5 Tasty Malaysian Recipes for the Instant Pot

When people get started with the Instant Pot, they can be a little hesitant to dive right in and get cooking what might be seen as more complex dishes. But once you’ve got the recipe in front of you and your Instant Pot on the counter, you really can’t go wrong.

Since we are all housebound this year, why not try something a little more adventurous? I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Malaysian recipes that you can try in your Instant Pot.

1.Malaysian Beef Rendang

Many newbies to Instant Pot are afraid to try more difficult cuts of meat such as beef. But it’s super simple – just take this delicious and easy beef steak recipe. Plus, there are a whole host of delicious Asian beef dishes perfectly suited to the Instant Pot. Often associated with Indonesia, here is a Malaysian take on the delicious beef rendang.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp ginger (minced) 
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced) 
  • 1 serrano chili pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 packet of rendang curry paste 
  • 1lb skirt steak chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup of water (x2)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut 

Use the Saute function and add the vegetable oil. Add the minced vegetables once the pot is hot, plus the rendang paste and stir for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the steak and allow to cook for another 2 minutes.

Add ¼ cup of water and stir to remove any glaze or pieces of food from the bottom of the pot so it will pressurize correctly.

Add in the other ¼ cup of water and ½ of your cup of coconut milk before setting the Instant Pot to high pressure and cooking for 25 minutes. Use natural pressure release for 10 minutes before following with a quick pressure release.

Stir in the other ½ cup of your coconut milk and use the shredded coconut to garnish.

2. Nasi Goreng

This Malaysian fried rice is a favourite dish for many. It’s tasty and simple to make, especially in your Instant Pot.

You’ll need:

(For the paste)

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 50g of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp of turmeric (ground)
  • ½ red chili 
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 2 chopped carrots

You’ll also need:

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp of turmeric (ground)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 chicken thighs (cut to thin strips)
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 50g peas (frozen)
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk

Add all your paste ingredients into a blender and blend into a coarse paste.

Beat the eggs and 1 teaspoon of turmeric together. Choose a shallow dish that will fit in your inner pot with a small gap around the sides to cook the dish properly. Add the eggs to that dish and set it to the side.

Saute your chicken strips with olive oil in the Instant Pot for 2-3 minutes before adding the paste, soy sauce, and fish sauce to deglaze the bottom of the pot and use a spatula or wooden spoon to remove any stuck food.

Add in the rice, peas, vegetable stock, and coconut milk. Place your trivet into the pot and add the dish with the eggs from earlier on top. Hit Cancel to stop the Saute function before sealing your lid and hitting the Rice function. 

Use quick pressure release when cooking is finished. Cut your omelette into strips and serve with the rice.

There are so many variations of curry from different parts of Asia, but the Malaysian one stands out from the crowd as being light and flavorful. 

3. Kari Ayam aka Curry Chicken

Image Source: No Attribution Required 

To cook Malaysian curry chicken in your Instant Pot, you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (with bone and skin)
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 4 chopped potatoes (large 2inch pieces)
  • ½ pack of gourmet chicken curry paste
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ can of coconut milk

Use the Saute function and add your vegetable oil once hot, then add half of your chicken thighs, placing them skin side down.

Brown for around 3-4 minutes on both sides. Remove this batch onto a plate and repeat the process with the other half of your chicken thighs.

Add the onion to the pot and saute for a couple of minutes, making sure to de-glaze the pot with a wooden spoon (you can add a tablespoon or two of water to help with this.)

Add in your potatoes before placing the chicken on top and hitting Cancel to stop the Saute function. Stir in one quarter to one half of the packet of curry paste to the water and coconut milk before pouring in over the top of the chicken.

Seal the lid and use the Recipe program. Once cooking is finished, use a quick pressure release and serve with your rice of choice.

4. Nasi Lemak

This coconut milk rice dish is a delicious Malaysian favourite and variations can be found in other parts of Asia, too.

For this Nasi Lemak, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly
  • 1 inch of ginger, julienne
  • 1.5 sticks of lemongrass, chopped
  • Salt to season

Add everything into the inner pot and seal the lid. Select the Manual/Pressure function and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes before using a natural pressure release method. Remove the lid and stir gently before serving with roasted peanuts, boiled eggs, cucumbers, and dried prawn gravy. If you like add a dash of sambal.

5. Bak Kut Teh (Non Halal Version)

Bak kut teh is popular in Singapore as well as Malaysia and is a type of pork rib soup. Filled with delicious herbs and spices, this hearty soup is perfect for when it’s cold and raining outside.

To cook bak kut teh in the Instant Pot, you’ll need:

  • 2lbs pork ribs
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of pork broth
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 2 star anise, whole
  • 10 peeled cloves of garlic
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp palm sugar
  • 1tbsp oyster sauce
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked and halved)  
  • 1tsp salt for seasoning
  • 1 bunch scallions chopped
  • 6oz fried tofu (cubed)
  • 10 sliced red chilis
  • 1tbsp kicap manis sweet soy sauce (for serving)

Remove the membrane from the ribs before cutting into individual ribs. Boil the ribs for 10-15 minutes and drain. Add everything into the Instant Pot except for the scallions, tofu, chilis, and kicap manis. Cook for 45 minutes at high pressure

Use the quick pressure release when it’s done and switch to the Saute function. Add in the scallions and tofu and cook for 3 minutes. Garnish each serving with the red chilis and serve with a side of kicap manis and your rice of choice.

Which of these tasty and wholesome dishes will you try out in the Instant Pot first? I love them all.

Greg Abbot

Food Traveller

Collector of food and travel adventures. Nasi Lemak fanatic. Currently based in Kuala Lumpur.

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