Pressure Cooker Korean Chicken Thighs

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Korean chicken thighs made in an Instant Pot come out tender, juicy, and delicious in just a few minutes! Delight your taste buds with the umami, sweet, and spicy flavors in this Pressure Cooker recipe for Korean Chicken Thighs. It’s quick and easy enough for a weeknight, and exotic enough to steal the show at your next dinner party!

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Korean Chicken Thighs on a serving platter, garnished with fresh scallions

Hi there! I’m Tamara from Beyond Mere Sustenance. I’m excited to share “healthy recipes with global flair” that I have created for the pressure cooker with Pressure Cooking Today readers! Thank you, Barbara, for the opportunity!

Today’s recipe features Korean gochujang paste – an umami rich paste made with red chile, fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, and salt. Traditionally, the mixture was naturally fermented in earthen pots outdoors at home. That process has been replaced by commercial production in modern times.

How to make Korean Chicken Thighs in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create these delicious Korean Chicken Thighs!

Gochujang is used in traditional Korean dishes like bibimbap and bulgogi. It is widely available in the U.S. in both Asian markets and grocery stores that carry a wide variety of international products. Having become something of an addiction for me, I keep a carton in my refrigerator at all times. 

My cooking style depends on a well-stocked pantry. I keep a list of pantry ingredients on hand. When I run low on any of those items, they immediately go on a phone app called OurGroceries. All of the items that go into this dish are on that list: Gochujang, hoisin sauce, ketchup (I make my own most of the time), mirin, soy sauce or tamari, rice wine, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, whole garlic, chicken broth. Given that I keep chicken in the freezer, I can whip this up with basically no planning ahead.

two white dinners plates with Korean-style chicken thighs and white rice, all made in an electric pressure cooker

My work flow goes like this: Whisk the ingredients together for the BBQ sauce. Brown the chicken, and saute the onions, ginger, and garlic. Combine them in the pressure cooker. Add broth to about half of the BBQ sauce, and whisk it together. Pour over the chicken. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes, and then release pressure. Stir the cornstarch into about 1/4 cup of broth or water. In a medium saucepan, add the cornstarch mixture a little at a time to about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Bring it to a boil. When the liquid is thickened as desired, add in the reserved 1 cup of BBQ sauce. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tender chicken pieces to a platter. Pour the sauce over the top, and garnish with the chopped scallions. Serve the chicken with jasmine rice or pressure cooker white rice.

If gochujang sounds interesting – and delicious – you might also enjoy my Korean-Style Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Wraps With Asian Slaw & Kimchi, or Barbara’s recipe for Pressure Cooker Pho Ga. Once you taste this flavorful ingredient, I’m certain you’ll be adding it to your well-stocked pantry list!

Pressure Cooker Korean Chicken Thighs Recipe:

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Korean Chicken Thighs on a serving platter, garnished with fresh scallions

Pressure Cooker Korean Chicken Thighs

Yield: 4-5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


Korean BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup gochujang
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I like tamari)
  • 1/4 cup sake rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced

Chicken Thighs

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup broth or water


Korean BBQ Sauce

Whisk the ingredients (gochujang through garlic) together in a medium bowl. Remove and set aside 1 cup for finishing the sauce.

The Chicken

Using the pressure cooker or a pan on the stove, brown the chicken pieces on both sides in the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the chicken pieces and onion mixture to the pressure cooker.

Mix the chicken broth with the Korean BBQ sauce remaining in the prep bowl (after removing 1 cup). Add to the pressure cooker with the chicken.

Lock the lid, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure.

Remove 1 cup of cooking liquid to a medium sauce pan. Mix the cornstarch with broth or water. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil, and add the cornstarch slurry a bit at a time until thickened as desired. Add in the reserved BBQ sauce. Stir until combined and bubbly.

To Serve

Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken pieces to a platter. Pour the sauce over the top, and garnish with slice scallions. Serve with jasmine rice.



I like bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe (bone-in adds more flavor). Substitute boneless thighs or chicken breasts if you prefer.

If I have time, I let the pressure cooker de-pressurize naturally. It results in an even more tender result.

white dinner plate with 2 Asian spiced chicken thighs and fluffy white rice, all made in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
Titled photo collage - Pressure Cooker Korean Chicken Thighs
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originally published June 26, 2016 — last updated September 6, 2022
Categories: Chicken