Instant Pot Sticky Rice

Instant Pot Sticky Rice is completely fool proof. It’s textured to perfection, and can be used with several Asian dishes!

While it does take some time to prep, this sticky rice is quick and easy to cook. It goes perfectly with all of your favorite takeout classics like Szechuan Beef, Sticky Asian Meatballs, and Better Than Takeout Sesame Chicken

A bowl of sticky rice

What is sticky rice??

Sticky rice is a versatile ingredient used in many forms of Asian cooking. It is a great side to many savory dishes.

In addition to many savory dishes you may be familiar with, like zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) or shumai, it is also used in dessert recipes. My favorite dessert dish is sticky rice with fresh mango and creamy coconut sauce. 

Steaming, not boiling it, is also crucial for creating its unique texture.  This instant pot sticky rice is surprisingly easy to pull off at home. Just remember to pre-soak the short rice.

How to make sticky rice - soaking the rice in water

How to Make Sticky Rice

There are two major things that contribute to the perfect sticky rice consistency: The type of rice, and the soaking process.

  • The right type of rice will be labeled as “sweet” rice or “glutinous” rice.
  • You should soak your rice anywhere from 4-10 hours. The longer you soak the rice the softer the texture will be!

PREP. Measure rice and place in a medium bowl or a large glass measuring cup. Add water about 1 inch above the rice. Let soak for at least 4 hours.

ADD. Add 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot. Place a fine colander in. (I used the Instant Pot silicone vegetable steamer). Drain rice and pour rice in the colander spread into an even layer.

COOK. Place lid on and lock. Check to ensure the valve is set to sealing. Turn Instant Pot on MANUAL mode (high pressure) for 12 minutes. Once fully cooked, release pressure manually by carefully switching the valve to venting position. Once the float valve pin drops, carefully remove the lid.

SERVE. Serve immediately.

Sticky rice in the instant pot

No Instant Pot? No Problem. 

You can also make sticky rice on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.

  • Stove-top: Soak your rice and then place the rice in the colander. Add enough water in the pot to just touch the bottom of the colander. Bring the water to a simmer and cover it and steam it for about 10 minutes. You must make sure to flip the rice halfway through, like a giant pancake.
  • Rice Cooker: Place your rice and water in the rice cooker to let it soak there for 40 minutes to 4 hours. Then you can turn your rice cooker on “cook” until it’s done.

Like we said – no instant pot – no problem!

Close up of sticky rice in the instant pot

Serving and Storing

What to serve with? You can serve sticky rice with pretty much any meat dish, like chicken or pork. It’s especially common with Asian or even Hawaiian dishes. Here are some dishes that pair well with it:

Make sure to STORE the rice in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last 4-5 days this way. 

REHEAT your rice in the microwave after adding a couple of tablespoons of water or chicken broth. In order to get the best texture, you are going to want to reheat it in that tupperware container with the lid on. This creates a steaming effect with the lid being on and the extra addition of water.

A bowl full of sticky white rice

Fore more rice recipes, try:

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Sticky rice instant pot in a bowl.

Instant Pot Sticky Rice Recipe

Master the art of perfect Instant Pot Sticky Rice! Effortless, flawlessly textured, and a must-have for any Asian meal!
4.89 from 9 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 28 minutes
Calories: 1369kcal
Author: Andrea
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  • 2 cups of glutinous rice/ sweet rice
  • cup of water
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  • Measure rice and place it in a medium bowl or a large glass measuring cup. Add water about 1 inch above the rice. Let soak for at least 4 hours.
  • Add 1 cup of cold water to the Instant Pot. Place a fine colander in (I used the Instant Pot silicone vegetable steamer). Drain the rice and pour it into the colander. Spread into an even layer.
  • Place the lid on and lock it. Check to ensure the valve is set to sealing.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on MANUAL mode (high pressure) for 12 minutes. Once fully cooked, release the pressure manually by carefully switching the valve to the venting position. Once the float valve pin drops, carefully remove the lid.
  • Serve immediately.


To STORE Instant Pot Sticky Rice, let it cool to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. To FREEZE, store in your freezer. our frozen sticky rice can last for 2 months.
To REHEAT, sprinkle a bit of water over the rice to prevent drying out. You can reheat it in the microwave, covered, for 1-2 minutes, or steam it until it's heated through.


Serving: 4serving | Calories: 1369kcal | Carbohydrates: 302g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 10g | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 6mg

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  1. You can shortcut the soaking step relatively easily too:

    See, white rice takes a sort og but-kicking before it makes its way to the table. Sushi rice (short grain white), especially: it’s been de-hulled, de-bran’d, de-germed, then thrown into a 150lb sack with countless of its peers, whereupon it, along with hundreds of similar sacks, are schlepped across the ocean, broken down STILL farther into smaller sacks, which finally make their way to our groceries.

    …to be thrown in a sack. Typically on top of my break or eggs.

    Anywho, this results in a talc-like powder coating each grain, as the near-constant agitation the grains have been subjected to (they play nothing by Lady Gaga on the transport boats) has warn them down, little by little. Think month 5 after a new baby.

    Interestingly enough, this serve to make your rice less amazing in two ways: 1 porridge-y sludge. Yes, that cake-flour-fine rice… well, flour, for that’s exactly what it is, when wetted serves the exact same issues as throwing a half cup of rice flour in with your dish on purpose: it thickens and gums it up! More ofthen than not, your rice was probably fine (after all, 5 year-olds in Asia make it daily. It’s NOT that hard). You just added spackle into the mix.

    The other, more insidious reason is equally fascinating: there’s a sort of static charge that builds up within the hemp-like sacks the grain is transported in. This functionally serves to electro-plate the grains in this hyper-fine dust, whereupon it’s compacted again and again until it forms an M&M-like colorless candy shell. It’s thin, but it’s there. Cut an uncooked grain in half and examine the cross section!

    The reason the soaking works is it softens the slurry-sludge armor and allows us to rinse it off (“let the water do the work for you!”). But you can bypass all that!

    Here’s How:
    1. Pour your rice directly into rice cooker’s pan.
    2. Add enough COLD water (warm makes it start to coagulate) to cover the rice, then double it.
    3. Set the pot flat on your countertop and, using either your fist or your palm, GRIND the grain into the bottom of the pan. Put your back into it. You won’t hurt it.
    See how the water promptly turns milk-white? That’s what we want rid of.
    4. Dump the lot of it into a fine colander. Strain and RINSE THOROUGHLY (still COLD water!).
    5. Back into the pot with it. 2x depth water. Bump and grind. RInse and repeat.
    6. After the 4th or 5th iteration, you’ll note the water is running clear! Give it one more good strain and rinse, then back to the pot.
    7. Jiggle the pot until the rice settles to form a single layer.
    8. This time, GENTLY set your flat palm atop the surface of the rice.
    9. Fill with cold water until it just covers your largest knuckle.
    10. Chuck her in the cooker and turn it on. No waiting. You’re done. You can thank me later.

    How do I know all this? I have the dubious honor of having grown up one of a half-dozen white kids in an all-Asian neighborhood, having married and divorced a Korean girl and then later a Chinese one, and having lived overseas myself. Making the rice is usually a kid’s job. So quick: what task do you give the oafish white guy while the adults are talking? You guessed it.

    The soak approach works fine; don’t get me wrong. But typically when I’m making rice I don’t want to wait until 11pm to eat. Once you get practiced with a technique like this, you can literally throw one of those Costco Orange Chicken bags on a baking sheet, start the preheat, start the rice-rinse cycle. For me the over’s at temp between rounds 3 and 4. Shove in the meat. Finish your rinsing, into the InstantPot, turn on. Your rise will actually be done before the meat.

    1. Thanks so much for all of your suggestions and sharing your experience with us! I appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    This type of rice is my kids’ favourite. I am so glad I got the perfect recipe to prepare it at home! Thank you!