Instant Pot Chinese Braised Beef Soup

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

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I'd heard great things about the Instant Pot from family and friends. So, I was excited while unwrapping a gift on Christmas morning, it turned out to be just that. We did a couple of simple test runs - some pulled beef and pork - and they turned out so good, and in such a short time!

Is The Instant Pot Good For Soup?

When I want to make a rich broth, I either start on the stove and simmer it all day, or use the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Spoiler alert: the Instant Pot took a fraction of the time and the broth was just as rich, and the meat just as tender without all the time and effort.

Now if you've seen our posts for Hong Shou Rou, Hot Pot, and Mongolian Beef, you can probably tell that we are big fans of Chinese food in this house. I love going out and trying authentic dishes and trying to recreate them at home to make them keto-friendly. Our wok is used often, but I really wanted to find out what the Instant Pot could do for Chinese food.

One of my favorite meals pre-keto was ramen soup, and I've heard that the Instant Pot excels at making broth. I've actually saved some big pork bones which I'm hoping to do a nice pork bone broth soon, so watch out for that! Being quite cold here on the east coast this time of year, I had been craving a big bowl of rich broth. I bought a beef roast the other day and I knew exactly what to make to hit the spot. The only question was whether the Instant Pot could live up to the expectations.

Where Do I Get Chinese Cooking Ingredients?

Some ingredients in this recipe may seem foreign. You may have to visit your local Asian grocery to get doubanjiang or Szechuan peppercorns. However, these ingredients can now be found at many regular grocery stores, along with soy sauce, star anise, and even shaoxing wine.

Before we start cooking, we want to make the spice packet. We do this beforehand so we don't need to take up valuable time when the cooking starts.

Lay out cheesecloth, folded over a couple of times and put the spices on top. Fold up the corners of the cheesecloth creating a pouch and tie the top with thread or kitchen twine. This will let the spices flavour the broth without the need to pick out bay leaves, peppercorns and cinnamon sticks later.

Braised Beef Soup Recipe

To start, either cube a beef roast, or get stewing beef that is already cubed. Outside round roasts were on sale this week so that was what was used in this recipe. I’ve found that the instant pot makes even the leaner cuts very tender.

Boil a pot of water that is large enough to boil the beef. Add the beef and boil for about ninety seconds. Doing this will boil off impurities and keep our broth clear. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the water and set it aside in a bowl.

Set the instant pot to the saute setting and saute the ginger, garlic, and dried chilis for 30 seconds to release the flavours. Add the onion and beef, and saute for another minute to brown the beef. Add in the doubanjiang, ketchup, soy sauce, and shaoxing wine. Stir until everything is mixed and turn off the saute setting. We used our versatile homemade keto ketchup, but any keto bottled ketchup will work fine.

Pour the beef stock and water into the instant pot and give everything a stir. Put the lid on and select the Meat/Stew option. Set the timer for 1h 20m and make sure the vent valve is set to seAlex.

Now it's time to let the instant pot do its thing!

I like to get everything else ready while the instant pot is cooking. This way when the Instant Pot is done, I can ladle the the soup into bowls and dinner is served.

Chop the cilantro and green onion and set aside. Wash the bean sprouts and divide them evenly among the bowls.

About 10 minutes before the Instant Pot timer is done, boil a large pot of water and blanch the bok choy until tender. Add the bok choy to the bowls with the bean sprouts.

When the Instant Pot is done, release the steam with the valve. Caution, as the steam will be extremely hot. This is also going to make your house smell very good! When the steam is released, remove the lid and ladle the beef and broth into the prepared bowls. Top with cilantro and green onion.


  • 2.5 lbs beef, cubed

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 3 slices ginger, cut into coins

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 onion

  • 4 dried chillies, chopped

  • 1 tbsp keto ketchup

  • 2 tbsp doubanjiang

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup shaoxing wine

  • 6 cups water

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • a handful of bok choy per serving

  • a handful of bean sprouts for each serving

  • cilantro and green onion to taste

For the spice packet

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 3 star anise

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns

  • 1/4 tsp 5 spice powder

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Cube beef and boil in a large pot for 90 seconds. Strain and rinse. Put in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Set Instant pot to sauté. Add coconut oil, dried chilies, garlic, and ginger and fry for 1 minute.

  3. Add beef and fry for another minute.

  4. Add soy sauce, shaoxing wine, ketchup and doubanjiang and stir to mix. Turn off sauté.

  5. Add beef broth, water and spice packet. Select meat/stew setting for 1h 20m.

  6. when there is about 15 minutes left on the Instant Pot timer, blanch bok choy until tender in a large pot of water. Strain and place in soup bowls with bean sprouts.

  7. When the Instant Pot is done cooking, release steam through the valve and ladle soup into bowls With vegetables.

  8. Garnish with cilantro and green onion.



12g fat

5.3g total carbs

0.9g fibre

0.5g sugar alcohols

3.9g net carbs

45.7g protein

If you've made this recipe, comment below or tag us on Instagram @redhotketo, we'd love to hear about it. If there's any recipes you'd like to see in the future, hit us up in the comment section below!


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