Red Rice with Azuki Beans (Seki-han)

This rice dish is served on celebratory occasions, such as birthdays, weddings and holidays.


  • 450g glutinous rice, uncooked
  • 50g dried azuki beans
  • 1l water
  • pinch of black sesame
  • pinch of salt


  1. Wash the azuki beans, boil for 5-6 minutes then discard the water. Add 500ml of fresh water to the pan of beans over the heat. When it comes to the boil, turn it down low, and cook the beans until tender. Drain in a sieve, reserving the hot water in a bowl and allowing it to cool.
  2. Soak the rice in the cooled bean juice for 1-2 hours, so that the rice soaks up the colour of the azuki beans. Drain the rice once it has coloured.
  3. Mix the rice with the azuki beans. Cover a bamboo steamer with a muslin cloth, and place the rice and bean mixture on top. Make a shallow hollow in the top of the rice, fold in the muslin, and place the lid on the steamer. Place the steamer on top of a pan of water, and steam on high for 40 minutes.
  4. Pinch a grain of rice and if it squashes easily, the rice is ready. Serve sprinkled with sesame and salt.