Sekihan (Red Bean Sticky Rice)

Servings: 4

1⁄2 cup adzuki beans (small red beans)
3 cups sweet glutinous rice, well rinsed, soaked for 1/2 to 1 hour, drained (mochi gome Regular rice isn’t sticky enough)
3 1⁄2 cups water
1 tablespoon black dry-roasted sesame seeds
shiso or watercress, if desired (to garnish)

In a medium saucepan, combine beans and water; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; simmer 45 minutes to one hour or until beans are soft but not completely cooked.
Cool to room temperature.
Drain beans, reserving the liquid.
Mix the beans, drained rice and water with 3 tablespoons of the bean’s cooking liquid.
Cook in rice steamer in the usual manner.
Spread the cooked beans and rice into a decorative shallow dish or lacquer tray.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, garnish and serve.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook this in a pot on the stove as you would regular rice.
Just use the proportion of water to rice given here, not the usual Western 2 parts water to one part rice.
The rice has already been soaked, so it needs less water to cook.

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