Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)

This Instant Pot adaptation of the classic Korean stew made with kimchi is so flavorful and rich! The texture of the kimchi turns out nice and soft in a fraction of the time. 

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Kimchi jjigae (김치찌개) is a classic Korean stew made with flavor-packed old kimchi! It absolutely is one of my favorite comfort foods of all time. Lately, I’ve been making it in my Instant Pot, and I really like how it turns out. The stew is flavorful and rich, and the texture of the kimchi turns out nice and soft in a fraction of the time. In this recipe, I’ve adapted my stovetop kimchi jjigae recipe for my 6 quart Instant Pot.

How to make kimchi jjigae in the Instant Pot

To develop extra flavor, I usually stir-fry the kimchi and pork before adding water or broth. The Saute mode of the Instant Pot comes in handy for this step.

Once the liquid is added, use the Soup mode for pressure cooking. The actual cooking time is substantially shorter than the stovetop method. But, the time saving benefit diminishes if you count the time for the Instant Pot to build up the pressure.

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After the quick release of the pressure, add some tofu slices and scallions (and onion slices if you like) and cook for a few additional minutes, using the Saute button. If you don’t use tofu, you can wait for a few minutes for the natural pressure release, and then stir in the scallions.

Kimchi for the stew

When cooking with kimchi, you should always use fully fermented, sour kimchi. The older the better! If you don’t have old kimchi, don’t let that stop you from making this kimchi stew or other dishes made with kimchi. Your Korean market may carry commercially packaged kimchi called mukeunji (묵은지), meaning old kimchi.

If the kimchi is overly sour, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the stew to balance out the sour taste.

Meat for kimchi jjigae

I make kimchi stew mostly with fatty pork. It’s simply the best! However, I know some of you don’t like or eat pork. If so, use beef or canned tuna. You can cut the meat into large chunks if you like! You won’t have a problem with tough meat after it has been cooked in the Instant Pot. This reminds me, kimchi jjigae with pork ribs will be great cooked in the Instant Pot.

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More recipes made with kimchi

Everything tastes better with kimchi, right? Try these other favorites:

Kimchi soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew)
Tofu kimchi
Kimchijeon (pancake)
Kimchi mandu (dumplings)
Kimchi fried rice
Kimchi kongnamul guk
Kimchi bibim guksu
Kimchi ssambap
Spaghetti with kimchi
Kimchi jjim.

If you’re inspired to make some napa cabbage kimchi at home and let it get old for some of these dishes, here are my time tested pogi kimchi, mak kimchi and vegan kimchi recipes.

More Instant Pot recipes

Braised Oxtail (kkorijjim)
Dakbokkeumtang (spicy chicken stew)
Boiled chicken and rice
Instant Pot Spicy Galbijjim (Braised Short Ribs)

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Have you tried this Instant Pot kimchi jjigae recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


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Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)

4.51 from 53 votes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 pounds well fermented kimchi about 3 cups of cut kimchi packed
  • 8 ounces fatty pork or beef
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes gochugaru - adjust to taste
  • 1/2 cup juice from kimchi if available
  • 2 cups of water* 1/2 cup more if not using kimchi juice
  • 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces tofu
  • 2 scallions
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar - optional


  • Cut the meat and kimchi into bite sizes. Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick), and roughly chop the scallions.
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  • Push the Saute button of the Instant Pot. When it becomes hot, add the pork and kimchi along with the sesame oil and red pepper flakes until the kimchi is slightly softened and pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
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  • Add the kimchi juice, water, soup soy sauce, and garlic. Lock the lid, change it to the Soup mode, and adjust the time to 10 minutes. Set the steam valve to “Sealing”.
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  • When the Instant Pot beeps, turn the steam valve to “Vent” to quick release the pressure. Open the lid, and add tofu and scallions. Push the Saute button again, and boil for an additional 5 minutes or longer until the kimchi reaches the desired tenderness.
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For added flavor, save the water used to rinse rice, ssal ddeum mul, and use for the jjigae/stew. The water used to rinse rice is commonly used for Korean jjigae. Use the water from the second or third round of rinsing. Another option is to use anchovy broth (about 7 or 8 medium dry anchovies and one 3-inch square dried kelp boiled in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes).
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