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Korean-Style Beef Stew

Korean-Style Beef Stew

This is classic Korean comfort food. Don’t be put off by the large ingredients list— most of these items may already be in your pantry or refrigerator. This is an easy dish to put together, and it takes only about an hour from start to finish in a pressure cooker. One of the best things about this stew is that it tastes even better the next day.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus time for marinating
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 3½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Stew

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
  • 2 carrots, cut ¼-inch thick on the diagonal
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Korean chile powder or crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups homemade beef stock (see page 6) or packaged low-sodium beef broth (homemade stock is preferable)
  • 1 head napa or savoy cabbage, cut into 1-inch squares (about 5 cups)
  • Garnish

  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Dark Asian sesame oil
  • For serving

  • Hot cooked Korean sweet potato noodles or steamed short-grain rice (see Note)


  • To make the marinade, combine the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, tamari, canola oil, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar in a mini food processor or a blender, and process until the mixture resembles a paste.

  • In a large mixing bowl, toss the beef with the marinade until it is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. When you are ready to cook, allow the beef to come to room temperature before proceeding.

  • To make the stew, add the oil to a 6-quart pressure cooker and set the machine to the “browning” program. When it is hot, add the beef, in batches, and cook, turning it occasionally, until it is evenly browned, about 5 minutes per batch. As it is browned, transfer the meat to a plate.

  • When all the meat is browned, add the tamari, sugar, and sake to the pressure cooker and simmer for 1 minute. Then add the onion, carrots, red bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, salt, and chile powder and cook, stirring, until the vegetables have wilted, about 6 minutes. Return the browned meat to the pressure cooker and add the stock. Close and lock the lid, and set to “high pressure” for 15 minutes.

  • Open the pressure release valve, allow the steam to escape, and carefully unlock and open the lid. Add the cabbage, stir well, and replace the lid. Cook on “high pressure” for an additional 15 minutes.

  • Garnish the stew with the mung bean sprouts, sesame seeds, green onions, and a sprinkling of sesame oil. Serve over Korean sweet potato noodles or steamed rice.

  • Note:  Korean glass noodles or vermicelli are made from sweet potato starch. Thin, long, translucent, glass-like noodles with a chewy texture, they’re similar to cellophane noodles but slightly thicker with a firmer bite. They’re a must when making Korean food. You can buy Korean noodles at your local Asian market or order them online.


    The stew may also be made on the stovetop in a regular Dutch oven if you do not have a pressure cooker. Note that cooktimes will need to be adjusted, however, and you may need to watch that the liquid does not evaporate too much during the lengthier cooking.