spice Ribs
They may be called Chinese five-spice ribs, but there are lots of other tastes giving this dish from the Primal Palate a big flavor punch. You'll want to sear the ribs before you toss them into the Instant Pot, and finish them off in the oven afterward to get the perfect texture. The extra steps should be well worth the effort.
9. Adobo Chicken
The trick to getting the flavors to really pop in this Instant Pot chicken adobo recipe from Manila Spoon is marinating it the night before. The ingredients are super simple, but they add up to something extra delicious. The blogger recommends using dark meat chicken because it absorbs the flavor better, but you can also try it with breasts.
10. Char Siu (Chinese Barbecue Pork)
For the best Instant Pot Chinese barbecue pork, the chefs from Pressure Cooking Recipes recommend using a cut of pork butt (but don't worry, it's not actually butt). The marinade for this recipe calls for some ingredients you're not likely to find in a typical grocery store, but hunting them down will reward you with a flavorful, authentic Chinese favorite.
11. Radish Cake
If you're not familiar with radish cakes like the ones from Christine's Recipes, don't let the name fool you. It's not a sweet treat, but instead a dished packed with savory ingredients like sausage and dried shrimp. After cooking for about 40 minutes in the Instant Pot, you'll want to finish off your radish cakes with a quick pan frying to give them the perfect texture.
12. Barbecue Pork Lettuce Wraps
These barbecue pork lettuce wraps from Cotter Crunch are the perfect way to satisfy a craving for Chinese while keeping the ingredients relatively healthy. The recipe even contains notes on how to make it Paleo friendly. If you stick to the recipe exactly, it's just 300 calories per serving — though you might be tempted to eat more than one serving, of course.
13. Korean Beef
Pulled pork seems to be the better known option, but shredded beef is just as versatile — not to mention just as delicious. This Instant Pot Korean beef recipe from Lemon Lavender Love can be served in lots of different ways. You could try wrapping some up in lettuce, using it as taco filling, or spooning it over rice.
14. Bahn Mi
A flaky French baguette, perfectly seasoned pork, and pickled veggies make this Bahn mi recipe from Paint The Kitchen Red an absolute flavor explosion. It'll take about an hour and a half to put these little Vietnamese sandwiches together, but your taste buds will thank you.
15. Chinese Chopped Pork Salad
This chopped Chinese pork salad from 365 Days of Crock Pot is like a rainbow on a plate, thanks to colorful veggies like purple cabbage, shredded carrots, and green onions. It takes about 50 minutes to pressure cook the pork before serving it over a bed of quinoa and salad. In addition to being a fabulous option for a Lunar New Year feast, this recipe seems like it would be perfect for meal prepping when you're absolutely sick of chicken breast and steamed veggies.
16. Galbitang (Korean Short Rib Soup)
The 'soup' setting on the Instant Pot is put to good use in this this Galbitang recipe from Kimchimari. The short rib soup only takes 30 minutes to cook, as opposed to hours and hours on the stove top (in which you could easily get distracted and ruin it). Simple flavors like ginger and onion come together for a soup that's hearty, filling, and most importantly, delicious.
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