Neo Rice Pudding

Sushi or Arborio Rice Creates Luxurious Texture

Topped with Greek style yogurt including rum soaked raisins, and served with a dusting of cardamom

Pressure Cooking is a Deal Maker!

I’ve shared the secrets of pressure cooking for over a quarter century. So let’s use it to reshape rice pudding into a thick, soft-chewy pudding. What’s old is new again!

I’ve also adapted this pudding for both vegetarian and vegan menus.

Call me old-fashioned, but I love a custardy rice pudding. This blue collar dessert may have been borne from waste-not-want-not leftovers, but why not update it with a specialty rice from other countries. Sushi rice is a short grain sticky rice, as is the Italian variety: arborio. The texture becomes nubbly—such a joy in the chew!

The secret is in short-grain rice. Japanese sushi rice and Italian arborio rice varieties have a perfect plump and chewy texture that blooms this recipe.

I adapted this New York Times version to my tastes. I wanted it to be rich, but eggless. I wanted a little tartness so I exchanged yogurt for heavy cream. The results make for a thick and chewy pudding.

Rice pudding offers a perfect base for flavorings and dried fruit. Consider these adaptations:

  • a handful of raisins, and you could soak them in some bourbon or rum before cooking
  • other dried fruit: chopped cherries, dates, or even candy ginger
  • drizzle over your finished pudding with some cream liqueur, like Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • toast some nuts or pumpkin seeds to add a crunchy topping
  • top with whipped cream, or Greek style yogurt

INGREDIENTS: For a vegan style use 3 cups plant milk and skip yogurt or cream

  • rice – 3/4 cup, medium or short grain white rice: sushi or arborio
  • milk – 2 1/2 cups, or plant based milk
  • sugar – 3 TBS, [adjust to taste at step 5]
  • salt – 1/2 tsp
  • citrus peel – a few large peels from orange, lime, or lemon
  • egg yolks – 2
  • cardamom – 1/2 tsp, [or cinnamon, or allspice, or nutmeg]
  • raisins – 1/2 cup, or other dried fruit [see above]
  • vanilla – 1 tsp
Eliminate Eggs by Substituting 1/2 cup Greek Style Yogurt and 1 TBS Corn Starch at Step 6
Note how thick and nubbly the rice pudding becomes


  1. In a pressure cooker add the rice, milk, sugar, salt, raisins [if using, or other dried fruit], and zest
  2. Stir well to help dissolve the sugar before cooking
  3. Lock down the lid and bring to pressure, then cook for 9 minutes and take off heat then continue to pressure cook for 9 more minutes; before opening lid
  4. Remove the lid and fish out the citrus peel; taste for sweetness
  5. Add the vanilla and cardamom
  6. Beat the egg yolks, then add a spoonful of hot pudding to the bowl, all the while stirring to temper the eggs; repeat twice more then pour all back into the pot and stir well
  7. Adjust for sweetness and then cool and refrigerate for a couple hours

*If using yogurt and corn starch: Mix the yogurt with the corn starch and the cardamon and add at Step 6


If you like, serve warm, or reheat and stir in additional milk to adjust creaminess to your liking

Served with Half n half, Banana, Yogurt, Cranberry Sauce, and Walnuts

Recipe adapted by B. Hettig

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