food forum


Sekihan Red Rice with Azuki Beans

In Japan, it is traditionally believed that the color red wards off misfortune. Red-colored sekihan has long been eaten on auspicious days and during celebrations.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 50 g / 1.7 oz. azuki red beans*1
  • 1 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 480 ml / 2 C glutinous rice
  • Gomashio seasoning, black sesame seeds mixed with salt
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    Steps 1-3 are preparations to be done the day before. Wash the azuki red beans, place in a pot with enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander, discarding the boiled water. Return beans to the pot, add 720 ml / 3 C of fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until beans are soft enough to crush with fingers.

  2. 2

    Drain the beans again and set aside, this time saving the liquid. Add soy sauce to this liquid. Save 5 T of it for the next day and keep with beans in the refrigerator.

  3. 3

    Wash the glutinous rice with water and drain. Soak the rice overnight in the liquid from Step 2: this adds red color to the rice. The liquid should be just enough to cover the rice; add water if needed and keep in refrigerator.

  4. 4

    The next day, drain the rice and discard the soaking liquid. Prepare a steamer. Dampen a clean steaming cloth*2, tightly squeeze out water and lay it out across the steamer rack. Evenly distribute the glutinous rice on it and spread the beans over the rice (see photo). Wrap the cloth around the rice and beans, cover and steam over high heat.

  5. 5

    The total steaming time will be 40 minutes. After the first 10 minutes of steaming, unfold the steaming cloth and gently mix the rice and beans using chopsticks so the rice cooks evenly. Sprinkle 3 T of the reserved liquid from Step 2 over the mixture and wrap in the cloth again. Steam for 10 minutes, gently mix again and add 1 T liquid; after another 10 minutes, repeat this process.

  6. 6

    Spoon out the rice into a serving bowl and serve with gomashio seasoning on top.

  1. *1Authentic sekihan is typically made using sasage Japanese black-eyed peas.
  2. *2Any culinary cloth such as cheesecloth, pudding cloth or muslin. Please follow hygiene guidelines for using a clean sterilized steaming cloth.
    Note: This is a traditional way to make sekihan, but there are alternative methods using rice cookers.

Recipe by Kikkoman Corporation

Vol. 37

Other recipes in this series


Post your creation!

Kikkoman Global (@kikkoman_global)

is posting Kikkoman Recipes.
If you made this recipe, please post it with the hashtag #KikkomanLife
We love to see your creations on Instagram!