Table set with a bowl of Instant pot Vietnamese beef stew
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5 from 7 votes

Pressure Cooker Vietnamese beef stew

Make this aromatic Vietnamese beef stew once and it will become your new favourite Instant Pot recipe! Easy, hearty and a guaranteed hit with the whole family.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 617kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi


  • 900 g | 2 lb stewing beef, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped or 1 tsp lemongrass paste
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 450 g | 1lb butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 1 400g | 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 360 ml | 1 1/2 cups hot beef stock
  • 2-4 tbsp vegetable oil or as needed
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) diluted in a little cold water
  • Handful fresh basil leaves to garnish


  • Combine the beef, five spice powder, salt, pepper, lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Ideally, leave to marinate for an hour, if you are in a hurry you can use immediately.
  • Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or directly in your pressure cooker using the ‘Sauté’ function. Brown the beef, in batches, until seared on all sides - a couple of minutes per batch. Transfer the meat to a plate.
  • Add a splash more oil and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes, stirring frequently – from this point on you can use your pressure cooker.
  • Add the green chillies, carrots, squash and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, cinnamon stick, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and stock. 
  • Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine. Cover the pressure cooker, set vent to sealing and cook for 30 minutes on high pressure.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes,  then release remaining pressure manually, taking care to keep your hand out of the way of the steam.
  • Check the consistency of the stew - it’s likely the sauce will need to be reduced slightly. Stir in the cornflour slurry and use the ‘sauté’ function to reduce the sauce. 
  • Remove the cinnamon stick, start anise and kaffir lime leaves before serving. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Serve over rice or with some crusty bread garnished with basil leaves.



I used a 6L/Quart Instant Pot for this recipe.
Although ideally you should marinate the beef for up to an hour for maximum flavour, you can also mix it with the ingredients as specified and set it aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients then use immediately.


Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 67g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 1721mg | Potassium: 1392mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 22150IU | Vitamin C: 32.8mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 7.9mg