Instant Pot Sushi Rice is incredibly easy to make. Get directions for making sushi rice in the pressure cooker using white rice, brown rice, or a mix, plus plenty of recipes to use it.
The main thing that has always held me back from making my own sushi at home wasn't the actual making of the sushi rolls. It was making the rice.
Making the rice then waiting for it to cool just felt so time consuming. By cutting down the cooking time in the Instant Pot, homemade sushi is a lot less of a production.
Once I figured out how to make Instant Pot Sushi Rice, that all changed. This recipe is quick and easy, and you can use brown or white rice to make it!
Instant Pot sushi rice recipe
- Combine the rice, water, vinegar, and agave nectar in your Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
- For white rice: Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a natural release (10-15 minutes).
- For brown rice: Stir in an extra 1/4 cup of water, then cook at high pressure for 22 minutes, then do a natural release (10-15 minutes).
- For a brown-white mix: Cook at high pressure for 22 minutes, then do a natural release (10-15 minutes).
- The cooking time listed for this recipe is for white rice, the type my family prefers in our sushi, and it includes the 10 minute natural pressure release. The total time for brown rice or a rice blend is 37 minutes, since it cooks longer in the pressure cooker.
- Most sushi rice recipes call for short grain rice, and that's definitely ideal. However, if you can't get your hands on short grain rice, medium grain will still get sticky enough to make cohesive sushi rolls. I've even used long grain white rice, in a pinch, though I don't think long grain brown rice will work well for sushi rolls.
- Calorie information is for white rice, since that's the most popular.
Making sushi rice on the stovetop doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming, but it's even quicker and easier in the Instant Pot. Just toss your rice, seasoning, and water into the pot, bring to pressure, and you're good to go.
I know that traditionally, you add your liquid sweetener and rice vinegar at the end of cooking, but I have found that I get better results adding it all to the pot from the jump, especially when making brown sushi rice.
What kind of rice to use
The instructions below include directions for brown or white rice. You can also combine brown and white, and I have directions for that, too.
Really, the only differences between making white vs. brown sushi rice in the Instant Pot are the water amounts and cooking time. Technique-wise, they're both equally easy.
White sushi rice uses one part water to one part rice and cooks at pressure for 5 minutes. For brown rice or a brown/white rice blend, you just use a bit more water and cook at pressure for 22 minutes.
Traditionally, you'd use short grain rice to make sushi rice, because it gets stickier. Stickier is better for making sushi rolls.
However, over the years, I've used medium and even long grain white rice to make sushi rice, and it has worked fine. Short grain is best, but if you can't find it, you have options.
When it comes to brown rice, I recommend using short or medium grain only. Long grain brown rice just won't get sticky enough, and your rolls will fall apart.
How to use sushi rice
There are lots of fun things you can make with your Instant Pot Sushi Rice!
- Sushi Rolls - Duh, right? I'll have a recipe for Kale Salad Sushi rolls that you make crunchy in the air fryer, which may be my new favorite kind of sushi!
- Sushi Burritos - Think of a sushi burrito as a bigger sushi roll that's easier to make. The slightly different technique leaves room for more delicious fillings!
- Sushi Bowls - We eat soooo many sushi bowls in this house! Pile on the rice, top with sliced sheets of nori, avocado, green onion, and edamame or crispy baked tofu.
- Onigiri - These are balls of sushi rice, that you stuff with deliciousness and finish off with a piece of seaweed. Vegetarian Times has a recipe to get you started. You can really stuff it with anything, so get creative! For onigiri, you will get the best results with white sushi rice, since it gets stickier than longer-grain white rice or any type of brown rice.
- Spring Rolls - Sweet, sticky sushi rice is a tasty addition to your favorite spring roll recipe.
- Sushi Burgers - Sushi rice is the "bun" for this super fun sushi-themed sandwich situation. Like with onigiri, I recommend using white sushi rice for this recipe.
How to store and reheat it
If you end up with leftover rice, store it in an airtight container. It will keep for around 3 days in the refrigerator. It will dry out a bit in the fridge, but we'll address that in the reheating method below.
I do not recommend freezing. Frozen rice can get a really wonky texture when you thaw it, in my experience.
To reheat, my preferred method is the microwave. Add the leftover rice and a tablespoon of water to a microwave-safe container, and warm on high until it's heated to your liking. Use a fork to serve, so you can leave any excess water behind.