Instant Pot Hoisin Chicken is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s packed with flavor. Juicy, lean chicken breasts are coated in a sweet and savory hoisin sauce and served over rice. The whole meal is ready in under 30 minutes.
You can’t go wrong with quick and simple dinners, and that’s why I’m loving my Instant Pot so much. It’s an easy way to get a delicious meal on the table when you’ve got a full schedule. This recipe has all of the flavors of your favorite Asian takeout made right at home. A perfect one pot meal!
- Oil– I use canola oil in this recipe since it has a neutral flavor.
- Chicken- Lean chicken breasts cut up into cubes.
- Balsamic vinegar– This is a pantry staple.
- Hoisin sauce– Look for hoisin sauce in the Asian section of any grocery store or Asian market.
- Soy sauce- Look for soy sauce in the Asian section of any grocery store or Asian market. Use Tamari if you can’t tolerate gluten.
- Sesame oil– Look for toasted sesame oil in the Asian section of any grocery store or Asian market. Toasted sesame oil has a dark color and strong, nutty flavor.
- Sugar- I use brown sugar in this recipe, but you can use the same amount of white sugar or honey.
- Sichuan black pepper– You can find spicy, citrusy Sichuan pepper at Asian markets, online, and in the spice section of most grocery stores. Substitute an equal amount of black peppercorns and coriander seed powder if you can’t find Sichuan pepper.
- Ginger– Use fresh ginger root. You can find this near the garlic in the produce aisle. Peel the thick skin and wither chop it in small, fine bits or grate it.
- Garlic– Use fresh garlic cloves, not the pre-minced jarred version (it’s got a bitter flavor).
- Cornstarch– This goes in the slurry to thicken the sauce at the end.
- Rice– I use jasmine white rice.
- Green onions– Cut the green stalk on the bias into bite-sized pieces.
WHAT IS A CORNSTARCH SLURRY
A cornstarch slurry consists of cornstarch and water. The slurry helps the liquid in this dish thicken into a flavorful sauce. Start with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a small bowl combined with an equal amount of cold water and stir until smooth paste forms. If you have more liquid in your sauce, add more cornstarch and water to the slurry accordingly. Whisk or stir the slurry into the hot liquid that you want to thicken.
If you don’t have cornstarch or want another option, you can substitute arrowroot or tapioca starch. If you plan to freeze this dish, use arrowroot or tapioca starch because cornstarch coagulates when frozen.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT HOISIN CHICKEN
- Use the sauté function on your Instant Pot and sauté the canola oil and cubed chicken, about 3 minutes. Sautéing caramelizes the outside of the chicken and brings out extra flavor.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, omitting the cornstarch slurry.
- Put the top on the Instant Pot and set the control to manual, adding 6 minutes of cooking time.
- Release the pressure manually and remove the lid.
- Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the sauce in the Instant Pot as possible.
- Turn on the sauté function and add the cornstarch slurry. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Turn off the sauté function (you don’t want the sauce to burn), and add the chicken back in, stirring to coat with the sauce.
- Serve the hoisin chicken over rice and sprinkle with green onions.
HOW AM I ABLE TO TELL WHEN MY CHICKEN IS FULLY COOKED?
After releasing the pressure and taking the lid from the Instant Pot, scoop one of the chunks of chicken from the pot and tear it in half with a fork. If it breaks up easily then your chicken hoisin is ready!
WHAT CAN I SERVE THIS HOISIN CHICKEN WITH?
I like to serve this chicken over white rice and top it with green onions. You can serve it over brown rice or quinoa too. If you prefer noodles, use an Asian noodle or thin spaghetti. For those eating low-carb, serve hoisin chicken over zucchini noodles.
Hoisin chicken pairs well with steamed broccoli or baby bok choy sautéed with soy sauce and mirin or rice wine vinegar.
INSTANT POT BASICS
The Instant Pot is a 7-in-1 appliance that functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, sauté pan and even yogurt maker depending on the model.
The Instant Pot uses steam to build pressure, so you need at least one cup of liquid in your pot. To close the Instant Pot lid properly, you need to line the lid up with the pot and twist it in place. The steam release dial should be pointing to the sealed position before cooking. Don’t open the Instant Pot until the cooking cycle is complete and the pressure has been released.
There are two ways to release pressure in the Instant Pot—the natural release method or the quick release method. For the natural release method, leave the steam release handle in the sealed position and wait 8-25 minutes, depending on the amount of liquid in your pot. Turn the dial on the lid to vent and open the lid. For the quick release method, turn the steam release handle to vent and the steam comes out quickly. Protect your hand with a silicone mitt so you don’t burn it. When steam stops coming out of the vent, it’s safe to open the lid.
Don’t fill the Instant Pot over 2/3 full, since over-filling can clog the vent pipes and create too much pressure. For foods that expand like rice or beans, don’t fill the Instant Pot more than ½ full.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
Let the hoisin chicken cool and pack into containers with airtight lids. I like these glass containers. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
HOW TO REHEAT LEFTOVERS
- To reheat in the microwave, microwave the hoisin chicken for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
- For the stovetop, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Put the leftovers in the skillet and heat on medium heat until heated through.
HOW TO FREEZE LEFTOVERS
To freeze leftovers, pack the cooled hoisin chicken in a container with an airtight lid and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat as instructed above.
Easy Instant Pot Hoisin Chicken
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 3 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp Sichuan black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tbsp garlic (about 4 cloves minced)
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, diced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp water
- 3 green onions sliced for garnish
- 1 cup chopped peanuts for garnish
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a bowl whisk together the first eight ingredients and set aside.
- Switch your Instant Pot to saute feature and add the canola oil.
- When the Instant pot is hot add the diced chicken and sear for 2 minutes stirring periodically.
- Switch off the saute setting and add the chicken stock and mixture from the bowl to the chicken and Instant Pot.
- Stir to combine and place the lid on the Instant Pot making sure the release valve is locked.
- Set to high pressure and cook for 6 minutes.
- Release the pressure and carefully remove the lid.
- Using a slotted spoon scoop out the chicken into a bowl.
- Switch to saute setting again and mix together the cornstarch and water.
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and stir until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Add the chicken back into the sauce and stir.
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, chopped peanuts and red pepper flakes.