This Instant Pot Korean shrimp and grits recipe is deeply satisfying and full of flavor with mild, creamy grits and bits of salty gim in contrast to garlicky shrimp.
Many years ago I fell in love with the shrimp and grits at Toulous Petit Kitchen & Lounge and have been making a similar version often. While browsing through Eric Kim's Korean American cookbook, I was intrigued by his gochugaru shrimp and roasted-seaweed grits and had to give it a try. With his shrimp and grits recipe, Eric paid tribute to his Korean roots and Atlanta home. I adapted his recipe for the pressure cooker and made an Instant Pot Korean shrimp and grits version.
- Gim: is a kind of Korean seaweed called laver. I buy gim in bulk at Hmart. My favorite is a roasted bbq seaweed.
- Gochugaru: is an essential ingredient in Korean cooking. It's made of entirely of dried chili peppers that have been deseeded and dried. The best hot peppers for gochugaru are those that have been classified as taeyangcho, which means sun-dried. Gochugaru lends a gentle heat to the finished dish.
- Grits: use quick cooking grits. Avoid instant grits which don't have a lot of flavor. I used yellow stone ground grits for this recipe.
How to Make Grits in the Instant Pot
I like cooking grits in the Instant Pot because you can make smooth, creamy grits without standing over a hot stove constantly stirring. Fill the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water. To make the grits, combine grits, milk, water, and salt in a metal bowl and stir well. Place the bowl on the rack and lower it into the inner pot. Cook the grits at High Pressure for 20 minutes. Let it naturally release for 10 minutes and manually release the rest. Remove the pan from the Instant Pot and stir in additional milk to get desired consistency. Fold in crushed gim and sesame oil.
How to Cook Shrimp in the Instant Pot
To cook the shrimp, dump the water that you used for cooking the grits out. Set the Instant Pot to Saute function and melt the butter. Add the shrimp and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with fish sauce, sugar, and lemon juice and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a platter to prevent them from cooking further.
I love how easy this Instant Pot Korean shrimp and grits came together. With every bite you could taste the contrast of flavors-mild, creamy grits with bits of salty gim topped with garlicky shrimp. I served it with a side of kimchi for additional heat. As Eric put it, this dish is a beautiful marriage of seaside flavors with the grits reminiscent of Korean jook and the shrimp of maeuntang, a Korean fish stew. Deeply satisfying and full of flavor, this dish is one of my favorites from the book!
Instant Pot Korean Shrimp and Grits
- ½ cup quick-cooking grits or stone ground grits
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 5-gram packets gim, crushed with your hand
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro for serving
- ½ cup kimchi for serving
- For the shrimp marinade, in a large bowl whisk together garlic, gochugaru, sesame oil, and salt to pepper to taste. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Let it marinate at room temp while you cook the grits.
- Place 1 cup water in an Instant Pot.
- In a medium metal bowl that fits in the Instant Pot, stir together grits, milk, water, and salt.
- Lock lid. Select Pressure Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes then manually release pressure from cooker until float valve drops.
- Remove the metal bowl. The grits should be thick but still loose. Stir in butter, sesame oil, and half of crushed gim. Set aside.
- Discard the water from cooking the grits.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Add butter and let it melt to coat the bottom.
- Add marinated shrimp and cook on both sides until lightly browned and no longer opaque, about 3 minutes.
- Add fish sauce, lemon juice, and sugar and let shrimp cook for another 2 minutes.
- When ready to eat, divide grits among serving plates. Top with shrimp. Garnish with remaining gim, cilantro. Serve immediately with a side of kimchi.