Sekihan is a dish made with sweet rice and azuki beans (nutritious bean with a sweet flavor). The azuki bean gives the rice a delicate pink color. This dish has a sticky texture and is a central dish for many traditional celebrations but is delicious any time.
History of Sekihan:
As a traditional dish sekihan is served at birthdays, weddings, and many holidays. Sekihan is also considered very nutritious due to its incorporation of the azuki bean. This bean is rich in many vitamins, is high in protein, and also contains relatively high levels of iron. Sekihans iron content may be the source of another tradition where the dish is served at the menarche (first menstrual period) of a young woman. The azuki bean is also what gives the dish its reddish color. This red color is perhaps a reason sekihan is served at so many celebrations as red is symbolic of happiness in Japanese culture.
- 3 cups mochigome (glutinous rice)
- 1/3 cup azuki red beans
- 1/2 tsp salt
1. Put azuki beans in a medium pot and boil for a few minutes and drain.
2. Put 2 cups of water and azuki beans in a medium pot and bring to a boil again.
3. Simmer the beans on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until almost softened.
4. Drain azuki beans and keep the colored liquid.
5. Mix some water and the colored water to make 3 cups of liquid.
6. Wash with cold water repeatedly until the water becomes clear.
7. Pour 3 cups of colored water over the rice. Season with salt and mix well.
8. Place boiled azuki beans on top. Leave to soak for about one hour.
5. Place a lid on the pot and cook on high heat until the water is boiling vigorously.
6. Turn down the heat to very low and let the rice simmer for 15-20 min until the water is almost gone.
7. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for 10 min before lifting the lid.