When you want a hot meal but not a hot house, pull out your pressure cooker, Instant Pot or multicooker.
Face it: No-cook meal strategies for summer only get you so far. Eventually, you or someone who you regularly feed will want a hot meal. And that’s OK. Preparing a hot meal need not entail heating the whole house.
Enter the stove-top or electric pressure cooker or, if you have one, the multicooker, such as the Instant Pot — that darling of 21st century kitchen appliances that has changed the life of many a home cook.
The Instant Pot is essentially a pressure cooker on steroids. It performs a number of additional functions such as sauteing and slow cooking, and it has advanced safety and programming features that make it safer and easier to use than the pressure cookers of yore. (Contemporary pressure cookers also have lots of new-fangled safety features.) The pressure allows for higher cooking temperatures, which significantly reduces cooking time and also tenderizes meats and vegetables to a greater extent than can be achieved otherwise — it’s how you get tough cuts to truly melt in your mouth.
If you’re not versed in the art of pressure cooking (or want a refresher), check out Father’s Office and Lukshon chef Sang Yoon’s. He will relieve any pressure-cooker anxiety you may have and leave you itching to give it a try. To test-drive a new pressure cooker or Instant Pot and experience hot meals in a cool kitchen, try one of these recipes.
Korean Galbi Jjim — braised short ribs, Korean-style — made in a pressure cooker is ready in 2 hours, as opposed to the 3 ½ to 4 hours it might take on the stovetop or in the oven. The result is meltingly tender beef and vegetables including daikon radish, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and potatoes, coated in a thick sauce made salty-sweet and nutty from soy sauce, malted rice syrup, mirin and sesame oil. Even with a pressure cooker, it will disappear way faster than you made it.
The broth in this Quick-Braised Pig Trotters With Star Anise and Lemon is teeming with aromatic anise and tart lemon zest, which permeate the pig trotters to their core. The pressure cooker makes quick work of tenderizing the offal while infusing it with the flavors of the sauce. It also leaves you free to steam some rice to serve with the flavorful sauce.
Instant Pot Hatch Chile Pork Tacos With Kohlrabi Mango Slaw uses an Instant Pot to quickly tenderize pork shoulder (or use a pressure cooker). Hatch chiles, both fresh and dried, add their unique earthiness to the sauce. The crunch of the kohlrabi and the sweet mango balance the tender, rich, savory pork.
Pressure Cooker Suon Ram Man (Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Spare Ribs) is a quick way to prepare this Vietnamese classic. The secret to not making the sauce too cloying is in the nuoc màu (Vietnamese caramel sauce), which is cooked to the point that it is dark and smoky with a touch of bitterness. Served with steamed jasmine rice and sliced cucumbers, it is a rich, savory meal.
Pig trotters become quickly soft and unctuous when cooked in an electric pressure cooker surrounded by a broth perfumed with star anise, lemon peel and ginger.
Caramel and fish sauce form the sauce for these Vietnamese spare ribs, braised quickly in a pressure cooker.
This pressure cooker galbi jjim recipe from chef Sang Yoon makes a fast and easy dinner. An Instant Pot works too.
YieldsServes 6 to 8
Fresh or roasted Hatch chiles balance the richness of the pork while dried ones give the sauce an earthy depth. A kohlrabi-mango slaw adds freshness.