Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup | Pressure Cooker HK Borscht Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup | Instant Pot Recipes | Pressure Cooker Recipes

Extremely Easy to make Cha Chaan Teng Classic Flavorite: Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup with simple healthy ingredients! Comforting Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup with a balance of savory-sour-sweet flavors, spiced with a hint of paprika.

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4.93 from 13 votes

One of Cha Chaan Tengs’ (Hong Kong Style Restaurant) most iconic characteristics is their Hong Kong Style Western Cuisine (Chinese: 港式西餐).

The set meals often come with a Main Course + HK Style Drink (i.e. HK Milk Tea) + Soup.

Then, you’d get to pick either Chinese Soup (Chinese: 中湯 or 例湯) or Western Soup (Chinese: 西湯).

Western Soups are almost always:

  • White Soup = Cream of Mushroom Soup (Chinese: 忌廉湯 or 白湯) or
  • Red Soup = Hong Kong Style Borscht Soup (Chinese: 羅宋湯 or 紅湯)

And I’m always torn between picking which soup to get!! heh~

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What is HK Borscht Soup?

As you can see, HK Borscht Soup is not the blood-red Ukrainian beet-based sour Borscht soup topped with a dollop of sour cream.

However, this “Chinese Borscht” was in fact introduced by Russian refugees who migrated to Shanghai.

Hence the Chinese name: 羅宋湯, which derived from the pronunciation of “Russian Soup”.

Since Shanghai doesn’t have the suitable environment to plant beets, plus the Shanghaiians were not used to the sour flavors, this “Chinese Borscht” doesn’t include beets at all. But rather, Beef, Cabbage & Tomatoes.

It was not until the 1940s, with the influx of immigrants from Shanghai to Hong Kong, that this soup was brought alive in Hong Kong.

We’ve been having so much fun recreating all sorts of Cha Chaan Teng Food with our Instant Pot, and are thrilled to share this Classic HK Borscht Soup with you!! 😀

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup | Pressure Cooker HK Borscht Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup | Instant Pot Recipes | Pressure Cooker Recipes


Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup | Pressure Cooker HK Borscht Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup | Instant Pot Recipes | Pressure Cooker Recipes

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup

Make Cha Chaan Teng Classic Flavorite Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup in Pressure Cooker. Extremely easy to make with simple healthy ingredients! Comforting Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup with a balance of savory-sour-sweet flavors, spiced with a hint of paprika.
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 - 8
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 1 - 1.5 pounds (742g) beef shank
  • ⅓ - ½ (600g) cabbage , cut into pieces
  • 1 (500g) large onion , roughly sliced
  • 1 (460g) large russet potato , cut into 6 pieces
  • 4 (1lb or 454g) tomatoes (2 roma + 2 avalantino) , quartered
  • 2 (250g) medium carrots , chunks
  • 2 (160g) ribs celery , chunks
  • 4 (20g) garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups (1.25L) unsalted chicken stock or good quality beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 - 3 teaspoons (4g - 12g) paprika
  • Salt + black pepper to taste

Instructions

A. Dump & Start Method:

  • Cut beef shank into bite-size pieces. Add all the ingredients in Instant Pot, then jump straight to "Step 4: Deglaze" below. This method will still be tasty! 🙂

B. Flavor Enhancing Method:

  • Brown Beef Shank: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Pat dry, then generously season one side of the beef shank with salt + black pepper. Drizzle inner pot with 1 tbsp olive oil. Then, brown the seasoned side of beef shank in Instant Pot. Season the other side of beef shank with more salt + black pepper. 
    *Pro Tip: Brown the two sides of Beef Shank in Instant Pot for 5 minutes per side.
  • Saute Onions & Vegetables: Rest browned beef shank on a chopping board. Add sliced onions in Instant Pot, then saute until soften (roughly 3 minutes). Add crushed garlic, celery chunks, carrot chunks, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (4g) paprika, and 3 tbsp (45ml) tomato paste in Instant Pot. Saute for another 2 minutes. Then, add in quartered tomatoes.
  • Cut Beef Shank: While the onions are being sauteed, cut beef shank into bite-size pieces.
  • Deglaze: Pour in 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock or high-quality beef stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Give it a quick mix.
  • Pressure Cook HK Borscht Soup: Add beef shank pieces back in Instant Pot. Don't forget all the meat juice! Pour in 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock or high-quality beef stock. Layer the potato chunks + cabbage pieces on top. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 12 minutes + Full Natural Release.
  • Thicken & Season: Use Saute function to bring the soup to a boil. Give the soup a few quick stirs with a ladle to break up the potatoes, then let it boil for another 5 minutes. You can also add some cornstarch + water mixture in the soup. Taste and season the soup with more salt + paprika if desired (For Reference: we added ~1 tbsp Salt + few more tsp Paprika here). Enjoy!~
    *Pro Tip (Optional): add 1 tbsp Fish Sauce for an extra layer of flavor.  😉
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Recipe Notes:

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Nutrition:

Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 1180mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 128.8% | Vitamin C: 57.8% | Calcium: 10.2% | Iron: 18.3%
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Hong Kong
Keyword: hong kong borscht soup, instant pot borscht soup, instant pot recipes, instant pot soup, instapot soup, pressure cooker borscht soup, pressure cooker recipes, pressure cooker soup
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

Step-by-Step Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup Cooking Guide

Here are the ingredients for cooking HK Borscht in Instant Pot:

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup Recipe Ingredients

Dump & Start Method


For Dump & Start method, cut beef shank into bite-size pieces.

Then, add all the ingredients in Instant Pot, and jump straight to “Step 4: Deglaze”.

The Dump & Start Method will still be tasty! 🙂

1

Brown Beef Shank


Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function.

*Tip: For older version, press “Saute” button, then “Adjust” button. For newer version, press “Saute” button twice.

Pat dry, then generously season one side of the beef shank with salt + black pepper.

Drizzle inner pot with 1 tbsp olive oil. Then, brown the seasoned side of the beef shank in Instant Pot.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: brown beef shank in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Season the other side of beef shank with more salt + black pepper.

*Pro Tip 1: Brown the two sides of Beef Shank in Instant Pot for 5 minutes per side.

*Pro Tip 2: I recommend preparing the remaining ingredients while the Instant Pot is preheating and the beef shank is browning. This way you will save a lot of time! 🙂

2

Saute Onions & Vegetables


Rest browned beef shank on a chopping board.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: browned beef shank in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Add sliced onions in Instant Pot, then saute until soften (roughly 3 minutes).

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: saute onions in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker until soften

Add crushed garlic, celery chunks, carrot chunks, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (4g) paprika, and 3 tbsp (45ml) tomato paste in Instant Pot. Saute for another 2 minutes.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: saute vegetables in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Then, add in the quartered tomatoes.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: add quartered tomatoes in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

3

Cut Beef Shank


While the onions are being sauteed, cut beef shank into bite-size pieces.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: cut beef shank into bite-size pieces

4

Deglaze


Pour in 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock or high-quality beef stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: deglaze Instant Pot inner pot with unsalted chicken stock

5

Pressure Cook HK Borscht Soup


Add the beef shank pieces back in the Instant Pot. Don’t forget all the meat juice!

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: add beef shank in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Pour in 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock or high-quality beef stock.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: add unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Layer the potato chunks + cabbage pieces on top.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: layer potatoes and cabbage on top, then pressure cook borscht soup with Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Close lid, turn the Venting Knob to the Sealing position.

  • Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 12 minutes + Full Natural Release

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: pressure cook at high pressure for 12 minutes, then full natural release

*Pro Tip: The natural release should take roughly 30 minutes. If the pressure doesn’t get fully released after 30 minutes, slowly turn the Venting Knob to the Venting position to release the remaining pressure.

6

Thicken & Season


Use the Saute function to bring the soup to a boil.

*Tips for Thicker Soup: Give the soup a few quick stirs with a ladle to break up the potatoes, then let it boil for another 5 minutes. You can also add some cornstarch + water mixture in the soup (this is what some Hong Kong restaurants do).

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: use Instant Pot saute function to bring borscht soup to a boil, stir to break up potatoes

*Pro Tip: This is totally optional, but add in a tablespoon of fish sauce for another extra layer of flavor. Ah yes..we can’t help it but boost it up with some umami-ness. 😉

Taste and season the soup with more salt + paprika (if desired).

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup: season and thicken borscht soup in Instant Pot

For reference, we used a bit more than a tablespoon of salt to season the soup. We also added in a few more teaspoons of paprika.

Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup | Pressure Cooker HK Borscht Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup | Instant Pot Recipes | Pressure Cooker Recipes

Enjoy your Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup!~ 🙂

Tools for Instant Pot HK Borscht Soup

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  1. Loved the soup! It tasted exactly like home, the only exception that i made is that i added lemon juice. My mother used to cook it very often (i come from Romania), i think our kitchen was influenced by the russians too 😛

  2. I made this last night. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. Husband said it was good, but it seemed like it lacked some flavors. Not sure what that was. Something is missing but I can’t pinpoint what that is. I added more salt and paprika but that didn’t do the trick. I remember the soup being a little bit stronger. What would your suggestions be? Thanks again!!

    1. Hi Tiff,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!

      Perhaps the tomato was not sour enough so it was missing some sourness?

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Annie,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. You will want to wait until it natural release as the soup will continue to cook at this step.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Helen,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. Beef shank adds a lot of flavor to the soup.

      If you must, please use a good quality beef broth.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  3. I had no idea Russians had immigrated to China bringing with them my favorite soup. My family ancestors are Russian Jews and my Mom taught me to make a version of this soup… adding lemon juice and a touch of brown sugar. I use beef short ribs with the bones for flavor. Never tried it in the instant pot but guess what I’m going to make this weekend for Chanukah now? Yep ?. So fitting as our family is complete with Chinese children too. How’s that for a connection?

  4. Thanks for the amazing recipe! It was really easy to follow with your short step-by-step instructions and the photos. This was a soup that my mom always made me. My soup turned out to be a little too sour. I think next time I will add a little bit of ketchup as well.

    1. Hi Lutetia,

      thank you for your kind words and honest feedback 🙂

      The sourness can be from the tomatoes. You can balance it by adding some sugar in the end.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  5. Made it for the family and hubby says it’s the best soup he had in a long time. And way better than the restaurants. Very flavorful. Thanks for getting back to me so fast in regards to cooking time when I double the recipe. Came out perfect!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Lily 🙂

      Happy to hear how it turned out and your husband also enjoyed the soup!

      Please take care & have a great week ahead
      Jacky

    1. Hi Lily,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The cooking time will stay the same. Make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  6. This was delicious. I made a few minor changes to the basic recipe. In order to skip the step of cutting the browned meat into small pieces, I used stew meat (chuck) already cut into large pieces – I browned it as directed in the recipe and increased the cooking time to 30 min, due to the size of the pieces, with a 10 min NPR and the meat just fell apart and was delicious yet the vegetables still retained their shape and were very flavorful. Also used 4 cups of chicken stock instead of 5 and used a 14.5 ou can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. No need to thicken. Thank you for another great recipe.

  7. Thanks for another great tried & tested go-to recipe from you. Just to let you know I did not add cornstarch at the final step as I found it not necessary.

    1. Hi Chng Eng Wan,

      So happy to hear from you. Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      We truly appreciate your kindness and support!

      Please take care
      Jacky

  8. This soup is fabuloso and will be a regular fall/winter meal item for us. The only beef shanks I could find in my market were cross cut ones that were about 3/4 inches thick. It took two of them to make up close to 1-1/2 pounds. I browned them individually on both sides about four minutes on each side.

    After the shanks had rested, my hubby deboned and cut up the meat for me. I put the bones in the pot when I added the meat, and the marrow from the bones gave the broth a wonderful richness. I didn’t feel the need to thicken up the soup; it was just fine as it was, and we were too hungry (the smell made our tummies growl) to wait for any further cooking.

    You guys nailed it with this one!

    Andrea Carter

    1. Hi Andrea,

      I am running out of words 🙂 Thank you once again for being so supportive!!
      Side story: Amy and I recently had a bowl of beef pho that came with a piece of bone marrow. It was super tasty!

      Please take care & have a wonderful week
      Jacky

  9. Love the recipe. Just made it right now. But I do have a question, I am in Toronto and the hk cafes here add this extra ingredient that makes the soup kind of 涩 (kip kip day). I had to ask my mom to type in Chinese since I don’t know what the English translation is. I have been trying to figure out what makes the 涩 taste and have been baffled. Do you by chance know what it could be? Worchestire sauce, lemon, ketchup? Thanks so much for a great recipe

    1. Hi Vivian,

      thank you so much for your kind words and question 🙂

      You got me on this one. If I have to guess I would say it is the brand of canned tomato or tomato paste they use.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    2. Used this recipe tonight as part of thanksgiving dinner, it was great. Everyone enjoyed the soup and it was super easy to make.

      Agree with Vivian, it was missing something that the Toronto/GTA HK cafes use. Seemed like a vinegar type of flavour to it.

      I didn’t add the fish sauce, so perhaps I will try adding some next time. I was also reading other recipes and some used lemon and/or Worchestire sauce. I think I will try these adjustments next time 🙂

      Thanks for the recipe! Up next is the curry beef. Can’t wait.

    3. Hi! I haven’t made it in the IP yet, but have made it on the stove. A little delay since I was just scrolling through the comments, but the taste is ketchup, a little lemon juice and some butter!!! At the very end when it’s all done cooking you can add it based on your flavor. My mom got this tip from some HK cook book she has. Btw planning on making the recipe this week, and adding macaroni!!! Yesss I’m so excited 🙂

  10. Can I use any other beef cuts such as beef stew meat. The only beef shanks I can find are bone in, or would that be ok….Be
    P.S. thanks for the many great IPot recepies.
    P.S.S. Can’t rate recipe yet because hav;t made. But will try it soon, cause it surely looks yummy.

    1. Hi Ben,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      Bone-in beef shanks will work just fine. You can also use chuck roast steak for this recipe.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  11. I love all your recipes. Tried and true. You are only one of 4 websites I use. I want to substitute crushed tomatoes for fresh since the season has past here. Would 28 oz can of crushed be a good equivalent. Thank you

    1. Hi Josie,

      thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      16 – 20 oz will be ideal for this recipe, but 28oz will work fine. The soup will have a stronger tomato taste.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  12. I have everything for this recipe except for beef shank 🙁 If I threw in chicken thighs instead to get some protein in, would the cook times still work?
    PS. Your site is my go-to for all IP recipes. Thanks for the time and effort you put in!!

    1. Hi Emily,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      Bone-in chicken thighs will work, but the flavor of the soup will be different.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  13. Amy and Jacky — you made my weekend!! I have so many fond memories of eating this at local cantonese cafes in Southern California and this recipe is perfect! It brings me right back to my childhood. Thanks again for another outstanding, easy to follow recipe.

  14. Thank you SO MUCH for this!!!! I usually don’t go out just to buy the ingredients, but I will do it for this recipe. Just one question – you listed either chicken stock or beef stock. Does matter which stock I use? I assume one will give a better taste than the other.

    1. Hi Elie,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      The taste will be different.

      A High quality beef stock will make it richer.
      It will taste “cleaner” with chicken stock.

      If you are using store-bought version, I would go with chicken stock as high quality store-bought beef stock can be hard to come by.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    2. Definitely 5 stars with chicken stock. It’s just how I remember it! I also tried it with beef stock and it’s definitely richer. The chicken stock is perfect!

  15. Loved this soup growing up in HK. Mom used red cabbage so every time I see in her grocery bag, I knew she would be making the soup. Haven’t had it for so long and excited to try your recipe.

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