Sekiban (red-cooked festival rice)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Adzuki beans
1 pounds Japanese sweet rice
1 teaspoon Black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Soy sauce

A day before you plan to serve, place the beans in a colander or sieve & wash them under cold running water. Then transfer them to a 2 qt pan, cover with 4 cups of cold water & bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to its lowest point & simmer the beans uncovered for 45 minutes, until they are tender but still intact.

Drain the beans through a large sieve or colander set over a large mixing bowl. Reserve the liquid & cover the beans with cold water in another bowl. Cool to room temperature. Stirring with a large spoon, wash the rice in a large colander under cold running water until the draining water runs clear. Drain thoroughly & add the rice to the reserved bean liquid. Soak for 8 hours or overnight, covered, in the refrigerator. Drain the rice, discard the soaking liquid & combine the rice and 1 c beans in a bowl. Steam the rice & beans in an Oriental steamer, or put them in a colander & set the colander in a large pot filled with 1½" water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, cover the pan tightly, & steam for 40 minutes, replenishing the water in the pot if it boils away. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over high heat until a drop of water flicked across its surface evaporates instantly. Add the sesame seeds &, shaking the pan gently, cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the seeds are lightly toasted.

Transfer the seeds to a small bowl and toss with 1 ts salt & ¼ ts soy sauce. Transfer the steamed rice & beans to a large serving bowl or individual bowls. Serve hot or at room temperature as a sweet course with kuri fukume-ni. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving.

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