Back in the fall, I did a recipe for a whole chicken Instant Pot soup that was specifically designed around being a "cold-buster." This Asian-Inspired cold-busting chicken bok choy soup is similar, but uses more Asian-inspired ingredients, and will work as a second choice if you want a type of chicken soup with immunity-enhancing qualities but a different flavour. The selenium found in bok choy has been found to improve immune response to infection. Shiitake mushrooms, on the other hand, contain polysaccharides like lentinans and other beta-glucans that are known to also help the immune system. Garlic, ginger, cayenne and turmeric still feature prominently, but instead of thyme and oregano, this recipe has Chinese 5-spice with cinnamon, star anise, fennel, which are rich in antioxidants and able to act as immunity booster with anti-inflammation, anti-fungal, and anti-infection properties.

Instant Pot Asian-Inspired Cold-Busting Chicken Bok Choy Soup Recipe



  1. Put the chicken into the Instant Pot liner, breast side up, along with water, cider vinegar, garlic, kelp and spices. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. (*You can technically skip this step if you're in a rush, but allowing it to sit allows the cider vinegar to start breaking down the bones in the chicken, which helps release the collagen and minerals from the bones.)

  2. Put the lid on the Instant Pot. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Program the cooker to pressure cook 25 minutes at high pressure. (Instant Pot users can also select the "Soup" program if it has this setting, and follow the same cooking time. For stovetop pressure cookers, cook at high pressure for 22 minutes.) When the soup has finished cooking, wait about 15 minutes before "quick" releasing the pressure. This helps prevent the steamy broth from spitting out of the valve.

  3. Carefully remove the chicken and the kelp from the pot allowing any broth to train out of it. Put it on a cutting board and allow to cool until safe to handle. Once cool enough to handle, strip off all the meat from the bones and add the bones into a strainer designed to fit into the pot then put the strainer back into the Instant Pot. Close the lid and set to 'Sealing' and set to high pressure for another 30-60 minutes (the longer the better if you have the time).

  4. While the bone broth is cooking, cut up the chicken and kelp into bite-sized pieces. You can also cut up all the other remaining veggies while you wait if you haven't already done so.

  5. After the bone broth finishes cooking, do a quick release then open the pot. Remove the strainer and discard the bones. Add in all the remaining (except for the cilantro and green onions if using), close, set to 'Sealing' and set to pressure cook on high (or use the 'Soup' setting) for 0 minutes.

  6. When the soup has finished cooking, do a quick release then open the pot and set to 'Saute' over high heat. Stir in the onions, bok choy, mushrooms and lemon juice and cook until the bok choy is softened but still a little crunchy, around 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro and serve hot, with topped with green onions and chili oil if desired, as well as toasted sesame seeds.

Did you make this keto Instant Pot Asian-inspired cold-busting whole chicken bok choy soup recipe? If so, please let me know how it turned out in the comments. Or if you share pics of your creations on Instagram, please tag me so I can see them. Enjoy! :)