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 6
  • salt – 1/2 tsp
  • citrus peel – a few large peels from orange, lime, or lemon
  • yogurt – 1/2 cup, plain Greek style or regular [or heavy cream, or coconut cream]]
  • corn starch – 1 TBS, or tapioca flour [or 2 egg yolks]
  • 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 and heavy cream with Greek style yogurt and corn starch
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 10 minutes
  4. At the 9 minute marker, turn off heat and let pressure release naturally for 9 more minutes, then remove lid
  5. Mix the yogurt with the corn starch and the cardamon
  6. Remove the lid and fish out the citrus peel. Taste for sweetness and adjust
  7. Stir in the yogurt mixture, and vanilla [Note: if using egg yolks, whip them in a bowl and then add TBS of hot pudding to the bowl, all the while stirring to temper the eggs. Repeat until you add about a cup of pudding then pour all back into the pot and stir well
  8. Bring to room temperature and refrigerate for a couple hours


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

Recipe adapted by B. Hettig

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