Chinese sausage rice (腊肠饭) made easy using the Instant Pot! No rice soaking required, minimal active cooking time, and perfect results. The rich and savory sticky rice is seasoned with soy sauce and mixed with sweet Chinese sausage and crunchy water chestnuts. It’s an ideal one-pot weekday dinner!
Since I published the Sticky Rice Stuffing, I’ve received so much positive feedback and lots of questions on how to cook it in an Instant Pot. After testing it out, I was surprised to find out that the Instant Pot version is so easy and the result turned out just as great.
Why this recipe?
- No rice soaking required. Glutinous rice usually requires overnight soaking to cook it on the stovetop. You can skip that step when using this recipe.
- Minimal active cooking time. All you need to do is to brown the aromatics and the sausage in the Instant Pot. It takes about 10 minutes.
- Shortened cooking time. It takes about 25 minutes to cook this dish on the stovetop. The Instant Pot version only takes 12 minutes.
- Consistent (perfect) result. The rice and sausage will be cooked until soft and buttery and the chestnuts until crunchy.
The Instant Pot Chinese sausage rice is so simple to make that I would totally cook it on a busy weeknight. If you have an Instant Pot, I highly recommend using this version to make your cooking easier.
Chinese sausage rice ingredients
1. What is Chinese sausage (腊肠)?
Chinese sausage (腊肠, lap cheong) is made from fatty pork. It is normally smoked, sweetened, and seasoned with rose water, rice wine, and soy sauce. Once cooked with the rice, it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. The fat and sweetness melt into the gooey rice and taste so good.
These days you can easily find Chinese sausages in an Asian market. I’ve even seen Costco carry them a couple of times. If you can’t find them in your local stores, you can also purchase them from Amazon.
2. Dried Shiitake mushrooms
I highly recommend using dried shiitake mushrooms because they have an intense smoky flavor that fresh ones do not have. However, if you prefer using fresh shiitake mushrooms, you can replace the dried mushrooms with 8 to 10 medium-sized fresh ones.
3. Sticky rice
Sticky rice (糯米, Nuo Mi) is also called glutinous rice or sweet rice. It looks like white rice, but has a sticky and gooey texture once cooked. It is important to use this type of rice in this recipe for the best texture. You can easily find the rice in most Asian markets or on Amazon.
4. Mise en place
When you’re ready to cook, you should have the shiitake mushrooms soaked and sliced. The other ingredients should be chopped and measured out.
How to make instant pot Chinese sausage rice
- Saute the mushrooms and shallots with butter
- Saute the Chineses sausage
- Pour in Shaoxing wine to deglaze and use spatula to scrape off the browns bits from the bottom (very important)
- Mix in the sticky rice
- Add the rest of the ingredients and seasonings
- Cook on high for 12 minutes
That’s it! It is super easy to prepare. The rice will come out tender and gooey, soaked with rich sauces and the fat from the sausage, with a slightly charred bottom.
4. Easy clean up
When I cook Chinese sausage rice on the stovetop, the bottom of the rice usually gets burned (due to the soy sauce). However, I found that the Instant Pot version doesn’t have this issue. The bottom of the rice will brown, but you can easily scrape it off using a wooden spatula. If your rice doesn’t come off easily, simply soak the pot in hot water before scrubbing.
Frequently asked questions
Why does the instant pot keep showing “burn food” error?
I’ve gotten this question quite a few times, but unfortunately I was never able to recreate it when I was testing the recipe.
Over the years, I have used 3 different generations of Instant Pot. I suspect that it may show the “burn food” warning if you did not scrape the brown bits off completely after deglazing the pan with Shaoxing wine. During my latest cooking experience, I did find that it is best to not brown the shallot and sausage too much, so the bottom of the pot does not get too charred. And it will not affect the flavor of the finished dish.
Why did the bottom of the rice burn?
It is quite normal if the bottom of the rice gets browned because of the soy sauce and the sticky texture of the rice. Depending on the type of glutinous rice you use, you might get different results. For example, this recipe specifically uses short grain glutinous rice. If you use long grain glutinous rice, you might need to add 1/2 cup of chicken broth because long grain rice absorbs liquid differently.
I also found that after I upgraded my Instant Pot to the newer version, the result is much better. I noticed that the latest Instant Pot is heavier and distributes heat better. When I used my old IP, the bottom of the rice might burn a little (but could be easily cleaned off). And when I use the new IP, the rice is beautifully charred without any burning at all.
Can I replace the water chestnuts with other vegetables?
Yes! The water chestnuts are sweet and crunchy, adding a nice texture to the dish. But you can also use bamboo shoots or carrots in their place.
Can I use a pressure cooker to cook this dish?
Yes! Make sure you use no higher than medium heat when adding the pressure, then turn to low heat once pressure is added. This will prevent the bottom of the rice from burning.
I love receiving requests and questions from you, the reader, because it makes me think outside the box and improve my recipes. This Instant Pot Chinese sausage rice is a great example of a recipe developed in response to readers’ requests. I would not have imagined I could cook glutinous rice in an Instant Pot without soaking. But from now on, this will be my go-to method.
More Instant Pot recipes
- Instant Pot Pork Ribs (Chinese-Style)
- Instant Pot Bolognese (Hong Kong Style)
- Instant Pot Oxtail Soup
- Asian-Style Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Asian Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Eggs (Perfect Hard-Boiled & Soft-Boiled Eggs)
Instant Pot Chinese Sausage Rice (腊肠饭)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large shallots , sliced (or 1 onion)
- 8 medium-sized (about 0.5 oz / 15 g) dried shiitake mushrooms (*Footnote 1)
- 5 links (7 oz / 200 g) Chinese sausage , sliced
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
- 2 1/2 cups short grain sticky rice (glutinous rice)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup mushroom soaking liquid
- 1 cup whole water chestnuts , sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 green onions , thinly sliced (for garnish)
- Add the dried shiitake mushrooms in a medium size bowl and pour in hot water. Soak until the mushrooms turn soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, squeeze the liquid out of the mushrooms into the soaking water. Slice the mushrooms thinly. Reserve the soaking water for cooking.
- Turn on the “Saute” function on your Instant Pot and wait until it’s warmed up (*Footnote 2). Add the butter and stir a few times until it melts.
- Add the shallot and shiitake mushrooms. Stir a few times to coat well with butter. Then spread the ingredients into a single layer. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 minutes or so.
- Add the Chinese sausage. Cook and stir until the edges turn light golden, 2 minutes.
- Pour in the Shaoxing wine. Use your spatula to release any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is very important. If you don’t deglaze the pot thoroughly, you might get a “burn food” error later on. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Turn off “Saute”. Add the rice. Stir to mix the rice evenly with the other ingredients. Add the chicken stock, 1/2 cup mushroom soaking liquid, water chestnuts, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and salt. Stir to mix well.
- Cover the Instant Pot and seal the valve. Set on “Manual” at high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot is done cooking, wait for at least 5 minutes, then switch to fast release by using the release button on your Instant Pot lid. Stay away from the Instant Pot to avoid being burned by the hot steam coming out of the pot when using fast release.
- Fluff the rice and garnish with sliced green onions. Serve hot as a main or side dish.
- Store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
- If you used fresh shiitake mushrooms, use 1/2 cup chicken broth to replace the mushroom soaking liquid.
- You don’t have to wait until the Instant Pot is “heated” to add the butter. Instant Pot saute function only has one heat setting and I found it too hot to melt butter. You should add the butter once the pot has warmed up.