The Instant Pot official site explicitly says that it does not recommend using the Instant Pot on “saute” mode for frying. “Frying” or “deep frying” is *not* a mode on the Instant Pot. But when you look at all the Instant Pot comments and posts in Instant Pot groups that are dominated by Asians and Asian Americans, you can see very clearly that they have found *the* solution for mess-free shallow or deep frying: IN THE INSTANT POT because the walls are so high, and so any splattering would be fully contained. It’s a win for everyone! And because the Instant Pot is so contained, you can also use less oil for shallow frying, which I think pretty much everyone would like when frying. It’s less waste, less mess, and less oil (less $$) to use.
After six years of owning an Instant Pot, I finally decided to try this out using a recipe from my Andrea Nguyen cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. I made her batter for corn and coconut fritters and shallow fried them in the Instant Pot, and WOW, was it not only quick to heat up, but it was so clean and mess free! I had virtually no splatter at all to clean up and just the Instant Pot insert to clean and wipe down. I was so satisfied with this experience that I’ve now decided to try shallow frying eggplant, which I’ve always wanted to do, but was scared of because of all the oil and mess. So tomorrow, here I come: shallow fried eggplant!