05 September 2020

Weekend Cooking: Instant Pot Asian by Patricia Tanumihardja

Instant Pot cookbook reviewToday's cookbook review is for all of my fellow Instant Pot users. Patricia Tanumihardja's Instant Pot Asian (Tuttle, Sept. 1) is a great resource, even if you already feel comfortable with the electric pressure cooker.

Tanumihardja, a food blogger for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, understands pressure cookers and is quick to tell you that the appliance is not for every dish. I appreciate that the recipes in this cookbook are a great fit for the IP; there's no cooking in the Instant Pot just because you can. She also focuses on what the IP does best, which is pressure cook and saute, making Instant Pot Asian a practical and useful kitchen companion.

If you're fairly new to the electric pressure cooker, you should take the time to read the "about" chapter, which explains the different saute and pressure cooking settings, outlines the techniques and defines terms, and suggests various accessories. Everyone should read the tips chapter. Even though I've used a pressure cooker for decades and have had my Instant Pots for a number of years, I still learned from Tanumihardja.

Indian chicken recipe for the Instant Pot
If you don't often cook Asian dishes, then you'll want to pay attention to the pantry section. There's where you'll learn about ingredients and staples you'll need for the recipes in the book. That said, the two recipes I tried--Indian Chicken Biryani Rice and Beef with Broccoli (see the scans)--were totally doable in my COVID-depleted kitchen.

Finally, I loved that Tanumihardja included notes throughout. Some explain the construction of the dish, and others are tips and comments from recipe testers. You'll also find variation suggestions.

So what kinds of recipes will you find in Instant Pot Asian? Many familiar dishes from all over Asia: Filipino chicken adobo, Vietnamese garlic butter noodles, Thai spicy beef noodles, Korean short ribs, Japanese beef stew, and several vegetarian curries. All the recipes are accessible and easy to follow, with clear directions for IP settings and timing.

Beef and broccoli recipe for the Instant Pot
We loved both recipes I made and I hope to get to several more this winter. Although there is a meat-free chapter, I advise vegetarians and vegans to look through the book before buying. The dishes aren't particularly fancy or unusual, so if you're looking for totally new flavor combinations, you'll not find that here. On the other hand, Instant Pot Asian suits my own needs just fine. On an average weeknight, I want tasty and easy with not too much fuss, and this cookbook does just that.

The recipe I'm sharing today is one that I have marked to try. Although not vegetarian, I picked it because it's a good example of Tanumihardja's style, uses readily available ingredients, and is a good recipe for people fairly new the IP.

Thanks to Tuttle for the review copy. Note that the recipe and scans from the cookbook are used here in the context of a review. All rights remain with the original copyright holders.

Lemon Teriyaki Glazed Chicken
4 servings; total time 33 minutes
Teriyaki chicken for the Instant Pot
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 medium cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 6 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 lb/900 g)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups (300 g) snow peas, trimmed and halved if large

Whisk together the granulated and brown sugars, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and lemon juice in the pot. Coat both sides of the chicken in the sauce and nestle skin side up in one layer. It might be a tight fit, but you can do it!

Lock the lid. Select PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL and set to HIGH for 9 min. Make sure the steam release valve is sealed. Once pressurized (10 to 15 minutes), the cook cycle will start.

When the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 min. Then quick release any remaining pressure. When the float valve drops, press CANCEL and open the lid.

Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon or tongs to a serving dish and tent with foil. Skim the fat from the sauce.

Select SAUTE and set to HIGH/MORE. Add the carrots and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the snow peas and let sit 30 seconds. Press CANCEL.

Pour the sauce and vegetables over the chicken and serve with steamed rice.

Shared with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker)


Mae Travels 9/5/20, 7:10 AM  

The instant pot still hasn't attracted me, especially since I don't need to save time or steps in the kitchen because I'm home most of the time these days. You do remind me that I need to look for more Asian recipes!

be well...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

gluten Free A_Z Blog 9/5/20, 7:33 AM  

This book sounds fascinating and since I don't know much about Asian cooking, I could probably learn a lot from it. The cover is gorgeous! I assume there is mostly recipes with meat and chicken, but I think I could get some good ideas and adapt for vegetarian. Thanks for the review.

Jackie McGuinness 9/5/20, 10:41 AM  

I don't have an IP either and am not inclined to get one. I love cooking Asian food and think this recipe would be good.

I must admit my kitchen is COVID indulged as I keep stocking up on items as I see them.
Most of our shopping is done by John at Costco. We also have our favourite produce place.

I have started to venture into different supermarkets for the different things I can find to try like flattened Portuguese chicken!

Vicki 9/5/20, 7:05 PM  

I love this type of food! I may get a copy of this book.

Marg 9/6/20, 6:05 AM  

I got given a pressure cooker in June, and I have to say it's been our most used gadget in the kitchen for the last few months. I do love the look of that broccoli and beef.

Laurie C 9/6/20, 12:21 PM  

I don't have an InstaPot, but the chicken recipe you've shared sounds delicious. I'm leaning more towards an air fryer, if I were to get one or the other, since I would think this kind of recipe probably works just as well in a slow cooker and my husband works from home and can turn the CrockPot on during the day for dinner at night. I'm not good at learning the ins and outs of new appliances, either, but the recipes in this cookbook sound great!
Thanks for commenting on my Weekend Cooking post! I used the slow cooker for the Spicy Red Cabbage recipe from the Irish Country Cookbook by Patrick Taylor, although it was just a regular recipe that called for slow simmering, so I wonder if Instapot recipes can be used for regular cooking, too, with adjustment of cooking times... Although I definitely do not need another cookbook!

Gilion at Rose City Reader 9/6/20, 5:22 PM  

I have no instapot, as I'm more a crock pot person. I'm apt to get distracted and need dinners that forgive me wandering off for an extra hour or more. :)

Sue Jackson 9/7/20, 4:59 PM  

Mmmm....these recipes all look and sound delicious! I need to get an Instant Pot one of these days and join the trend!

Hey, I mentioned you on my Monday post today - thanks so much for the recommendations for my son. He is at the end of Spellslinger and loving it!


Book By Book

(Diane) bookchickdi 9/8/20, 7:44 AM  

This sounds like a great gift for my son and his girlfriend.

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