Sekihan Onigiri

Sekihan Onigiri : Japanese Red Bean Rice

A traditional Japanese dish called sekihan, called red bean rice or dried beans is served on special occasions. Salt and black sesame seeds are added after the glutinous rice and azuki beans have been cooked until they are chewy and mushy. On significant occasions, we in Japan enjoy a variety of dishes. Sekihan, also referred to as Japanese red bean rice, is one of them. A bowl of sekihan is frequently presented in Japan to celebrate joyous occasions like birthdays, graduands, weddings, or the Japanese New Year. Let's learn how to prepare this delectable bean and rice supper today.

What is sekihan?

In Japanese, the color of glutinous rice after cooking with azuki beans is referred to as "red rice," where the phrase "sekihan" is employed. The red tint of the rice represents happiness and abundance. The New Year, a child's birth, birthdays, festivals, and weddings are just a few joyful occasions when it is typically offered. Similar variants are known as hóngdu fàn and patbap in China and Korea, respectively. This dish consists of boiling adzuki beans and rice. When the water used to boil the beans is combined with the rice, it takes on its characteristic pinkish-red color.

Sekihan is typically produced with only glutinous rice and cooked in a medium heat or at a rice cooker. We eat it sparingly because it can be challenging to digest and fill. Sekihan is frequently served with a little gomashio seasoning at room temperature. Moreover, it can be used to make onigiri rice balls, either with or without nori seaweed or as a component of a bento box lunch.

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In its original version, "Makura no Soshi" describes sekihan as red bean porridge. Sekihan originally debuted halfway through the Heian era (The Pillow Book). This was used for festivities throughout the Muromachi period. It also began to appear on special occasions at common people's meals in the second half of the Edo era.

Locals consumed this on special occasions like Joshi no Sekku on March 3, Tango no Sekku on May 5, and Choyo no Sekku on September 9, according to the "Chujiruiki," which chronicles Imperial Court menus in the late Kamakura period. There is evidence that it was a meal to celebrate a momentous event. That demonstrates that after it became available in the private sector, the Japanese consumed it on regular joyous occasions. Depending on the locale, crimson rice was consumed during Buddhist rites to return bad luck and restore good luck.

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What is sekihan (red bean rice)tradition?

Azuki beans, also known as adzuki beans, are used in almost all Japanese dishes and sweets. Before being utilized as fillings, the beans are boiled, mashed, and sweetened. Nonetheless, Azuki beans are rare in this dish, which is particularly unusual in Japanese cuisine because it is not sweet. It is a reproduction of traditional Japanese crimson rice with several symbolic implications.

Sekihan-giving customs have their roots in early Shinto rites, when naturally red rice, possibly similar to the Camargue red rice we know today—was offered to the gods, with people feasting on the remains. Nonetheless, sekihan is now frequently used for luck. Sekihan-giving customs have their roots in early Shinto rites, when naturally red rice, possibly similar to the Camargue red rice we know today, was offered to the gods, with people feasting on the remains.

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Here's a simple and quick onigiri recipe to try at home together with your companions! This recipe is for you. Here are the ingredients you need and procedure you need to follow for you to achieve your desired sekihan onigiri:

INGREDIENTS To Cook Azuki Beans:

  • 2 cups glutinous rice

  • 1/4 cup azuki beans

  • 2 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • black sesame seeds

  • nori sheet seaweed

PROCEDURE To Cook Sekihan in Rice Cooker, pressure cookers or instant pot:

  1. Lightly wash the Adzuki red beans.

  2. Fill a pot halfway with water and add the beans.

  3. Bring to a boil, then decrease by half and continue to boil for 5 minutes.

  4. When all the cooking water has been poured, add enough water to cover it and return to a boil in a medium high heat.

  5. Cook for 20 minutes before removing the beans from the cooking water.

  6. Rinse rice gently at a low pressure.

  7. Mix the washed rice and beans. Following that, add salt, the cooking water and the water.

  8. Cook the rice in a rice cooker. When the rice is done, gently fold it in.

  9. Using plastic cellophane, make four triangle-shaped onigiris.

  10. Wrap the nori seaweed in it.

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What are adzuki beans used for?

Red mung beans, or adzuki beans, are common in many Japanese desserts. For instance, azuki beans, water, and sugar are boiled together to create anko paste. Our all-time favorite dessert, dorayaki, currently uses this paste as a delightfully nutty, sweet filling (pancakes with red bean paste). The filler in this paste is widely used in manj and other summertime sweets like red bean ice cream and many dishes that is sweet. For this sekihan dish, we won't make an adzuki bean paste; instead, we'll cook the beans with sticky rice in a rice cooker. The pleasing outcome will always be associated with life's successes, joys, and high moments.

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Here are the compiled tips in cooking your sekihan at home.

Preparing Ingredients

  • It is not the same as long-grain glutinous rice from China or Thailand. Glutinous rice is white, contrasting with the semi-transparent tint of traditional Japanese short-grain rice. Look for rice bags labeled mochigome at Japanese or Korean supermarkets.

  • Rinse the glutinous rice well; it is more delicate and prone to breaking than conventional white rice and should not be washed in a fine-mesh filter or strainer.

  • Unless you plan to steam the glutinous rice, there is no need to soak it because it absorbs water quickly.

cooking azuki beans

  • Save enough azuki cooking liquid to cook the rice in by using a container with a tight-fitting cover. A snug-fitting cover will aid in reducing evaporation.

  • The first cooking liquid for azuki beans should be removed since azuki beans are astringent.

  • Allow enough time for the beans and cooking liquid to cool before bringing them to room temperature. NEVER boil water when preparing sticky rice. The heated liquid will continue to cook the beans, so keep them in the azuki cooking liquid. Once the beans have cooled, separate them from the liquid. The beans won't wrinkle as a result of this.

cooking sekihan (AZUKI BEAN RICE)

  • Azuki cooking liquid replaces one part of each portion of glutinous rice in a volume ratio of 1:1. (NOT weight). 540 ml of liquid is required to produce three cups of glutinous rice in a rice cooker (180 ml x 3).

  • To avoid burning the rice, prepare the food on low to moderate heat. As the rice is boiling, reduce the heat to a soft simmer.

  • The 20-minute steaming of the dish is an important phase in the cooking process. This 20-minute steaming time is included in the rice cooker's "cooking time" setting.

  • Make sure to store it in an airtight container and mix it in a large bowl or large pot.


What is the Japanese rice triangle called?

Japanese rice balls are known as onigiri. Onigiris are rice triangles or balls native to Japan. Although sushi rice has been seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, it tastes far superior to plain rice used to produce onigiri. White rice makes cylindrical or triangular Japanese dishes frequently wrapped with nori.

Onigiri is sometimes mistaken for sushi by uninformed people, but it is not. In contrast to sushi, which is produced using seasoned rice (vinegar, salt, and sugar), onigiri begins with plain rice. There is a significant distinction between the two dishes.

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Do we need to use Japanese glutinous rice (sweet rice)?

It is different from long-grain rice from China or Thailand. Glutinous rice is white, unlike conventional Japanese short-grain rice, which is semi-transparent.

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Do we soak azuki beans?

Traditional Japanese short-grain rice must be soaked before cooking to absorb water and become soft. But, there is no need to soak rice (sweet rice) before cooking it in a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or saucepan over the stove. In other words, sticky rice must be soaked before it can be steamed.

Given that sticky rice (azuki bean rice)easily absorbs water, soaking is not essential. Glutinous rice becomes mushy and soggy when soaked, cooked (in water), and drained in a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or pot. Before boiling sticky rice, soak it for at least two hours, ideally overnight.

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Why some recipes also add regular white rice?

You may have eaten recipes incorporating glutinous rice and typical Japanese short-grain rice.

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Are red beans and kidney bean the same?

Contrary to popular belief, red and kidney bean are two distinct varieties of beans. Red beans are smaller in size than kidney bean. Red beans are pinker than kidney bean, which have a darker hue of crimson. Red beans are also said to taste better. Small red beans are commonly used in red beans, rice, and other Creole and Cajun dishes. Because they are grown in South and Central America, they can be used in any recipe.

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Where can you buy sekihan onigiri?

You can buy different kind of onigiri with a small portions at an Asian grocery stores.

Japanese sticky rice

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Salt and black sesame seeds are added after the glutinous rice and azuki beans have been cooked until they are chewy and mushy. Red is thought to represent success and happiness. It is a customary meal served throughout many joyous and festive events. During the New Year's Eve feast, sekihan, a type of Japanese rice prepared from glutinous rice and azuki beans, is one of the delicious dishes.

So that everyone may unwind and rejoice without having to prepare on New Year's Day, certain dishes are generally spiced and seasoned well in advance of that day. This wonderful treat is typically provided in Japan on special occasions, including birthdays, weddings, the birth of a child, and local festivals. Celebrate your day by making your sekihan onigiri with our Onigiri Experience Set. This set will help you discover the skills you have that you didn't know. This set includes rice mold, furikake seasoning, seaweed wrap, filling, condiment, and instant rice.

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When celebrating anything, Japanese people commonly prepare sticky rice (Mochigome), known as Sekihan. According to legend, in ancient Japan, red rice was traditionally dedicated to the gods, who then gave the people cooked rice. Sekihan has recently gained popularity as a healthier alternative to ordinary white rice.

Japan Crate offers free shipping worldwide, so visit our website now. Add your Bento Experience Set to the cart now and start cooking and making your onigiri at home. This will not only let you learn how to make onigiri, but it will be a memorable bond to cherish with your companions.



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