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Brown Rice with Kombu | Instant Pot

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Being prepared for the week leads to less stress–a perfect tool is batch cooking! It’s perfect for busy weeknights and easy meal prep. A container of unseasoned prepared brown rice can become the foundation for many meals. Enjoy alongside steamed vegetables, add it to your burritos and salads, and so much more. You can even turn it into a dessert by adding a splash of your favorite plant-based milk, a touch of sweetener, and a dash of cinnamon. Delicious!

You don’t have to use an Instant Pot to make rice,  BUT doing so cuts the cooking time in half. Set it and forget it; no need to tend the pot. No more uncooked, burnt, or mushy brown rice!

Rice Texture Preferences

If you want perfectly separate grains, rinsing it first helps to remove the thin layer of starch from the surface of each grain, which helps keep the rice from sticking together. You can also add a tablespoon of oil to the pot when cooking.  I found that the addition of kombu seaweed helped to create not-so-sticky rice.

Why I Add Kombu Seaweed and What It Is

Kombu is a type of sea kelp that is rich in vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, and iodine. It is a great ingredient to keep stashed in your pantry, as it is a tasty addition to soups and salads, and makes beans and grains more digestible when added to the cooking water.

It has a very mild flavor, not one that you would expect from a seaweed. It has a saltiness that comes from a balanced, chelated combination of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and a myriad of trace minerals found in the ocean. So next time you make a pot of rice, grains, soup, vegetable broth, or beans, add a strip into the pot and reap the nutritional benefits of seaweed.

Important Note – Kombu can be eaten if you want the added nutrition. Just dice it up and stir it into your dish. You can also save it in the fridge after the rice has cooked and reuse it a couple of times before tossing it. I have a post that you can view (here) if you want to learn more.

cooked vegan brown rice oil-free

Why I Soak My Rice

I am all about making every bite count when I prepare food, hence why I add the kombu as well as soaking my rice overnight before cooking it.  In general, soaking any type of grain before cooking renders its nutrients more digestible by breaking down and neutralizing phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that prevents the absorption of calcium, zinc, and other minerals. You can skip this step, but your nutritional outcome will be better if you soak.

How Much This Recipe Yields

As far as measurements go, you can adjust them to meet your family’s needs. Just keep the rice to water ratio 1:1.  Should you decide to double or triple this recipe, the cooking time doesn’t change. However, the overall time will be longer when you prepare a larger quantity because it will take longer for the pot to come to pressure when compared to a smaller quantity of rice.

The maximum amount you can cook at one time will depend on the size pot you have. I use an 8-quart; therefore, the max I cook is 3 cups of rice and 3 cups water. The reason for this is because rice creates foamy, starchy water as it cooks, and you don’t want it to rise too high during the cooking cycle and damage your pot.

Making the Best of Every Bite!

  1. With brown rice, only the hull is removed during processing; the bran is retained, resulting in more fiber and nutrients.
  2. By adding the Kombu seaweed, you ramp up the protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. By soaking the rice, you make it more digestible, and your body better absorbs minerals.

cooked vegan brown rice oil-freeIngredients

Yields 6 cups cooked rice


  1. Soak the rice in 4 cups of water along with 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar. Cover with a dishtowel and leave o the counter for up to 8 hours. Drain and rinse before using.
    • Use the soak water to water your garden.
  2. Add the rice, kombu, and water in the Instant Pot, giving it a quick stir. Secure the lid and make sure the steam release valve is pushed to Sealing.
  3. Press the Manual button and cook at high pressure for 22 minutes for short-grain brown rice and 28 minutes for long-grain brown rice.
    • It will take roughly 8 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking cycle begins.
  4. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally until the LCD screen reads LO:23, then flip the release valve to “Vent” to release any remaining pressure. (shouldn’t be any)
    • When all the pressure has been released, the floating valve in the lid drops, which indicated that it’s safe to remove the lid.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork and remove kombu before serving. It is edible but not very appealing by itself.

Food Storage

When it comes to storing hot foods, we have a 2-hour window.  You don’t want to put piping hot foods directly into the refrigerator.  However, If you leave food out to cool, and forget about it you should, after 2 hours, throw it away to prevent the growth of bacteria. (source) Large amounts should be divided into smaller portions and put in shallow, covered containers for quicker cooling in a refrigerator that is set to 40 degrees (F) or below.

  1. Fridge – In a sealed container, it will keep for up to 7 days.
  2. Freezer – You can also freeze the rice in individual or meal-sized portions for up to 3 months.

2 thoughts on “Brown Rice with Kombu | Instant Pot

  1. Stephanie Alchimisti says:

    Hi Amie Sue !
    I hope you and your husband are doing well. I love your website and recipes.
    I have a question about the Kombu seaweed you use. May I ask what brand do you use ?. I want to start using it when cooking rice or bean dishes and to be certain it is a safe and reputable company when it comes to using seaweed.

    Thanks for your advice !

    Stephanie A.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Stephanie,

      We are doing well, thank you for asking. We are having some teaser snows right now, but I know spring isn’t too far away. Gearing things up for gardening. :) I use Maine Coast Kelp, Wild Atlantic Kombu, (whole plant, organic). I have been using them for… gosh, 10 years?! I hope you are doing well and so happy to hear that you are enjoying my site. blessings, amie sue

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