Sekihan – Japanese Adzuki Bean Rice Recipe

Sekihan is a classic Japanese dish made from glutinous rice grains and red adzuki beans. The rice has a sticky texture, while the beans are light and fluffy. Let me show you how to make this beautiful red rice dish!

Sekihan(Japanese azuki bean rice) in a rice bowl.

In Japan, we often enjoy a bowl of sekihan when we want to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and holidays.

But since I love this rice’s chewy and fluffy texture, I often cook it on an ordinary day.

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese rice.
  • You want to cook Japanese sekihan.
  • You are looking for an easy sekihan recipe.

I will show you how to cook it in a pressure cooker as it’s easy and quick!

All right, I will show you how to make it. To check the recipe, please click below to jump to the recipe card. Let’s get cooking!

About This Recipe

  • Japanese traditional recipe
  • Ingredients are sticky rice grains and adzuki beans
  • Use a pressure cooker instead of a rice cooker
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Simple and easy recipe

What is Sekihan?

sekihan in a pressure cooker.

Yes, that makes sense! Sekihan is a traditional Japanese red bean rice made from glutinous rice and red beans called adzuki beans. The dish gets its name from the Japanese words “seki,” meaning red, and “han,” meaning rice.

It’s a traditional dish, and we often cook it when celebrating happy occasions with the family.

It is said that the power to ward off bad luck and evil spirits has resided within red food items since ancient times. Therefore Japanese people often enjoy this honorable red rice during celebratory occasions of all kinds, such as Japanese New Year’s day, Children’s Day, birthdays, etc.

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

Sticky rice and azuki beans.
  • Glutinous rice: Also called sticky rice or sweet rice. It’s different from Japanese short-grain rice (or sushi rice) as they have different types of starch. It’s commonly used to make mochi (rice cake), okowa (steamed rice), and sekihan.
  • Adzuki beans: Adzuki beans bring beautiful red color to this sekihan. They’re rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B, polyphenols, and minerals. Dried beans require soaking beforehand, but with adzuki beans, it is not necessary. Anko, often used in Japanese sweets, is made from them.

Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients

If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.

  • Japanese market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health food stores
  • Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon

A Pressure Cooker

Let me introduce my favorite pressure cooker.

a pressure cooker.

I use this 2.5 L zero-pressure cooker, the smallest size in this series. It’s light enough to hold with one hand, which makes it very handy. It is large enough for families with small children and great for cooking brown rice and beans.

It comes with two weights: red for high pressure and white for low pressure. You just put the weight on the lid, and no need to change the setting like a dial-type cooker.

When pressure is reached, the weight jiggles and makes a whooshing sound. So even pressure cooker beginners can easily understand the timing of lowering the heat. I like it because it’s pretty easy to use.

So if you live in Japan and planning to buy a pressure cooker, I highly recommend this zero-pressure cooker.

🔪Instructions

Well, now it’s time to cook! Let me show you the steps (The detailed instructions are in the recipe card). You can also watch this video.

How to Cook Sekihan (Japanese adzuki bean rice) in pressure cooker.
  1. Wash rice (Rinse rice and soak with plenty of water at room temperature)
  2. Adzuki beans (Cook over high heat until pressure is reached)
  3. Lower the heat (Cook for 3 minutes over low heat)
  4. Add rice (Cook over high heat until pressure is reached)
  5. Lower the heat (Cook for 3 minutes over low heat)
  6. Steam for 10 minutes and stir gently
Sekihan(Japanese azuki bean rice) in a rice bowl.

I hope you will love this fluffy, beautiful red rice! If desired, top it with a sprinkling of gomashio (black sesame seeds) to make it even more delicious and flavorful!

Storage

Sekihan onigiri.

I recommend wrapping one serving of rice with cling film and storing them in the freezer, which will last you for a month!

I usually make sekihan onigiri (rice balls) and put them in the freezer as our kids love onigiri. By the way, this recipe makes eight small onigiris.

Thanks For Stopping By

holding a sekian onigiri rice ball.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ If you’ve tried this recipe(or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.

More Rice Recipes You Might Like

sekihan in a bowl

Sekihan – Japanese Adzuki Bean Rice Recipe

5 from 2 votes
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Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Juri Austin
Sekihan is a classic Japanese dish made from glutinous rice grains and red adzuki beans. The rice has a sticky texture, while the beans are light and fluffy. Let me show you how to make this beautiful red rice dish!
 

Equipment

  • 1 Zero pressure cooker 2.5L
  • 1 Shamoji 
  • 1 Rice cup 180ml

Ingredients

  • 360 ml Glutinous rice, 280g
  • 4 Tbsp Adzuki beans, 50g
  • 360 ml Water, 2 Japanese rice cups
  • Toppings: Salt and toasted sesame seeds, optional

Instructions

  • Soak rice: Rinse rice under running water a few times quickly, soak in water for more than 30 minutes and drain.
  • Cook adzuki beans: Put adzuki beans and water (2 cups) in a pressure cooker, close the lid, and cook over high heat. When pressure is reached, lower the heat, cook for 3 minutes, and turn off the heat.
  • Cook rice: Open the lid after pressure is released, add rice, close the lid and cook over high heat. When pressure is reached, lower the heat, cook for 3 minutes, and turn off the heat.
  • Steam: Leave it for 10 minutes to steam the rice.
  • Stir: Open the lid after pressure is released, stir the rice gently. Top with salt and toasted black sesame seeds as you like.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Wrap one serving of rice with cling film and store them in the freezer, which will last you for a month.
  • Portion: This recipe will make 4 servings for adults and 6 servings for children. 1 serving for adults is 150g for children is 100g. 
  • Japanese rice cup is 180ml.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 64.7g | Protein: 3.9g | Sodium: 105.5mg
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: How to Cook Sekihan (Japanese adzuki bean rice)
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Sekihan Infographic.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Juri,
    How long would you cook this dish without the pressure cooker?
    Thank you for all your work making such a beautiful and practical website
    Veronique

    1. Hi Veronique, thanks for your comment! If you use a regular pot, add beans and water to a pot, bring to a boil on medium heat and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. Then add rice and cook for 10 minutes over low heat. I hope that helps!

  2. Hi Juri,
    I love your website, one of the best.
    I haven’t make the onigiri yet, and I wonder if you can eat them cold?
    If you freeze them, how long do they take to thaw, and can they be put on a tray and served directly once thawed?
    thank you

    1. Hi Veronique! Thanks for your comment! Yes, you can eat them cold, warm, or room temperature. I prefer eating them at room temperature though. When I eat frozen onigiri, I microwave them and it takes a couple of minutes to warm them up. And yeah, you can put them on a tray and enjoy!

      1. Thank you Juri for your prompt answer…. and I have an other question:
        What would you traditionally serve with adzuki rice or with onigiri ?

      2. Hi Veronique, traditionally we serve azuki rice or any rice with one main dish, 2 or 3 side dishes, and a soup. For example, I would serve azuki rice with miso soup, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), gomaae (sesame salad), hiyayakko (chilled tofu), and main. The main dish would be grilled fish (such as salmon, mackerel etc). I hope it helps!