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


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

No steamer or rice cooker? No problem. Here is sekihan in the microwave.


(Serves 5-7)

400 cc mochigome sweet rice
1/2-1 tsp salt
4 tbsp (50-60 g) azuki beans


Wash and soak sweet rice in water for at least 3 hours.


In a pot, put azuki with  4-5 times more water than beans, 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 or until soft enough to bite (still slightly hard).
While simmering, add water as necessary to keep azuki immersed.


When ready to cook, drain water from sweet rice.

Scoop azuki and add to sweet rice in a microwavable bowl (save azuki cooking liquid).
Add salt.

Measure azuki cooking liquid, and add water as necessary to obtain 300cc liquid in total.
Add liquid to sweet rice, and mix well.


Cover, and microwave for 10 minutes.
Remove, and gently mix.
At this point, you will likely see some uncooked, opaque rice grains, and the sweet rice will look a bit soggy overall.
Cover, and microwave for another 5 minutes or until no opaque rice grains are left. 
Gently fluff.
Ready to serve.

  • Make sure you soak sweet rice long enough. In cold seasons, soaking for 4 hours works better.
  • Microwave time depends on the volume. For example, if you cook half of the above amount (200cc sweet rice), the first microwaving could be reduced to 5-7 minutes and the second microwave time to 3-4 minutes.
  • Make sure to remove the cover after microwaving. Otherwise, sekihan continues to cook and turns into rice cake.
  • The proportion of sweet rice and water (liquid including azuki cooking liquid in this case) is 4:3.
  • A more thorough process, such as scooping up and exposing azuki boiling liquid to air in order to brighten color, is omitted here. You can even skip draining the first azuki cooking water in Process 2, which is done to achieve a refined taste, if that is of no concern.
  • A sekihan recipe using a rice cooker is found here.

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