Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken

This Instant Pot Mongolian chicken recipe makes for juicy chicken coated in a tasty, sticky sauce. It’s quick to rustle up on a weeknight or indulge in over the weekend. The flavor profile is sweet, salty, and a little bit spicy (or very spicy, depending on your preferences). The chicken and sauce can be served with rice, noodles, or steamed vegetables.

instant pot mongolian chicken

What is Mongolian Cuisine?

Mongolian Cuisine is predominately made up of dairy and meats. Typical Mongolian meals include stews and dumplings with the most popular dish being mutton dumplings or Buuz. Furthermore, due to geographic proximity, Mongolian cuisine is heavily influenced by Russian and Chinese cuisine too! Generally, Mongolian dishes are hearty and packed with flavor. This Mongolian chicken recipe is an adaptation of the well-known Mongolian beef dish.

Instant Pot

This recipe uses an instant pot, but could also be prepared on a stove top. Cooking the chicken in the instant pot is extremely quick and easy, and the result is very juicy tender chicken. If you are planning to make this dish on the stove top, it will take some more time to cook. Here’s a great stove top recipe that you can try out!

Natural Release on the Instant Pot

Once the instant pot has completed cooking at pressure we allow the pot to naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes before doing a quick release. Releasing the pressure too early can lead to the chicken becoming too dry.

Deglazing the Instant Pot

Deglazing the instant pot after sauteing the chicken prevents anything burning to the bottom during the pressure cooking stage. Without doing this there is a chance you will trigger the instant pot burn notice as well as negatively impacting the flavor of this dish.

Remember: With the instant pot, one beep indicates that the pot has come to pressure, a series of beeps indicate that pressure cooking is complete and the pressure is being naturally released.

Chicken

This recipe uses skinless chicken breasts which are sliced thinly to coat as much of the chicken as possible. If you don’t have chicken breast, you can swap this out with skinless off-the-bone chicken thighs. In this recipe, we slice the chicken into inch wide pieces. This allows for more surface area for the sauce to stick to, however, any thinner than that risks us overcooking and drying out the chicken.

instant pot mongolian chicken ingredients

Sauce

This sweet and salty sauce gets its flavor from the soy sauce, brown sugar, and, of course, the aromatic ginger and garlic. The spice in the sauce comes from crushed chilies and the amount can be adapted depending on your spice preference. The crushed chilies are also completely optional! So, if you don’t want a spicy dish, simply don’t add the chilies.

instant pot mongolian chicken cooking

Vegetables

In this recipe, we use carrots chopped into batons, you could, however, use any vegetables of your choice e.g. broccoli, zucchini, or mushrooms. Keep in mind that that delicate vegetable should be cooked separately and added to the pot after pressure cooking to avoid them becoming too mushy. However, we have found that carrots cook perfectly with the chicken and the sauce.

instant-pot-mongolian-chicken-with-chopsticks

Can I use frozen chicken to make this Mongolian chicken recipe?

Yes! If your chicken is frozen whole, thaw out the chicken before cooking and then follow the steps as seen in the recipe card. However, if you have frozen slices of chicken, you can put the frozen chicken straight into the instant pot to thaw and cook. In this case, add approximately one-two minutes to the pressure cook time if you are cooking with frozen chicken slices.

Why do we coat the chicken in cornstarch?

Coating your chicken slices in an even layer of cornstarch helps the chicken brown easily on the outside while staying juicy on the inside. This creates a much better outer texture for the chicken allowing the sauce to stick better.

Can I make Mongolian chicken on the stovetop?

Yes! The recipe will take a little bit longer and you need to be careful to keep an eye on the chicken as so not to dry it out.

Can I substitute chicken breasts in this recipe?

Yes! You can substitute chicken breasts for your preferred cut of meat. However, we suggest swapping out chicken breast with skinless off-the-bone chicken thighs, beef, or pork.

Can I use a different brand of electric pressure cooker?

It is possible to make this dish with any brand of electric pressure cooker you have, always refer to the manual for safety information. Please note that cooking time might vary between brands.

What can I serve with Mongolian chicken?

This dish can be served with rice, but it can also be served with egg noodles or steamed vegetables.

How long can I store Mongolian chicken in the fridge?

This meal can keep for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

How many calories are there in Mongolian chicken?

This recipe contains 389 calories per portion. However, the salt content is quite high in a large amount of soy sauce so we suggest that you eat Mongolian chicken as an occasional treat.

Can I use different vegetables?

Yes! In this recipe, we use chopped carrots, but great contenders for this recipe are:
- Broccoli
- Zucchini
- Mushrooms
However, keep in mind that that delicate vegetable should be cooked separately to avoid them becoming too mushy.

How much chili should I use?

1 teaspoon crushed chilies 🌶🌶🌶
½ teaspoon crushed chilies 🌶🌶
¼ teaspoon crushed chilies 🌶
This dish also doesn’t need spice to taste great! Skip the crushed chilies altogether if you’d prefer a milder meal.

Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken

This Instant Pot Mongolian chicken recipe makes for juicy chicken coated in a tasty, sticky sauce. It's quick to rustle up on a weeknight or indulge in over the weekend.

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Cuisine
Mongolian

Servings
4

Calories
389 kcal

Prep time
10 minutes

Cook time
25 minutes

Total time
35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chilies
  • 14 ounces skinless chicken breasts roughly 2 - 3 Breasts
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (for slurry) For Slurry
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ⅛ cup green onions 1 inch pieces
  • a pinch of sesame seeds
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cup low sodium stock Or 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup carrots

Instructions

  1. Slice 2-3 chicken breasts into inch long pieces. Thoroughly coat the chicken in ¼ of a cup of corn starch.
  2. Set your instant pot to saute mode on high and add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. When the oil is sizzling, add the chicken and cook for 1 minute on each side until white or light brown. Once cooked, set the chicken aside.
  3. Add 1.5 tablespoons of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger to the pot (the instant pot should still be on saute mode). If needed, add a drizzle of sesame oil. Cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant (roughly 30 seconds).
  4. Turn off saute mode and deglaze the instant pot by adding 1½ cups of low sodium stock or 1 cup of water to the pot and then scrape the bottom with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon until anything stuck to the bottom of the instant pot is removed.
  5. Add ½ cup of soy sauce, ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, and 1 cup of chopped carrots to the pot of vegetable stock. Return your sliced chicken to the pot and stir well to ensure everything is coated in the sauce.
  6. Set the pressure cooker on high for 3 minutes. Wait for the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then do a quick release and remove the instant pot lid.
  7. Prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a cup. Mix thoroughly until all the lumps from the corn starch are gone.
  8. Switch to saute mode on low. Wait for the sauce to start lightly bubbling and stir in the slurry. Keep stirring the sauce on saute until it thickens (approximately 1-2 minutes). Once it thickens, turn off saute mode and let the Mongolian chicken stand for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve your Mongolian chicken with rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

  • When coating the chicken in cornstarch, try doing so in a reusable freezer bag because it’s easier to mix and get an even coat on the chicken.
  • When sauteing the chicken, do not overcrowd the pot. It’s far easier to cook the chicken in batches if you have a lot of chicken than to add all of your chicken to the pot at once.

Nutrition

  • Calories 389 kcal | 
  • Carbohydrates 47.3 g | 
  • Protein 26.7 g | 
  • Fat 10.3 g | 
  • Saturated fat 1.7 g | 
  • Cholesterol 73 mg | 
  • Sodium 1124.4 mg | 
  • Fiber 1.4 g | 
  • Sugar 30.3 g |