Azuki beans (in the US often spelled “adzuki”) are the stars of Japanese traditional confectionery, used as in sweet bean paste or sauce. Or we have “Sekihan”, steamed sweet rice and azuki beans. Sekihan is served mainly on celebretory occasions. When we are so excited with great news, we shout, “We should celebrate with sekihan!”
These days, it seems that the health benefit of azuki is getting more attentions in Japan. Azuki is known to be super rich in polyphenol, fiber, and saponin, among other good things. And people started using azuki more on non-dessert recipes in Japan.
I have an upcoming in-home cooking class at a client’s home next week and was asked to include an azuki recipe. What a great timing to introduce the power of Azuki!
This is Azuki bean rice, not quite the same as Sekihan. Used to be a substitute for white rice, when people couldn’t afford white rice (my mother says it reminds her of the war time), but nowadays it’s considered a healthier choice for everyday rice options. And Azuki rice works with brown rice too!
Azuki rice recipe is here.