Duck ramen. Picture from Instagram (Instant Pot South Africa)
Duck ramen. Picture from Instagram (Instant Pot South Africa)

3 surprising foods you can make in an instant pot

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Sep 16, 2020

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Did you know that there are many interesting ways to use your instant pot?

As a proud owner of the multicooker you probably already know about a lot of the things this wonderful countertop appliance can do. Making yoghurt, hard-boiled eggs, and cooking tender, juicy ribs in minutes are just a few of them. But there are other tricks your instant pot can perform that you might not know about yet.

If you don’t have time but love the comfort and taste of home-cooked meals, making one in an instant pot can help as they cut cooking time by almost half.

Here are three surprising foods you probably didn’t know you could make in an instant pot.

Instant pot popcorn

Makes: 8-9 cups


2 tbs coconut oil

½ cup popcorn kernels

Salt or seasoning to taste


Choose sauté mode on the instant pot, adjusting the setting to a higher temperature if needed.

When the screen reads hot, add coconut oil and popcorn kernels. Stir to evenly coat kernels. Place the lid on and wait.

After about 2 minutes, you’ll see the kernels popping.

When popping slows to about 1 pop every 4-5 seconds, turn it off and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Add salt or your choice of seasoning and enjoy.

Recipe by Jennie Whiting.

Instant pot carnitas

Serves: 12


1 tbs olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1kg pork shoulder, fat cap removed, cut into 2-3 pieces

1tbs kosher salt

1tbs cumin

1 tsp oregano, Mexican oregano if you have it

177ml orange juice

125ml lime juice


Select the sauté function and allow the inner pot to heat up. When the display reads “hot” add olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, 1-2 minutes.

Press the cancel button to turn off the sauté function. Add the pork pieces along with the salt, cumin, and oregano. Toss until well combined and pork pieces are evenly coated with seasoning.

Pour the orange juice and lemon juice over the pork.

Seal the pot, ensure the pressure valve is set to “sealing”, and programme the pot to cook at high pressure for 35 minutes. Allow for a 10-15 minute natural pressure release, then release the remaining pressure naturally.

Remove the pork using tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a plate or into a wide, shallow bowl. Shred the pork using two forks.

Position a rack in the uppermost slot of the oven, then set the oven to broil on high. Transfer the pork shreds to a foil-lined baking sheet and arrange into an even layer, then pour half the pan juices over the meat. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and broil for five minutes. Remove the baking sheet, stir the pork, then broil 5 minutes more.

Enjoy warm and crispy from the oven stuffed into tortillas and topped with your favourite toppings.

Recipe by Danielle Esposti.

Duck ramen

Serves: 2

For the duck


2 free-range duck breasts

1tbs soy sauce

2 tbs mirin

2 spring onions, roughly chopped

2 dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced

2 extra large free-range eggs

For the broth


750ml or 3 cups chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, whole but crushed

2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, crushed

10g dried shiitake mushrooms

3 tbs white miso paste

8 spring onions, sliced in half

¼ tsp chilli flakes

2 packs or portions ramen noodles

100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Black sesame seeds and fresh spring onions, for garnish

Method for the duck

Add duck, soy sauce, mirin, spring onions, and shiitake mushrooms into a vacuum-seal bag (or a zip-lock bag), remove air and seal. Marinate for one hour.

Fill the inner pot with water up to the halfway mark. Select Sous Vide, 54˚C for 1 hour.

When the water reaches the correct temperature, submerge the duck (leave in the bag).

Once cooked, remove the duck from the bag and pat with a paper towel until completely dry.

Dry out the inner pot and set sauté mode to high.

Once the display reads hot, add the duck skin side down while the inner pot heats up. Sear the duck until the skin is deeply golden brown and crisp. Remove and set aside for serving.

Pour 1 cup water into the inner pot and insert the trivet.

Place eggs on the trivet.

Select the egg setting. Set the cooker to 4 minutes for a nice jammy yolk.

Quick-release and then transfer eggs immediately into an ice bath.

Once cool, peel and set aside for serving.

Method for the broth

Combine chicken stock, garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, miso paste, spring onions, and chilli flakes. Stir until miso paste is dissolved.

Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes and then quick-release.

Using a slotted spoon remove all the aromatics.

Set pot to sauté on high. Bring broth to a simmer and add noodles and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes until mushrooms are tender and noodles are heated through.

Assemble ramen bowls with the broth, mushrooms and noodles as the base. Slice duck breasts and arrange on top of the noodles. Slice eggs and arrange them next to the duck. Sprinkle eggs with a little salt and black sesame seeds. Scatter spring onions into the bowls and serve.

Recipe by Instant Pot South Africa.

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