Vegetable Water Content

At the beginning of this lesson, I mentioned how if you add vegetables to your perfect pressure cooker rice you might get a mess – let me explain why.

Vegetable Water Content

Vegetables are 80-95% water. A bell pepper is 92% water, carrots 89%. So, let’s say you add an 8 oz (250g) bell pepper to a recipe. That’s a whole extra cup of water to your perfectly measured rice and cooking liquid! So, I figured out a way around this.

What I do, is actually measure the vegetable as the cooking liquid. So, I add the chopped or grated vegetable to my liquid measuring cup. Let’s say we’re going to make two cups of rice, and I need three cups of liquid. First I add my chopped and grated veggies to the measuring cup, and then I measure the cooking liquid all the way up to the three-cup mark.

Vegetables are mainly water. Tomatoes, for example, are 95% water; mushrooms 89. While this is usually not very important in conventional cooking it can have a big effect when pressure cooking. That’s because if you add a half-pound vegetable to your recipe it’s going to add an extra cup of liquid!

So, for pressure cooker recipes where the liquid ratio is important, like rice and grains, just chop the veggies and just add them in the container that you’re using to measure the cooking liquid.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Sauteed Veggies – When you saute a vegetable, you’re actually cooking off most of its water.  So if you saute a vegetable before pressure cooking – such as an onion before making risotto – its liquid won’t count.
  • Potatoes – Although potatoes are 75% water, their starch will quickly thicken it.  So it will not disturb the liquid ratio.
  • Frozen Peas – They’ve been parboiled, and are already pretty dry.  So if using a modest amount of peas in the recipe, they won’t count either!

And that’s it.  Let me show you how it works in the next recipe.


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  1. Ive never cooked veggies with rice without sautéing first. Or i sauté and add after rice is cooked. I make kasha this way too. Soooo good. Esp with chicken broth too.

  2. Love your clear directions and recipes.
    Would you recommend the same technique for measuring vegetables for a pasta dish?

    1. Yes, but one-pot pasta dishes are tricky because the liquid is measured according to the volume of pasta in the cooker -and the extra veggies increase the volume. What I have done before, however, is made my plain-tomato pasta and sauce recipe, and then piled on broccoli florets or fresh green beans on top of the measured sauce and liquid. Here are some ideas – to work from:



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