All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Sekihan / steamed sweet rice with azuki beans (rice cooker version)

Celebration rice, sekihan, also tastes good on ordinary days. While sekihan is traditionally steamed over boiling water, it can be made in a rice cooker, too.


(Serves 4-5)

2 180 cc cups* mochigome sweet rice
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp (50-60 g) azuki beans
*1 rice cooker cup = 180 cc


Wash and soak sweet rice in water for several hours.


Cook azuki beans.
Place azuki in 4-5 times amount of water, bring water to boil on medium heat, boil for a few minutes, and drain.

Add 400-500 cc water, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until soft enough to bite (still slightly hard).

While simmering, add water as necessary to keep azuki immersed.


Separate beans and cool liquid.

Scoop and drop liquid into pot with ladle a dozen or more times in order to brighten liquid color by exposing it to air.


Drain water from sweet rice.

Put azuki cooking liquid, not higher than the 2-cup sweet-rice mark.

 And azuki and salt, mix, and cook.


When finished, wait 10 minutes, and gently turn.

  • If the rice cooker does not have water level markings for sweet rice, add 20-25% less liquid than indicated for regular rice.
  • Depending on rice cooker, sweet rice can come out mushy. If this happens, mixing in a small amount (10-20%) of regular rice can solve the problem.
  • Sekihan is written as red rice in Chinese characters. Red is symbolic of celebrations. Azuki is used to give the rice color, although some people say it is added for a medicinal effect. In some cases (mainly in commercial preparation), red colorant is added to give a clearer reddish tone.
  • Scooping and dropping azuki cooking liquid into the pot with a ladle can be skipped if in hurry or bothersome. When skipped, color of finished rice color is a little darker.
  • A recipe for sekihan in the microwave is found here.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a rice cooker, how do I do this on the stove top? Thank you.

neco said...

You need a steamer to make sekihan on stove top.Soak mochigome sweet rice for several hours to overnight, Cook azuki beans, and separate beans and cooking liquid. Add cooking liquid to the sweet rice, and continue soaking sweet rice for a few more hours (if you have cooked azuki beans in advance, you can soak sweet rice in azuki cooking water from the beginning). Drain (save the water), wrap it with cooked azuki beans in a moistened, hard-wrung cloth, and steam on medium heat until rice is soft, for 30-40 minutes(make sure the water is briskly boiling before you put the rice and azuki mixture). Add salt to to the rice soaking water, and sprinkle it over rice from time to time while steaming

You can also make sekihan in microwave. Please see the microwave version from the link below.

neco said...

Hi, I just realized you should be able to make sekihan in regular pot (ideally thick-walled) on the stove top. I have not not personally done this, however. Basics (soaking time, etc.) are the same as this sekihan recipe, and the process is the same as cooking regular rice (see: To prevent sweet rice becoming soggy, mixing in some regular rice (repalce 1/5-1/3 of sweet rice with regular rice) is recommended.