Let’s cook the azuki beans. Rinse the azuki in a bowl of water thoroughly. Drain with a mesh strainer.
Measure out 500~600ml (2.1~2.5 cups) of water and add the washed azuki beans. Turn on the burner and bring it to a boil on medium heat.
When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the beans to avoid breaking the bean skins. Cover with a lid and cook the azuki for 25 to 30 minutes until the beans soften.
Uncover and remove the foam with a mesh strainer.
Take out one bean using a slotted spoon and press it with your fingers to see if it’s soft enough.
Turn off the burner and strain the azuki in a mesh strainer.
Place the strainer onto a plate and cool the azuki broth in a bowl.
Let’s prepare the sweet rice. To save time, lightly rinse the sweet rice in a bowl of water and drain with a mesh strainer.
Gently rinse the rice under running water. Be careful not to split the rice grains.
Drain the rice thoroughly with the strainer and place the sweet rice into a pot.
Measure the azuki broth with a measuring cup. The broth should be equal in volume to the sweet rice so add the extra water to compensate. Dissolve the salt in the broth completely with a spatula.
Pour the broth over the rice while distributing it evenly with the spatula.
Place the azuki beans onto the rice and distribute evenly.
Cover with a lid and turn on the burner to medium heat. Make sure to spend about 5 minutes to slowly bring it to a boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes. Do not remove the lid while cooking.
If the heat is too strong, it will smell like burning. In that case, quickly reduce the heat to the lowest possible level and continue to cook for at least 10 minutes.
Turn off the burner. Chef strongly recommends to let it sit for 10 minutes before opening. The remaining heat will cook the rice completely during this steaming process.
Remove the lid and let’s serve the sekihan. Wet a rice paddle with water and lightly mix the sekihan by turning it over, allowing the excess moisture to evaporate.
Place the sekihan into a rice bowl and sprinkle on the black sesame seed and salt to taste.
The ratio between the rice and the azuki broth depends on the type of pot you use. If you use a rice cooker, follow the instructions for the product.
Sweet rice tends to burn easily compared to regular rice so make sure to follow the cooking time.