Instant Pot Brown Rice 玄米の炊き方

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  • Follow my tips to make perfectly cooked Instant Pot Brown Rice. With a pressure cooker, you can make fluffy, perfectly cooked short grain brown rice every time!

    Rice bowls containing perfectly cooked short grain brown rice.

    Brown rice may not be your favorite type of rice, but once you learn the technique of cooking Instant Pot Brown Rice, you will want to make it every day! It’s also healthier than white rice, so let’s discover how delicious brown rice can be.

    Cooking Short-Grain Brown Rice in the Instant Pot

    Before we start, take note that this method is for cooking Japanese short-grain brown rice. If you are using medium- and long-grain rice, you will need to look for a different recipe.

    Short-grain rice has a rounder body as compared to medium or long-grain rice which is slimmer and elongated. It releases starch when cooked, so the rice is moist and has a sticky texture. Brown (whole-grain) rice is a whole grain with a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber while white rice is stripped of the fiber.

    In this recipe, I’ll show you how to cook brown rice for Japanese-style meals. The brown rice will be cooked in only water and salt. Unlike some western-style brown rice recipes online, there’s no broth or seasonings required.

    Normally it takes a long time to make brown rice on the stove top or in the rice cooker, but this recipe uses an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) to speed up the process. Not only it saves time, but it also yields fluffy, chewy, and perfectly cooked brown rice.

    How to Make Brown Rice in the Instant Pot

    Follow my tips to make perfectly cooked Instant Pot Brown Rice. With a pressure cooker, you can make fluffy, perfectly cooked short grain brown rice every time.

    Rice bowls containing perfectly cooked short grain brown rice.

    3 Tips for Making Instant Pot Brown Rice

    If rice is a big part of your diet, then learning how to cook proper brown rice would be an essential kitchen skill. Let me show you 3 important tips to make delicious brown rice.

    1. Soak Rice

    The most basic, but very important tip is to soak rice. Whether you use short grain white rice or brown rice, short-grain variety requires soaking. As the rice kernels are fatter, it takes more time for the moisture to get through to the core of the grains. So we must give a headstart by soaking the rice in water. Here is the time range for both white and brown rice:

    • White rice: 20 to 30 minutes.
    • Brown rice: 6 to 12 hours.

    If you are cooking the brown rice for dinner, start preparing in the morning. If you want to cook it for breakfast, soak the rice before going to sleep.

    2. Add Salt

    Brown rice has a natural bitter tone. Salt helps to remove the bitterness from the rice and facilitates the absorption of water. A small amount of salt can also bring out the sweetness from the brown rice.

    3. Use Pressure Cooker

    As the brown rice has several thin layers of bran coating the grain, there are a few benefits when you cook brown rice in a pressure cooker:

    • The heat will penetrate into the core of the brown rice (= fluffy rice).
    • The cooking temperature is above 100ºC, which results in sweetness in flavor and mochi-mochi (perfectly chewy) texture.
    • Cooks evenly, the rice texture will be the same throughout.

    Rice bowls containing perfectly cooked short grain brown rice.

    “Kani Ana” – Perfectly Cooked Instant Pot Brown Rice

    Kani Ana (かに穴) or crab holes is the sign that your brown rice is cooked perfectly.

    When cooking the rice, the steam bubbles push through the rice from the bottom of the pot, they create small holes in the rice. These indentations represent holes where crabs go in and out on the beaches. So we call them crab holes or kani ana. The picture below shows you the perfectly cooked brown rice dotted with several holes on the surface.

    Instant Pot Brown Rice 11

    Make Ahead and Freeze Brown Rice

    Since brown rice takes some time to cook, you can make ahead and freeze it for later use (learn how to freezer rice). When I am short on time, I just need to defrost the rice in the microwave and it’s ready to enjoy just like freshly made brown rice out of the cooker.

    Rice bowls containing perfectly cooked short grain brown rice.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    5 from 5 votes
    Rice bowls containing perfectly cooked short grain brown rice.
    How to Cook Brown Rice (Instant Pot Brown Rice)
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    40 mins
    Soaking Time
    6 hrs
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: rice
    Servings: 4
    Author: Nami
    2 Rice Cooker Cups
    • 2 rice cooker cups brown rice (180 ml x 2 cups = 360 ml)
    • ½ tsp salt (optional, but salt will help reducing bitterness of brown rice)
    • 400 ml water
    3 Rice Cooker Cups
    • 3 rice cooker cups brown rice (180 ml x 3 cups = 540 ml)
    • ¾ tsp salt (optional, but salt will help reducing bitterness of brown rice)
    • 600 ml water
    1. Use a rice cooker cup to measure rice. Scoop 2 rice cooker cups of short-grain brown rice and put in a large bowl.
      Instant Pot Brown Rice 1
    2. Rinse the brown rice a few times.
      Instant Pot Brown Rice 2
    3. Rub the brown rice between hands and rinse with the water several times (It’s called “momi arai” もみ洗い).
      Instant Pot Brown Rice 3
    4. Add water to cover the rice and let it soak for 6 to 12 hours (at least 6 hours!).

      Instant Pot Brown Rice 4
    5. Drain and shake off the water completely.
      Instant Pot Brown Rice 5
    6. Add the drained brown rice in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker.

      Instant Pot Brown Rice 6
    7. Add salt.
      Instant Pot Brown Rice 7
    8. Add the water and evenly distribute the rice in the pot.
      Instant Pot Brown Rice 8
    9. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, press 'Manual' and set 20 minutes on high pressure.

      Instant Pot Brown Rice 9
    10. Allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then "Quick Release” the pressure. Cover the steam vent with a kitchen towel and twist the valve to cover your fingers.

      Instant Pot Brown Rice 10
    11. Open the lid. It’s a success when you see small holes on the rice surface (we call them “Kani Ana” – crab holes).

      Instant Pot Brown Rice 11
    12. Fluff the rice using a rice paddle/scooper. Serve the brown rice immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for 1 month.

      Instant Pot Brown Rice 12
    Recipe Notes

    Rice - Water Ratio and Cooking Time: Depending on the type of stovetop, type/age of rice, and season of the year, rice-water ratio, cooking time, and heat level vary. Please adjust according to your preference.


    Soaking Time: Soak extra time during winter months.


    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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