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Instant Pot Sweet Sticky Rice

I tested a few different ways to make the fluffiest Sweet Sticky Rice "aka Xoi" with the instant pot. Most recipes were quick and easy but none of them gave me the texture that I was looking for. I wanted my sticky rice as fluffy as possible without any breakage of the rice grain.

So I made several trial and errors such as soaking with coconut milk, using the inner pot, using pot in pot method, etc. but this old fashioned method of soaking the rice grains overnight gave me the best result.

A method my mom used for as long as I can remember. Instead of using her big gigantic steaming pot to make for the whole neighborhood, I just wanted to make a small amount using my Instant Pot. Enough for just my family or in this case.. enough to make our Unicorn.

Once I tested and got the texture that I wanted, I decided to add some colors to them. The Glutinous Rice "aka Sweet Rice"was soaked overnight all in the same bowl with about 1/2 tsp of salt. Covered and set on the kitchen counter. I recommend to soak at least 6 hours but if you're in a hurry and forgot to soak it the night before, just soak with luke warm water for at least 2-4 hours. The warm water will help absorb the rice and speed up the process. Just make sure you rinse the rice grains until the water is clear.

Once ready, I drained the rice and separate them into different bowls. After soaking it, the rice is very easy to break so be gentle and try to keep the rice grains whole. Use a spoon and gently fold.

I added 2-3 drops of food coloring until I got the color that I wanted to placed them on the steamer. Keep in mind, the color will change once cooked and get a bit darker so go easy on the food coloring. I didn't want to cook them one color at a time because I can honestly say I was too lazy. lol

So I separated the rice and cooked them at the same time. Luckily I have the 8qt pot and was able to fit two steamers. I placed the white rice on the top layer since it doesn't have any food coloring because the colored ones will drip onto the bottom layer.

The rice expanded and cooked perfectly.

After the full NPR (Natural Pressure Release) approx. 15 minutes, carefully add the sweetness of your choice. I LOVE coconut cream so I used that mixed with some sugar and salt. See recipe below. If you choose to not use coconut cream, you can simple add one or 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Gently fluff the rice with a fork and steam for another minute then NPR. I was a bit impatient and quick release after 5 minutes and it still came out perfect.

I absolutely love the texture and I think you will too! Try it and feel free to leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out.

You may find that this recipe may lack some sweetness but I did that on purpose just so I can dip my sticky rice into the Roasted Sesame Seed mix. Adjust the sweetness to your taste and enjoy! Click here to see the Video tutorial of the Unicorn Sweet Sticky Rice.

Sweet Sticky Rice Recipe:

  • 2 cups Glutinous Rice

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • Food Coloring of your choice

  • Coconut Cream (Savoy Brand is my favorite)

  • Sugar

  • Roasted Sesame Seeds


  1. Rinse rice until til water is clear.

  2. Soak over night with 1/2 tsp salt

  3. Drain

  4. Separate them in different bowls

  5. Gently fold in 2-3 drops of food coloring

  6. 1 cup of water, trivet

  7. Steam button, 12 minutes

  8. NPR (about 15 minutes)

  9. Add a tbsp of Coconut mixture (1/2 can of Coconut Cream, 4 tbsp Sugar, 1 tsp salt)

  10. Gently Fluff

  11. Add 1 cup of water in the pot

  12. Steam 1 minute

  13. NPR (Natural Pressure Release)

  14. Gently Fluff

Top with Roasted Sesame Sugar and salt

  1. 1 tbsp Roasted Sesame Seeds

  2. 1/2 tsp salt

  3. 1/2 tsp sugar

  4. Pulse Grind

Products (aff) used to make this...


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