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Japanese Pork Tender Rib Stew (Pressure Cooker + Stovetop + Video)

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This Japanese pork tender rib stew dish can be served with rice or noodle soup. For those who don’t have an Instant Pot yet, I inserted the stovetop instructions for making this delicious dish.

Japanese Pork Tender Rib Stew01

It’s so much fun to explore the functions of my new kitchen toy, Instant Pot. This time my project was to test its “stew” function.

The pork tender ribs ( aka 豬軟骨 pork cartilage) from a nearby Asian butcher was only required 35 minutes of pressure cooking. They turned really tender with almost-fell-off-the-bone meat.

Japanese Pork Tender Rib Stew Procedures

I had to proceed very carefully in order to pick up the cooked ribs with a pair of chopsticks and filmed it. The radish was a must to add in, taking the whole dish up a level, adding an extra texture.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did. Watch the tutorial video!

Japanese Pork Tender Rib Stew Recipe

(Printable recipe)
Course: Pork, Stew
Cuisine: Asian, Pressure Cooker
Prep time:
Cook time:
Yield: 2 to 3 serves

Japanese Pork Tender Rib Stew02

  • 820 gm soft pork ribs (aka pork cartilage)
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 60 ml (3 Tbsp) Japanese salt-reduced light soy sauce
  • 40 ml (2 Tbsp) mirin
  • 20 ml (1 Tbsp) cooking rice wine
  • 3 tsp white vinegar
  • 10 gm ( ½ Tbsp) rock sugar, roughly pounded
  • 1 cup water
  • 400 gm radish, peeled and roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • spring onion, for garnish
  • 2 tsp corn flour / corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp water

Instant Pot Method:
  1. Blanch the pork ribs. Drain well. Set aside.
  2. Use an Instant Pot (See instructions below for stovetop pot), press “Saute” (medium) to heat oil. Brown the pork ribs on both sides in two batches. Return all the pork ribs into the pot.
  3. Add in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, wine, vinegar, rock sugar and water. Cover and turn the steam release handle to the “sealing” position. Set “Meat/Stew”, high pressure, for 35 minutes. When the programme finishes, wait 5 minutes, then run quick pressure release carefully. After the float valve drops to the down position, you’ll find the lid can be removed easily. Add in the radish. Cover the lid with “sealing” position again. Press “Meat/Stew” and cook for another 10 minutes. Quickly release the pressure. When the valve drops, remove the lid and press "Sauté" button to reduce the sauce by 1/3. Season with salt. Stir in the thickening and cook to your preferred consistency. Garnish with spring onion. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Stovetop cooking method:

  1. Follow the above instructions to prepare all the ingredients.
  2. You need to add 2 more cups of water to cook the ribs, following the above steps. 
  3. When it boils, reduce the stove heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the ribs are softened. Add in the radish at about 20 minutes before seasoning and adding thickening.

  • Before adding in the radish, I used a fat separator to remove the oil on the sauce surface, followed by remaining steps. You might like to use a large spoon instead.
  • By adding rock sugar, the sauce will become glossy and more attractive to dig in.
  • Just in case you're interested in getting an Instant Pot. I got it from Amazon (UK) as the model for sale in UK, with 220 volts, suitable for using in Australia.
  • If you’re living in US or any countries with 110~120 volts electrical system, the model listed on Amazon (US) is the one to go for.


  1. This is so comforting and delicious, Christine.

  2. Hi Christine, I was looking at the instant pot and was wondering what size you bought or do you recommend a bigger size than 6qt

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Mine is 6L (6qt) from UK.
      They got a bigger size, 8L (8qt) on Amazon US, but not on Amazon Uk at the moment.
      Check carefully what electric voltage used in your country and see which suits you.

  3. Could I do this with a slow cooker instead?

    1. Hi Angela,
      This recipe works with a slow cooker too. It'd be very delicious.

  4. Hi Christine, do i need to adjust the water if i use slow cooker?

    1. Hi Mimi,
      Sure, adjust the water if using a slow cooker. And the heat level also affects the results. You'll be good.

  5. Thank you for another wonderful recipe Christine. I made this on the stovetop and the flavour was perfect - much enjoyed by the whole family. They even helped themselves to seconds.

  6. If i were to use pork belly instead how long in the pressure cooker? Also may i ask why there is white vinegar added? Is it to add some tanginess? Or will I not be able to taste the vinegar as it gets 'cooked off'?

  7. Hi Lilian,
    This recipe will work for pork belly. It could be cooked for less time than pork rib. Try 20 to 25 mins high pressure cooking.
    The vinegar is to balance the taste and cut through the meat, giving you a cleansing feel. The tanginess is very subtle as the amount is quite small compared to the large amount of pork meat.

  8. Hi,

    Can kindly advise
    1) Is cooking rice wine similar to Shao xing wine?

    2) can i replace white vinegar with apple cider?

    Thanks :)

  9. Hi
    You can use any cooking wine that is handy to you. Sure, you can use white vinegar instead.
    Happy cooking!

  10. Hi Christine, thanks for this recipe! Can I add vermicelli? If so, at which point will be good when using the instant pot? Thanks!

  11. Hi there,
    It won't take long to cook vermicelli if it's soaked and softened beforehand. Simply add it into the IP after you release pressure, and use "saute" function to cook for a few minutes. It's much more easier to control the texture.

  12. Hi Christine!

    Can I freeze the leftovers?

    Great recipe. I've made it a few times & my family really likes it. Even my picky eaters asked for seconds! Thanks!!

  13. Hi there,
    Glad that your little ones loved this dish. Yes, this recipe is freezer friendly. You can make a large batch in one go and freeze the rest for later use.
    Happy cooking!