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What To Do If Your Instant Pot Rice Is Too Sticky

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Ready to make the perfect rice? You need to know the perfect rice-to-water ratio, what cooking time to use, what type of rice is best, and the best cooking method.

Whether you use short-grain or long-grain rice, you must ensure consistency when measuring your cups of rice and water.

A good rule of thumb is a 1:1 ratio for sushi or sticky rice. 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water.

I prefer to use this Instant Pot recipe for sticky rice. This recipe calls for sushi rice.

The problem with many 'sticky rice' recipes is that they don't call for glutinous rice or Thai rice, which those recipes should use.

White Rice in White Ceramic Cup

Instead, they call for mainstream rice varieties that are easier to find in Western (American) grocery stores.

However, if you want to make sticky rice truly and your grocery store doesn't carry glutinous or Thai rice (or sushi rice), do yourself a favor and visit a local Asian store and pick some up. You'll be happy you did.

With Instant Pot rice recipes, make sure to read the ingredients list and take note of the quantities. Since this is a different cooking method from a traditional stovetop, the amount of water used in the cooking process often differs from what you might be used to. Many times, less water is used than you might expect.

How Do You Fix Mushy Rice?

Now, no one wants mushy rice. There are several ways that you can try to rescue sticky rice grains. The best way is up for debate, but a few winners are worthy of a try.

  1. Spread the rice in a microwave-safe dish and microwave to cook out some of the moisture.
  2. Spread the rice on a baking tray and bake at a low temperature. Again, the goal is to remove moisture from as much rice as possible.
  3. Salt the rice, let it sit for 15 minutes, and absorb the excess moisture.
sticky rice in a bowl

What Can You Make with Sticky Rice?

If none of the above 'fixes' work to your liking, you can find other ways to use that super sticky rice. Here are some ideas for you to try.

Make sticky rice bowls with savory ingredients like meat, seafood, tofu, or eggs.

Use it as a bed underneath stir-fried vegetables or other favorite stir-fry recipes.

Mix the sticky rice with fruit and honey for a sweet treat perfect for breakfast or dessert.

  1. Make rice pudding or risotto with it.
  2. Sticky rice is one of the oldest forms of food known to mankind, so you need to give up on whatever ideas you have about how it should look and embrace what they can become in your kitchen!
  3. If all else fails, feed that sticky rice to your pets. They won't complain about the texture, and feeding pets with an upset stomach is really good.

Can You Make Rice Pudding with Sticky Rice?

  1. Make a rice pudding. Even if you're not making it from scratch, you can still use these tasty ideas to make the best sticky rice pudding possible.
  2. Mix the sticky rice with milk, sugar or honey, and raisins. You can even add some cinnamon if you'd like.
  3. Add a scoop of ice cream to the top when serving it if desired.
instant pot rice pudding

How to Prevent Sticky Rice from Sticking to the Rice Cooker or Instant Pot?

If you are using a rice cooker, it is best to use one that isn't nonstick. The rice will stick since this cooker doesn't have a coating.

Rice cookers with stainless steel inner containers are great for sticky rice because there is no risk of leftovers sticking to them.

When using an Instant Pot, you must ensure the cooking pot has been seasoned adequately so it is non-stick. You can oil or use butter to prevent the rice from sticking.

Ensure not to let the rice sit in the Instant Pot after it is finished cooking and release pressure naturally, as this may result in the rice sticking.

What Type of Rice to Use for Sticky Rice?

Now that you know what type of rice to use for sticky rice, it is time to decide what kind to purchase! Yes, you can do this too! You must decide whether to either buy glutinous or Thai sticky rice.

Glutinous and Thai sticky rice is not the same thing. I advise trying them both and deciding which is your favorite.

Glutinous or sweet rice is used in Asian desserts like sticky rice, Khanom chin (Thai coconut pudding), and mochi (Japanese rice cakes).

Cooking with glutinous rice is the same as other types of rice, but you must remember that it will be very sticky when finished cooking.

Thai or jasmine (also known as fragrant) rice is a bit different than glutinous rice in terms of its taste and texture. Thai sticky rice does not get nearly as sticky as glutinous rice when cooked and is usually eaten as a main dish with sides like vegetables or meat. Thai sticky rice is also perfect for making fried rice!

While these are the two most popular types of rice used for sticky rice, there are other options as well. Brown, red, and black sticky rice can all be used to make sticky rice, although they will likely take longer to cook and remain crunchy after being cooked.

In Japan, sticky rice is called "mochi" or "komochi" and can be purchased at Asian grocery stores in the US. Mochi rice flour is also used to make mochi ice cream!

You may also be able to find a version of sticky rice made from brown rice in health food stores or other similar locations.

Easiest Ways to Use the Rice Setting on Electric Pressure Cooker

Whether you're making basmati rice, wild rice, or some other Instant Pot rice recipe, using the rice button on the Instant Pot is an easy way to make all different kinds of rice in your pressure cooker inner pot.

spoonful of instant pot brown rice

Next time you're making rice, make sure to use these quick tips:

  1. Rinse your dry rice in a colander for several minutes. It doesn't have to be long, but you must ensure it is rinsed well. Alternatively, you can soak your rice in enough water to cover it and then rinse it after you drain off the water you used to soak it. The purpose of this is to remove the excess starch from the rice. I usually use cold water instead of hot water to rinse the rice.
  2. Use a fork or rice fluffer to achieve fluffy rice. This is possible with various rice and certainly better with jasmine or brown rice than sticky rice.
  3. Be careful not to use excess water. The ratio of rice to water is essential, and you don't want to end up with rice that has too much water soaked up.

How to Store Rice

Keep uncooked rice in an airtight container at room temperature. It's a good idea to stock up on rice when you see your favorite varieties go on sale.

Whatever your preference is for the type of rice you like, you will want to keep it stored and sealed tightly so as not to attract bugs or stored product pests.

While pest control is always reasonable to have on hand, it is better to avoid attracting pests preemptively.


  • Jessica McCoy

    Jessica McCoy is a seasoned food blogger with 14+ years of experience in the industry. As a self-taught home cook, she enjoys creating and finetuning easy recipes that are fool proof and simple for anyone to make. Her expertise is in all things kitchen: cooking tips, air fryer recipes, Instant Pot and other pressure cooking recipes, and slow cooker recipes. Jessica was the previous owner of AllSheCooks, where she focused on easy every day recipes including budget friendly dinner recipes and desserts.

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