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Instant Pot Ginger Soy Chicken

Instant Pot Ginger and Soy Chicken

This recipe for ginger and soy chicken lets the Instant Pot or your slow cooker do all the magic, giving you an insanely aromatic, flavourful chicken dish
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Author Shinta


  • 2.5 pounds chicken thighs and legs, skin removed around 7-8 thigh pieces, preferably bone-in
  • 1 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2-3 dried whole red chilies
  • 1/2 cup sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch/cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds lightly toasted
  • Chopped scallions / spring onion stalks to garnish

For the Spice Mix (can be substituted with 1.5 tablespoons pre-made 5 Spice mix)

  • 5 cloves
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 4 star anise


  • In a pan, on the stove-top, dry-roast the star anise, cloves, fennel, peppercorns and cinnamon for a minute, until the whole spices are fragrant. Grind the spices in a mortal and pestle or in a masala or coffee grinder. Keep the spice mix aside.
  • In the bowl of your slow cooker (I used my Instant Pot), combine the chicken with the ginger, garlic, ground spice mix, red chilies, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey. Make sure the chicken is well coated with all the seasonings and sauces.
  • In the 'slow cook' mode, cook the chicken for 2.5 hours on 'High' (see notes).
  • Once done, the chicken will be tender and nearly falling off the bone.
  • Now, switch to 'Saute' mode in the 'Less' setting.
  • In a cup, mix together the corn starch and a couple teaspoons water to form a slurry. Add this to the chicken, giving it a few gentle stirs.
  • Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Turn it off after 5 minutes.
  • Serve with a garnish of sesame seeds and chopped scallion stalks.


I made my own spice mix using star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, ground pepper and whole chilies. You could use Chinese-5 spice powder instead, if you have it on hand.
When using the slow cook mode on the Instant Pot, cook on 'High' for 2.5 hours or 'Low' for 3.5 hours. Adjust the cooking time depending on how tender you like your chicken. If you are slow-cooking the chicken on the stove-top, make sure you turn the chicken over occasionally, and that you cook on low heat.