Instant Pot Red Hot Asian Chicken – Instantly Delicious

We love spicy food at our house. My boys love to outdo each other when eating hot sauce. Even my baby can handle some significant spice.  My mother-in-law contends that her consumption of spicy foods while pregnant caused my husband to be hairy and to love spicy food himself.  While this is probably not true, when it comes to my husband, the hotter the better. We go through a steady amount of Sriracha, Tabasco, Franks, and Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce.  Another favorite condiment is Sambal Oelek, an Indonesian-style chili paste. I recently bought a jar and immediately thought about using it in a marinade for chicken. With the addition of more ginger, garlic, honey, and some other Asian flavors, this marinade was spicy, sweet, and complex. I served the finished chicken over rice, topped with a sweet and spicy chili paste.
Sambal Oelek is available in most grocery stores and even larger stores like Target.  If you can’t find it, you can substitute sriracha. It is best to marinate the chicken overnight. If you have 4-6 hours, I think the end result would be almost as tasty. Once the chicken has cooked in the Instant Pot, the marinade is discarded.I like to brown the chicken for 3-4 minutes/side under the broiler.  While the chicken browns, make a quick batch of sweet chili sauce for dipping.
Red Hot Asian Chicken
Serves 8

​Chicken Marinade:

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste (I like Sambal Oelek)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 inch section of ginger, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Sweet Chili Sauce:
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water


1. Place chicken thighs into a zip top bag. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.  Pour over chicken, seal the bag, and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours up to overnight.

2. Pour the contents of the zip top bag into the Instant Pot®. Lock the lid, making sure the valve is in the sealing position. Set to manual, high-pressure for 10 minutes.  When finished, do a quick pressure release by moving the valve to the venting position. 

3. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Place chicken thighs on the foil and broil on high for 3-4 minutes per side.  

4. While chicken is browning, prepare the sweet chili sauce.  Serve the chicken over rice, drizzling with some of the sweet chili sauce. 



1/14/2018 08:39:50 pm

Was the Sweet Chili Sauce supposed to have sambal in it? How much? Do you cook it first before drizzling on the chicken. Thank you in advance.


1/15/2018 02:35:10 pm

Hi Karen,

That was an error. I fixed the recipe – yes there should be sambal, but it is not cooked. Thanks for the note.



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