5 mins prep to make this PERFECT bowl of Kabocha squash pressure cooker rice. This frugal Japanese pumpkin rice is soooo easy to make. Eat it as is or as a side dish. Simple, delicious and healthy.

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We miss our trip to Japan. The endless delicious food, fascinating culture, and their pursuit of simplicity and perfection just put us in awe.

The inspiration to create this Kabocha squash pressure cooker rice came from this recent Japan trip. I absolutely adore this dish! Yeah, this one time Jacky & I both ate like 4 bowls each and were too full to eat anything else. LOL~

6 ingredients for Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) Pressure Cooker Rice

If you’ve never tried Kabocha squash, you’re missing out. It’s a delicious crossover between pumpkin and sweet potato in terms of texture and flavor. It’s naturally very sweet, even sweeter than butternut squash. Not only is it packed with nutrients, but also low calories and low-carb. Yep. The skin is totally edible too.

kabocha squash japanese pumpkin pressure cooker rice ingredients
5 mins prep
is all you need to make this simple and frugal dish. Anyone can make this without a doubt.

Though it’s simple, it took us many trial and errors with the pressure cooker to get the perfect consistency. Perfectly cooked Japanese rice should be sticky, not too firm, nor mushy or wet. It’s especially tricky when squash is being added to the mix. Plus, if the Kabocha is not perfectly cooked, it’ll either end up being too mushy or hard. :S

After testing many variations and portions, we finally found the perfect ratio! YES!! The rice is fragrant and slightly sticky. The Kabocha came out fluffy smooth with texture. The whole dish was fragrant, light, and slightly sweet. Oh, so filling and comforting! 🙂

kabocha squash japanese pumpkin pressure cooker rice recipe pressurecookrecipes.com

Kabocha Squash Pressure Cooker Rice Recipe Tips

1. Choose Kabocha squash that are firm, deep-colored, heavy with no soft spots.

2. You can freeze Kabocha squash for 6 to 8 months. Some even say up to 1 year! They’ve never managed to stay in our freezer for this long, so I can’t confirm this. If you have, tell us how does it taste. You can just throw frozen Kabocha squash straight into the pressure cooker, it’ll just take longer to build pressure.

3. If you want perfectly cooked rice, watch the amount of water you use. Don’t wing it. If you have too much water, it’ll end up mushy; if you have too little water, it’ll end up dry and hard, or even burnt. Pay attention!

4. Kabocha is naturally very sweet. The few drops of sesame oil will take this dish to the next level. Try it 😉

It’s now YOUR turn to take out the pressure cooker and cook some Kabocha Squash Pressure Cooker Rice! 

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Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) Pressure Cooker Rice
Perfect Kabocha squash pressure cooker rice in less than 30 minutes. This frugal Japanese pumpkin rice is so easy to make. Simple, delicious and healthy.
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Quick Meals, Rice, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese  
  Prep:  |  Cook:  |  Total:
  Serving: 2 - 4
  Rated 5.0/5 from 1 reviews
  • 2 cups Kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), cubed
  • 2 rice measuring cups (360 ml) Japanese short grain rice, rinsed
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 – 5 drops sesame oil

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  1. Add rice, water, cooking sake, sea salt, and sesame oil into pressure cooker.
  2. Mix the ingredients a few times with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add Kabocha squash quickly into the pot.
  4. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 7 minutes with an Electric Pressure Cooker.
  5. Turn off and wait for 10 minutes, then quick release.
  6. Remove the lid. Mix the Kabocha squash well with the rice and serve!
We use the rice measuring cup that came with our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker to measure the rice. 1 rice measuring cup = 180 ml of rice.

Please use exactly 1 ½ cup of water as this is just enough to get the pressure cooker up to pressure. This will prevent the pressure cooker rice from absorbing too much water and turns out to be too mushy and wet.

Kabocha freezes really well in the freezer for 6 - 8 months. You can pop them into the pressure cooker straight from the freezer for your next meal.

Perfect Kabocha squash pressure cooker rice in less than 30 minutes. This frugal Japanese pumpkin rice is so easy to make. Simple, delicious and healthy. pressurecookrecipes.com