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Instant Pot Sticky Rice - simple way to cook Chinese sticky rice!
4.86 from 21 votes
Servings: 4

Chinese-Style Instant Pot Sticky Rice

One of the hallmarks of sticky rice is its gummy and sticky texture, but people often disagree about the optimal level of gumminess. If you use the main recipe, the sticky rice will be the most flavorful, but more gummy. For less gummy sticky rice, follow the modified cooking directions described in note 1.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Additional Time1 min
Total Time1 hr 16 mins


  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) glutinous rice
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or any neutral oil, divided

Flavoring Bits (see note 2)

  • 1 tablespoon dried scallops, see note 3
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots, can sub with onions
  • 2/3 cup chopped Chinese sausage, about 2 links
  • 1/3 cup chopped Chinese cured pork
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cooking rice wine, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, optional
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions

Optional Toppings

  • sliced scallions
  • fried shallots
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • chopped toasted peanuts


  • wok
  • Instant Pot
  • short steaming rack
  • stainless steel bowl that fits inside the Instant Pot, no wider than 8"


  • Give the dried scallops and dried shrimp a quick rinse. Set them aside. If you are using tiny dried scallops, you do not need to soak them before cooking. If you use larger dried scallops, soak them for 1 to 2 hours first. (See note 4)
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place a short steaming rack inside the pot.
  • Rinse the glutinous rice with 3 changes of water to get rid of some excess starch. Don’t worry if the water doesn’t run completely clear at the end. Drain the rice. 
  • Transfer the rice to a stainless steel bowl that fits inside the Instant Pot. Measure the reserved water that you used to soak the dried scallops. Check to see if you have 1 1/3 cups of water total. If not, add a little more. Pour the water over the rice, making sure that the water completely covers the rice. (See note 4)
  • In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add half the chopped shallots and sauté them for 30 seconds. Add half of the Chinese sausage, chopped Chinese cured pork, scallops, and shrimp (“flavoring bits”) and sauté for 30 seconds more. Season everything with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon rice wine, and 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, if using (see note 5). Stir to coat the flavoring bits with the seasonings. Turn off the heat. 
  • Carefully transfer the flavoring bits to the bowl with the soaking glutinous rice. Spread the flavoring bits out over the rice (see photos in blog post for reference). Place the stainless steel bowl in the Instant Pot, resting above the steaming rack.
  • Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release completely (about 15 to 18 minutes) before opening the lid. If you are pressed for time, release the pressure manually by moving the pressure release to “vent” or “venting.”
  • When the rice is nearly done steaming, cook the remaining flavoring bits. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the remaining chopped shallots and cook for 30 seconds. Next, add the remaining chopped Chinese sausage and cured pork and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, add the peas and scallions and cook for about another minute. Turn off the heat.
  • Once all the pressure has been released, open the lid of the Instant Pot. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of soy sauce over the rice and add the remaining flavoring bits on top (see note 6). Mix everything together evenly.
  • Serve the sticky rice in bowls. Top the sticky rice with sliced scallions, fried shallots, toasted sesame seeds, and chopped toasted peanuts, if desired. 


  1. For less gummy sticky rice: The preparation is basically the same except for 2 key differences: (1) Use less water to cook the rice. For sticky rice where the grains are separated and the texture is barely gummy, use 1 cup of water. If you want rice that’s a little more moist, use 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water. (2) Add fewer flavoring bits to the rice while it steams. Sauté only half of the shallots, dried shrimp, and scallops only. Season with 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice wine, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Then, spread these flavoring bits over the uncooked rice. Cook the rice on high pressure for 25 minutes. Sauté the remaining flavoring bits with 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce. Once the rice is cooked, release the pressure and follow steps 9 and 10.
  2. Substitutions: If you don't have dried scallops or dried shrimp, soak 3 dried shiitake mushrooms until they plump up. Then, chop the mushrooms into small pieces.
  3. Dried scallops come in different sizes. I used about 9 small ones. If you have medium-sized dried scallops, use 2 of them.
  4. While larger scallops require soaking, it is not necessary to soak small dried scallops and dried shrimp beforehand because they will soften in the Instant Pot. However, soaking the scallops allow you to shred them up so they're more evenly distributed in the rice, which is what I did in the photos. Soak the scallops for 1 to 2 hours, until the scallops soften. Drain the scallops but save the water because you can use it to cook the rice. Quickly shred the scallops with your fingers.
  5. Mama Lin says that the rice wine balances out the fishy aroma of the dried seafood. Feel free to leave it out if you don’t have rice wine. She also adds chicken bouillon powder to her sticky rice as it enhances the umami flavor of the dish. If you don’t have any, feel free to leave it out or use porcini mushroom powder instead.
  6. The sticky rice tastes better when you add the final tablespoon of soy sauce at the end instead of cooking the rice with the additional soy sauce.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 14.5g | Saturated Fat: 7.1g | Cholesterol: 37.2mg | Sodium: 764mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5.7g
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