Japanese Language Blog

Sekihan Posted by on May 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Sekihan (赤飯) is “red bean rice.” The rice is usually steamed with azuki (アズキ) beans. The azuki (アズキ) beans are dark red. When the beans are steamed with the rice, the color leeks into the rice, forming a pinkish color on the rice. Sometimes red food coloring is added to enhance the color. On top, the sekihan (赤飯) is sprinkled with gomasio (ごま塩). Gomasio (ごま塩) is a dry mixture of goma (ごま) or seasame seeds, and shio () or salt.

Long ago, sekihan (赤飯) was served when a girl first got her period. The pink/red color of the rice is supposed to represent fertility. Nowadays, sekihan (赤飯) is served for special occasions, like birthdays, weddings, and graduations. The color red also represents happiness. Sekihan (赤飯) is usually served on happy occasions.

Sekihan (赤飯) is really easy to make. Take about three cups of glutinous rice, 1 tbsp of salt, 1/4 cup of azuki beans and three cups of water. 1/4 cup of food coloring is optional. Cook everything until the rice and beans are soft. It’ll probably take around 30 minutes. Then sprinkle the top with seasame seeds and some salt.

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