This Instant Pot Sushi Rice is another fool-proof Instant Pot recipe to add to your dinner rotation. It's made with just 4 ingredients in less than 30 minutes. Serve in poke bowls, homemade sushi, or my salmon sushi bake!
📋 About the Recipe
- Perfect sushi rice every time. Pressure cookers are incredibly reliable in that they cook food very consistently. If you haven't had luck making sushi rice on your stove top or in the rice cooker, you'll love the ease of Instant Pot sushi rice. For more Instant Pot rice recipes, you may enjoy my Instant Pot Rice Pilaf or Instant Pot Spanish Rice.
- Very little hands on time. Have this rice in the pressure cooker in just 5 minutes. Great for weeknights, last minute meals, and easy meal prep.
- Versatile. Below I've shared a few of my favorite meals to serve this sushi rice with and exactly how I make my own homemade sushi rolls at home. The options are infinite!
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Sushi rice - White sushi rice is a short-grain rice that is most notably used to make Japanese sushi because of its excess starch and sticky consistency once cooked. It is typically stocked in large chain grocery stores near other rices such as basmati rice or jasmine rice but may be found in the International food section as well. Or, shop your local Asian grocery store for good quality sushi rice.
- Rice vinegar - Japanese rice vinegar adds a tanginess and savory flavor that compliments the rice and keeps it moist.
- Granulated sugar - A small pinch of sugar balances the acidity in the rice vinegar. For the best sushi rice, only use neutral tasting cane sugar.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Rice substitutes - When making sushi rice, it is important to use the right type of rice to get the right consistency. If necessary, another short-grain rice will work in a pinch. Try arborio rice or calrose rice for best results. Avoid long-grain rice varieties or brown rice.
- Vinegar substitutes - Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or mirin are your best choices for vinegar substitutes. If you use a sushi vinegar, skip the additional sugar and salt. Sushi vinegar are mixes and typically contain a mix of all three.
- Toast the sesame seeds. Pour sesame seeds into a small, dry skillet and toast them over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don't burn. Seeds are done toasting when they are fragrant and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Pressure cook the rice. Combine two cups of sushi rice with the fresh water in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and pressure cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off the 'keep warm' setting.
- Prepare the seasoning. While the sushi rice cooks, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small, microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then mix to dissolve. Microwave another 30 seconds and mix again. Repeat, if necessary, until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Set aside until the rice finishes cooking. Alternatively, you could do this in a small saucepan on low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. When the timer on the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure cooker to do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, before carefully switching the valve to the "venting" position and releasing remaining pressure.
- Fluff the rice. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork or spoon. Pour in the vinegar mixture and toasted sesame seeds and mix to incorporate.
- Serve. Serve sushi rice hot, room temperature, or cold as desired.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Sushi rice is incredibly versatile in Japanese cuisine and can be used in a number of recipes. Here are few of my favorites to use as inspiration!
- Shrimp Poke Bowls (Shrimp Sushi Bowls)
- Salmon Sushi Bake
- Slow Roasted Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Easy Honey Bourbon Glazed Salmon Meatballs with Instant Pot Asparagus
- Teriyaki Salmon Stir Fry
- Air Fryer Almond Chicken in Honey Soy Sauce
❄️ How to Store
To store: Allow the cooked and seasoned Instant Pot Sushi Rice to cool completely to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Freezing is not recommended - it makes the rice too dry.
To reheat: The rice may lose some of its stickiness when stored in the refrigerator. You may not be able to use it to roll sushi or hand rolls the next day since the dryness will cause the rolls to fall apart.
However, the leftover rice will still be just as delicious as the base of a shrimp poke bowl, used in this salmon sushi bake, or served as a side dish with dinner. Simply drizzle a small amount of water over the rice to rehydrate it and heat it up in the microwave until it's soft and warm.
🔍 Recipe FAQs
No, sushi rice and jasmine rice are two separate rice varieties. Jasmine rice is a long grain rice and is lower in starch, making it less sticky than sushi rice.
Either it was overcooked or there was too much water. Although the Instant Pot will cook the rice consistently, it is important to quick release the remaining pressure after 10 minutes or it will continue cooking in the pot and yield mushy rice.
It is easiest to fluff sushi rice with a wooden spatula, rice paddle, or fork.
How to Make Homemade Sushi Rolls
1. Prepare everything ahead of wrapping your sushi so you have an assembly line ready to go:
- Slice cucumbers, carrots, peppers, mango, avocado, and scallions, and other vegetables into matchsticks.
- Blanch asparagus or other hard veggies.
- Cook shrimp, salmon, or tuna, or use raw sushi-grade fish. Tofu, cooked chicken, or smoked salmon are also great options.
- Prepare sauces, like cream cheese, teriyaki sauce, or spicy mayo.
2. Place sushi nori (the dark seaweed wrap) on a bamboo rolling mat with the long side closest to you and the rough side facing up.
3. With a lightly oiled spoon, spread sushi rice in a thin layer on top of the nori so it covers from edge to edge.
4. In a single line at the bottom of the nori/rice, add sauces, meats, and vegetables. Do not overstuff.
5. Using your hands to keep everything together, carefully roll up the bottom of the nori over the vegetables until it touches the middle of the wrap, using the bamboo mat as support.
6. Use the mat to finish rolling the rest of the nori into a log, using the rice on the other half of the nori as the glue to hold it all together.
8. Serve sushi with a small bowl of soy sauce, a drizzle of spicy mayo, and a side of wasabi and pickled ginger.
💭 One More Tip
Dipping a serving spoon in a cup of water mixed with olive oil is a quick and easy way to prevent the rice from sticking to the spoon:
Fill a drinking cup halfway with water and drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Before scooping rice, dip the spoon as far as possible into the water-oil mixture.
Without drying the spoon, use it to scoop sushi rice into a serving bowl or to spread rice onto nori for sushi rolls. The rice will no longer stick to the spoon!
🍴 Related Recipes
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Instant Pot Sushi Rice
- 2 cups sushi rice SEE NOTES
- 2 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, optional
- If your sesame seeds aren't already toasted: Pour sesame seeds into a small, dry skillet and toast them over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don't burn. Seeds are done toasting when they are fragrant and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine rice and water in the instant pot. Secure the lid, switch the valve to the "sealing" position, and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Turn off the keep warm setting.
- Meanwhile, in a small microwaveable bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Microwave for 30 seconds, then mix to dissolve. Microwave another 30 seconds and mix again. Repeat, if necessary, until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Set aside.
- When the timer on the instant pot beeps, allow to naturally release for 10 minutes before carefully switching the valve to the "venting" position and manually releasing the rest of the pressure.
- Remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork or spoon. Pour in the vinegar mixture and sesame seeds (if using) and mix to fully coat the rice in the vinegar seasoning.
- Sushi rice is a Japanese short to medium-grain rice with a higher starch content than Jasmine or Basmati rice. Because of this, it gets much stickier, making it the best rice for rolling sushi or making poke bowls. Opt for brands like Nishiki or Botan for authentic flavor and texture.
- Follow the instructions in the above post to make homemade sushi rolls.
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