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SEKIHAN (Japanese Sweet Rice)
Makes about 6 servings

1/2 cup azuki (small red beans)
about 3 1/2 cups water
3 cups sweet glutinous rice (mochi gome), well rinsed, soaked for 1/2-1
hour, drained
3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon black dry-roasted sesame seeds
Shiso or watercress leaf for garnish, if desired

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 is 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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