Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
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Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame

A plate of Chicken with Shiitake mushrooms, Sesame seeds and green onions
Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame

Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame. A quick Chinese braise in the pressure cooker.

My kids are on an Asian food jag right now. It feels like, if soy sauce isn’t involved, they’re a little disappointed. So, when I saw Shiitake-Sesame Braised Chicken

in Milk Street Magazine, I knew I had to try it.

The recipe is inspired by Chinese sand pot cooking, with a long, slow braise of chicken thighs in soy sauce with mushrooms. Of course, my first thought was “That will adapt perfectly to my Instant Pot!”. As a bonus, it’s an Asian style dinner that needs a lot less slicing than a stir fry, making it easier for me to deal with on a crazy weeknight. To help with that, I cheat and buy my mushrooms pre-sliced, so all I have to do is slice an onion and this recipe is ready for me to turn on the Pot.

Now, I do take the time to brown my chicken thighs, and sauté the onions and mushrooms, because those steps add a lot of flavor to the recipe. You can skip those steps if you want, and go with a “dump everything in the pot and lock the lid” approach, but it’s definitely worth the extra ten to fifteen minutes to sauté everything before the pressure cooking starts.

Recipe: Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame

Adapted from: Shiitake-Sesame Braised Chicken, Milk Street Magazine

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A plate of Chicken with Shiitake mushrooms, Sesame seeds and green onions

Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame. A quick Chinese braise in the pressure cooker.


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-inch long piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 5 ounces fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken broth (homemade or low sodium store bought)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • Sliced green onions for garnish


  1. Brown the chicken, on one side, in two batches: Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. In an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, heat the vegetable oil over Sauté mode set to high (medium-high heat on a stovetop) until the oil starts to shimmer. Set half of the chicken thighs in the pot, smooth side down, and let them cook, without moving, until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Move the browned pieces to a plate, then add the rest of the thighs to the pot to brown, about 4 more minutes.
  2. Sauté the onions and mushrooms: Add the onions, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms to the pot and sauté, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits of chicken, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Everything in the pot: Pour 1 cup of chicken broth into the pot, and scrape the bottom one last time to loosen any last bits of stuck chicken or onions. Stir in the browned chicken and any juices on the plate, then drizzle the soy sauce and hoisin sauce over everything.
  4. Pressure cook for 10 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid on the cooker. Pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (“Manual” or “Pressure cook” mode in an Instant Pot), then the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. (If there is still pressure after 15 minutes, you can release it if you are in a hurry.)
  5. Serve: Remove the chicken, mushrooms, and onions to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon. Whisk the 2 teaspoons of water and the cornstarch in a small bowl, then whisk this cornstarch slurry into the liquid in the pot. Pour the pot liquid over the bowl of chicken, serve, and enjoy!


Cooking from frozen. I don’t recommend it – you can’t season the chicken first, or brown it. But, if you absolutely have to cook from frozen: Skip the brown the chicken step, and start by sautéing the onions and mushrooms. Add the frozen thighs in the cooker in the Everything in the pot step, and pressure cook for 15 minutes at high pressure, with a Natural Release, about 15 more minutes. The chicken may need to be sprinkled with salt after cooking, because you won’t be able to season before cooking. Cut off a small piece and taste it, and add salt if you think it needs it.

Chicken breasts: Again, you can do it, but I don’t recommend it. Chicken thighs pressure cook a lot better than chicken breasts. If you insist on white meat, the cooking time is the same.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon

  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Instant Pot Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame, Pressure Cooker Chicken with Shiitake and Sesame

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Chinese Pork Meatballs (Lion’s Head meatballs)
Pressure Cooker Chinese Pepper Steak
Instant Pot Chinese Beef Noodle Soup with Short Ribs
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Katarina says

    I made this last night for dinner and it was absolutely delicious 😋 Thank you for the great recipe.

  2. franke says

    The blog and the post is absolutely fantastic! Lot of information is helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog, looking forward for more content…. great job, keep it up

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