Instant Pot Sushi Rice

The thing I like most about this recipe is its infinite versatility!

Once you’ve got the right consistency, this rice can be shaped as you like, which turns a regular family dinner into an adventure. Also, it works with a wide range of combinations such as salmon, shrimp, avocado, soy sauce, and so on. 

So, you’re not just getting a fun-looking meal; you can also create each person’s favorite combination. This is a parent’s dream come true!

Why Use Instant Pot?

If you ever cooked sushi at home (and if you’re not a millionaire, you should) you know that the secret to this meal stands in the rice. If the rice doesn’t have the right consistency or texture, the whole thing is ruined.

Knowing this and the fact that an Instant Pot takes away the guesswork completely, it becomes the natural choice. If you use a rice cooker, you can’t set everything up as perfectly as you do with IP. Also, the IP doesn’t need any checking up while cooking the rice – you just press Start and wait for it to finish. 

Why Do I Need to Rinse the Rice?

If you take a look at the recipe, you’ll notice I start with rinsing the rice. It’s a step I never skip because water removes the starch that usually sits on the surface of the rice grain and (if not removed) it gives that gummy texture. In addition, the rice absorbs the water during the rinsing process (which only takes about 15 seconds), which improves the cooking process. The result is fluffy and thoroughly cooked rice that sticks together without being mushy. 

Not to mention that unrinsed rice tends to bubble up, which is not a good thing when you use an Instant Pot. The resulted foam could go up the steam vent and clog it, which could damage the pot or produce an accident. 

Quick tip: Rinsed rice also tastes better (don’t really know why) – it’s almost like restaurant rice!

What’s with All the Vinegar?

I have to admit. I was skeptical at first too. It does look like a lot of acidity for the amount of rice. 

However, if you follow the recipe, you won’t regret it! 

The vinegar enriches the rice with so much flavor that you will not want to have sushi rice in any other combination from the first moment you taste this. 

Quick tip: When you get the rice out of the IP, put it in a glass bowl, and use a wooden spoon to mix the sauce in. The wooden spoon is gentler with the rice’s texture and the glass bowl doesn’t react to the vinegar (which may happen in a metallic bowl). 

Also, don’t use a stirring motion when you mix the sauce into the rice – unless you want mushy rice. Instead, use the wooden spoon or spatula to create a folding motion that’s gentle with the rice. 

Other Tips

  • Don’t replace the rice vinegar or white wine vinegar with another type of vinegar. The rice won’t taste the same;
  • Don’t replace the short-grain Japanese rice with regular rice – it will not have the same texture and consistency;
  • Dissolve the salt and sugar in the vinegar to ensure the rice will be seasoned evenly;
  • Pour the vinegar sauce over the rice as soon as you get it out of the Instant Pot; 
  • To keep the rice from drying out (until it gets cold), put a moist paper towel over the bowl;
  • To chill the rice faster (it needs to be cold before you can use it to make sushi rolls) cook the rice a couple of hours before you have to serve it. 


I usually serve this rice in sushi rolls or sushi bowls, depending on my level of patience. Sushi rolls look amazing and are a wonderful way to show off your cooking skills, but they require a bit more care and work. So, when I don’t want to use the sushi mat, I bust out the bowls and arrange everything as appealing as I can. I like to make these bowls with shrimp (which you can also cook in the IP), but I’ve also used crab, tuna, salmon or avocado and edamame (if you want to keep it vegetarian). 

Now, if there is any rice leftover, don’t throw it away. You can either store in the fridge, in an airtight container, or use it to make other meals like risotto or a side dish to orange chicken. Some people also freeze it but I don’t recommend it. The rice gets weird in taste and texture once it’s unfrozen.

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe
4.6 from 149 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese rice, Sushi Rice
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
  • 1 cup short grain Japanese rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Carefully rinse rice under cold water .
  • Pour water and rice into your Instant Pot.
  • Cook at low pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Release steam immediately and open lid.
  • In the meantime, mix white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
  • Microwave the sauce for 1 minute.
  • Transfer cooked rice in a large bowl and slowly pour the vinegar sauce, while stirring.
  • Let it cool completely then start making your favorite sushi rolls!

This recipe is part of my FREE recipe index, where you can find the best Instant Pot recipes. If you love this recipe, please pin and share it. Thanks!

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