I grew up eating Lebanese vermicelli rice as the standard rice dish in the home. It never crossed my mind that vermicelli in rice is something different. As you may have read in prior posts, I really love my instant pot, especially when cooking rice. My two worlds are colliding with this instant pot recipe for Lebanese vermicelli rice.
If you don't read anything else in this post, please read this. Do not brown your vermicelli in the instant pot itself. I made this mistake and unfortunately had to waste precious minutes of my life scrubbing the pot clean.
Everything else is really straightforward. So let's get to it!
- Rice: Use medium-grain or long-grain rice for this recipe. I always have short-grain rice on hand and use it sometimes, however, most Lebanese rice dishes are made with medium-grain rice.
- Vermicelli: I use the vermicelli that's already cut into small pieces. My mother used to use spaghetti and break it with her hands when she'd make the rice dish. Either works.
- Olive oil: I prefer to use olive oil, but you can also use butter or any other fat.
- Bouillon (optional): I use chicken or vegetable bouillon.
- Salt and Pepper to taste: Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt are my faves.
You will also need:
- An Instant Pot or Rice Cooker
- Nonstick skillet
- Strainer (for straining the rice after washing it)
- Stovetop pot or water kettle (if using a bouillon cube)
Tips and Tricks
- Don't fry the vermicelli in the Instant Pot! I made this mistake, thinking this could be a "one-pot" Instant Pot recipe. Boy was I wrong. Use a nonstick skillet to fry the vermicelli separately, and then transfer the vermicelli to the Instant Pot.
- Use the "Rice" function on the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot has a built-in rice function meant for cooking rice. While the function is close to perfect, I do have a tip that takes this rice the extra mile. After bleeding off the pressure, open the lid, and mix the rice. Close the lid and turn off the Instant Pot. Wait for 5 minutes, then serve.
- Use short-grain or medium-grain rice. Different rice types have different water ratios, so this post is meant for medium and short-grain rice. The exact rice I used in this post is short-grain Calrose rice, because I always have some on hand.
- It's optional to use bouillon or broth. I personally prefer my rice to be made with water and very little fat. I'm all about eating rich foods when they are worth it, and rice tastes a lot like rice either way. If using a bouillon cube, boil the water and add the bouillon cube. Once the bouillon cube has dissolved, add the liquid to the Instant Pot. Make sure the water ratio is still accurate (some of the water can evaporate if you boil it long enough).
- Make this extra special by adding some pinenuts. If you are feeling fancy, jazz things up a bit and add some toasted pinenuts.
How Long Does It Take For Rice To Cook in the Instant Pot?
The "Rice" function is set to 12 minutes, however, it takes about 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to heat up and pressurize. Also, I recommend waiting 5 minutes after the rice has cooked for optimum texture. We are talking about light and fluffy rice.
I don't necessarily save time when using my Instant Pot for rice recipes, however, it makes food preparation easier. I can literally set it and forget it. Whereas, when I cook rice using a stovetop pot, if I'm not watching it carefully, the bottom will burn or it will be soggy.
Amy has a good tutorial on youtube for using the Instant Pot "Rice' function for rice.
Some Other Lebanese Recipes to Try
- The Most Delicious Lebanese Fried Falafel
- Delicious Eggplant Fatteh with Yogurt (Video)
- Sfiha Meat Pie (Lahmajun)
- The Best Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)
- Baba Ganoush Recipe
- Lebanese Tabouli with Quinoa
- Homemade Labneh Recipe from the Mountains of Lebanon
- Best Recipe for Homemade Hummus Without Tahini
- Fattoush Salad Recipe with Pomegranate
Join the Tribe
Instant Pot Lebanese Vermicelli Rice
- 3 cups medium grain rice like Jasmine or Thai rice
- 1 cup vermicelli
- 4 cups water or broth
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- salt to taste
- Add olive oil to a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the vermicelli stirring frequently. Once the vermicelli has browned evenly, pour into a bowl, and set aside.
- Add the rice to a large bowl and fill it with water. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Strain the rice using a strainer. Set aside.
- In the Instant Pot, add the rice, water (or broth), browned vermicelli, salt, and pepper.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and make sure the vent is not vented. Hit the "Rice" function.
- Once the timer goes off, vent the Instant Pot. Once the pressure had been released, open the lid. Mix the rice (see note 1).
- I mix the rice once, then close the Instant Pot lid. Turn off the Instant Pot fully and let sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.