My instant pot firecracker chicken is a sweet and spicy mix that's a perfect copy of the takeaway classic. Just as good and almost certainly much healthier as well. Pot in pot rice makes this meal into a perfect, easy weeknight meal.
I've made mine into meatballs for an unusual twist on this classic recipe.
How to make instant pot firecracker chicken meatballs
This recipe is really easy to make, just combine all the meatball ingredients into a bowl, mix together and then form into meatballs (I made 15 fairly large meatballs). Heat your vegetable oil in the instant pot and when it's hot, brown the meatballs in batches before removing and setting aside. Now add all the sauce ingredients to the pot and deglaze if required. Put the meatballs back into the sauce. If you're going to do pot in pot rice nows the time to add the tall trivet and the pre-prepared rice (make sure there's plenty of expansion room as the rice will swell and expand). Add the lid to the pot and seal before setting on high pressure for 7 minutes. Leave under pressure for another 7 minutes and then do a quick release. Remove the rice and set aside. Now you can either serve as it is or thicken the sauce using cornflour. Either way will be perfect, but be careful because this one packs a punch!
What do you serve with instant pot firecracker chicken?
I served mine with rice, garnished with sesame seeds. If you want to lower the carb content then you could try serving over cauliflower rice (note this would still not make it keto-friendly due to the breadcrumbs in the meatballs).
Is instant pot firecracker chicken healthy?
Yes, the recipe contains no added processed sugars and is low in fat. I believe it will make a perfect addition to any balanced diet.
Are instant pot firecracker meatballs keto-friendly?
The simple answer is no, but by omitting the breadcrumbs from the meatballs and substituting cauliflower rice instead of basmati rice, the recipe can be made keto-friendly.
Instant pot firecracker chicken
- Instant pot
- 700 g Chicken mince (ground chicken) Turkey or pork mince would also work.
- 1 Medium Onion (finely chopped) Red or white.
- 3 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika Plain paprika would also be ok.
- 1 tsp Chili flakes
- 1 Large Egg (beaten)
- 100 g Breadcrumbs (white or wholemeal)
- 1 Medium Carrot (grated)
- Season to taste
- 2 tbsp Olive oil (to fry the meatballs) Most vegetable oils will work
- 300 ml Chicken stock Vegetable stock or just water will also be ok.
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Sriracha Franks or most other hot sauces will be good.
- 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 tsp Dried garlic
- 1 tsp Dried ginger
- 500 g Basmati rice (washed and drained)
- 750 ml Boiling water
- 1 tbsp Cornflour
- 2 tbsp Sesame seeds
- Add all of the meatball ingredients except the olive oil to a bowl and mix together. Form the mixture into meatballs.
- Set the pot to saute and add the oil.
- When the oil is hot add the meatballs and roughly brown (you might need to do this in 2 batches). Remove the meatballs and set aside.
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to the inner pot and stir well together (deglaze if necessary).
- Put the meatball into the sauce and add a tall trivet to the pot. Now add the prepared rice with the boiling water in a suitable container.
- Put the lid on the instant pot and set on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Leave under pressure for a further 7 minutes and then do a quick release.
- Remove the rice and set aside.
- Set the pot to saute. Remove around 5 tbsp of liquid from the sauce and add to the cornflour in a bowl. Mix well together and add back to the pot. Stir in until the sauce is boiling and thickened (around 2 minutes)
- Serve over the boiled rice with a garnish of sesame seeds.
I used turkey in the video above as my local supermarket didn't have any minced chicken. It made a perfect substitution.
You can cook the rice more traditionally if you want and miss out the pot in pot steps, but it does save time and energy as well as making perfect rice every time.
The above recipe made 6 good portions and unfortunately, there were not any leftovers. If there were, the meatballs will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days and can be frozen successfully for around 6 months.
The exact recipe above was made in my 8l (8qt) pot and I have also made it successfully in my 6l (6qt) pot. I haven't tried in the 3l (3qt), but I'm sure it would be fine although pot in pot rice might be a bit of a squeeze.
I have to confess that the finished result was very spicy. Perfect for me, but too hot for my children. One tbsp of sriracha and fewer chili flakes would make the recipe more child friendly.
If you have enjoyed my recipe for instant pot firecracker chicken, please take a look at some of my other chicken and Chinese based recipes:
- Instant pot chicken teriyaki
- Instant pot Chinese chicken
- Instant pot pad Thai
- Instant pot chicken lo mein
- Instant pot honey lime chicken
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave them in the box below and I would be delighted to help.