Category: rice

Pork Bistek

Pork Bistek

We all have our favorite comfort foods that instantly transport us to our childhood. For me it’s definitely my Mom’s Chicken. But for my husband it would have to be this Filipino style Pork Bistek. And I would never hear the end of it if read more

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Hard to believe but summer is already winding down to a close, with lots of kids heading back to school next week. To ease you back into the daily grind, I’m sharing one of my easiest and fastest meals, Thai Chicken Fried Rice. It makes read more

Red Bean Rice

Red Bean Rice

Red Bean Rice is a special occasion dish in Japan. Graduations, new babies, weddings, holidays…Red Bean Rice makes its welcomed appearance. Savory and comforting, the rice takes on a red hue from the azuki beans that symbolizes good luck and prosperity. It’s an usual dish because azuki beans are often sweetened and used in dessert recipes, but this treats them more like the beans we are used to. This has a longer prep/cook time than recipes I usually share, but most of it is hands off time, and you are rewarded with a really versatile dish that feels super special. So let’s get into it.

red bean rice ingredients

Gomashio for Red Bean Rice

Red Bean Rice wouldn’t be complete without the toasty, crunchy topping. Gomashio is a very simple blend of sesame seeds and salt. I like to use black sesame seeds for this because it contrasts beautifully with the red rice, but if all you have on hand are white seeds those will work too. Just don’t skip the toasting part, that is essential to unleashing their deeply nutty flavor. You can do this ahead of time. It keeps well for a couple of weeks.

Red Azuki Beans

Typically in Japanese cuisine, azuki beans are reserved for pastries and other sweet applications, even ice cream. You can find them canned in a sweet syrup with the other canned fruit in the Asian grocery store. But for savory Red Bean Rice, we start with dried beans. dry azuki red beans rice

They are small, mild, and nutty. They also tend to be a really hard little bean, and benefit from an overnight soaking. Otherwise they take a significantly longer time to cook. I also think that the beans never really hydrate as well if you don’t do the soak.

In a pinch, I would try a fast soak, by bringing unsealed beans to a boil, and then turning off the heat and letting them sit in the water for an hour or so. Otherwise the pressure cooker is helpful too. Combine the unsoaked beans with a couple cups of water and cook for 15 minutes in low pressure and let it naturally release pressure.



Sticky Rice

Sticky rice, also called glutinous rice, is essential for Red Bean Rice. It has a distinctive chewy texture and mildly sweet flavor. It needs to be soaked to ensure even cooking.

Cooking Red Bean Rice

Now that the sticky rice is soaked, and the azuki beans are cooked, it’s time to put them together and finish the dish! I love to use a rice cooker for this; they have automatic settings for sticky rice, but I give instructions in the notes section for preparing in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop.

And that’s it! Your Red Bean Rice is ready for your special occasion! Even if that special occasion is binge watching Ozarks. You can either garnish the rice with the gomashio topping, or put out a bowl of it and let folks do it themselves.

This Red Bean Rice has graced so many of my family’s holiday tables, I hope it becomes a regular part of your celebrations too. Please take a second to rate and leave a comment on the recipe, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!



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recipe card red bean rice

Red Bean Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: rice
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 15.2 oz (3 rice cooker cups) sticky rice
  • 2.5 ounces dried azuki beans (about ⅓ cup)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 ½ oz bag cooked and peeled chestnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • ½ Tablespoon sea salt


  1. Sort (checking for any small pebbles or debris) and then wash the azuki beans. Soak the beans in 3 cups of water overnight.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes to bring out the flavor of the sesame. Then mix with the salt. Set aside to cool until ready to eat the rice.
  3. Wash the rice and soak it in water for at least 1 hour. Drain the rice using a sieve.
  4. Drain the soaked azuki beans and put them into a pot. Pour 3 cups of fresh water over the beans and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium low, partially cover with a lid, and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour until the beans are firm but cooked through. 
  5. Drain the beans, saving the cooking liquid separately.
  6. Add the drained rice and azuki beans to the rice cooker. Add the red soaking liquid to the level required for 3 cups of sticky rice/sweet rice. Add a little water if there is not enough red liquid. Turn the switch on.
  7. Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for 5 additional minutes. Add the chestnuts and mix gently using a spatula. 
  8. Serve with gomashio either sprinkled over the rice or in a separate container for individuals to sprinkle.


*If you soak the beans the night before, your beans will be done in 30-45 mins. You can also cook the beans in a pressure cooker. I cook them on low pressure for 15 minutes and then let it naturally release for another 15 minutes. You can prepare the beans ahead of time so they are ready to use. They last in the fridge for several days. 

*It is not necessary, although highly recommended, to soak the azuki beans. Azuki beans have very hard skins and it is difficult for them to hydrate well while cooking. If you do not soak the beans, you will need to cook the beans for about 90 mins. Check the water level and softness periodically, adding water as needed.

*You can also cook the beans in a pressure cooker. I cook them on low pressure for 15 minutes and then let it naturally release for another 15 minutes. You can prepare the beans ahead of time so they are ready to use. They last in the fridge for several days. 

*If you do not have a rice cooker, you can also steam the rice. Place the rice on two layers of cheesecloth or a steamer cloth in a steamer basket insert (Make sure to rinse the cloth first). Fill the bottom pot with plenty of water and then place the steamer basket and a lid on top. 

Bring the pot to boil on high heat and let the rice steam for 10 mins. Carefully lift the lid and gently flip the rice over so that the rice that was on the bottom is now on top, so you can evenly steam the rice. Cover the pot again and steam for an additional 10 mins. 

Check the rice. It should be translucent, shiny, and sticky. Take a little taste if you are unsure. The rice should have a nice chewy texture. If you’re not sure, you can continue to cook the rice for a little longer. 

Keywords: red bean rice, azuki beans, japanese, holiday, sides, sticky rice, rice



Tteokbokki is the latest Korean culinary import to start trending in the states. In the last week alone I saw Bon Appetit feature a Tteobokki recipe, and even Trader Joe’s rolled out a frozen version. One of the most popular street foods in Korea, Tteokbokki read more

Java Rice

Java Rice

Java Rice is a dish so beloved that two different cultures claim it as their own. While it’s named after an island in Indonesia, Java rice is also an immensely popular Filipino dish. And it couldn’t be more simple. Just leftover rice mixed with a read more

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

I love rice so much that I made it into its own category, right up there with main dishes and salads. And coconut rice is one of my favorites. It’s creamy (but vegan!), rich, with just a hint of sweetness and a welcome crunch from the coconut flakes. It smells divine, and is made with things you likely have on hand. Like a little black dress, Coconut Rice goes everywhere and with everything.

coconut rice ingredients

Coconut, Two Ways!

My recipe for Coconut Rice uses both coconut cream and unsweetened coconut flakes. Coconut cream is to coconut milk what heavy cream is to dairy milk. Same ingredients, higher fat content. You can conveniently buy canned coconut cream, or you can use a couple cans of full-fat coconut milk and spoon out the cream that rises to the top of the can. As a lighter alternative, you can use coconut milk, but the flavor will be lighter and less concentrated. Unlike some recipes that call for adding the coconut cream at the beginning, I wait until the end so the coconut flavor is more pronounced.

I start by toasting the coconut flakes. Keep a close eye as they can go from perfectly golden to burnt in seconds. Want to use up the bag of coconut all at once? Toast it all off and save some to make Palitaw-you won’t regret it! If you want more texture, you could use larger shaved coconut or even one of the crunchy coconut snacks-just break it up a little.

flakes coconut rice

Jasmine Rice

I always reach for jasmine when making Coconut Rice. Its nutty aroma pairs beautifully with the coconut flavors, and jasmine rice grains stay separate and fluffy. You can choose any long grain rice for this, but no matter what you use, be sure to rinse it! (For a full dissertation on why rinsing rice is so important, read my earlier post about making perfect rice, every time.)


rinsing coconut rice

water coconut rice

At this point I like to let the rice rest 15-30 minutes. That helps it to cook more evenly. If you are pressed for time, you can skip this step.


coconut rice boiling

At this point the rice should look shiny and be mostly cooked through. It will be al dente, meaning firm, but should not have a core. Take a taste and if it’s still too hard, add a little water and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the Coconut Cream Later

Although many recipes have you mix in the coconut milk at the beginning of the recipe, I think that is a mistake. Between the thick coconut cream and the sugar, the rice often scorches at the bottom, but is undercooked towards the top. Moreover, rice needs even moist heat to cook properly and adding the coconut cream at the beginning keeps the rice from absorbing water by coating it with an oily film. Finally, by adding the cream in later, you keep the rich flavor intact without cooking it out.

cream coconut rice

Once your rice is done, it’s always a good idea to let it sit for a few minutes, which helps it absorb any remaining moisture. Then scoop onto a platter and garnish with the scallions and toasted coconut.

coconut rice garnish

Try it as the base for your favorite grain bowl, or as a side for Chicken Adobo. There’s honestly nothing that Coconut Rice doesn’t complement. I know you’re going to love this recipe; the incredible aroma and toasty coconut will make this a family favorite. Please take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe below, we love hearing from you. And let us see your creations by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen.

coconut rice feature


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coconut rice recipe card

Coconut Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (+30 minutes soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: rice
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian


  • 2 cups jasmine or long grain white rice
  • ¾ cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • 2 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions


  1. Preheat the oven to 275. Place the coconut on a small baking sheet and spread it out so you have an even layer. Bake it for about 3-5 minutes until it is a nice golden color. 
  2. Set the coconut aside to cool.
  3. Put the rice in a bowl and rinse it a couple of times with water to remove any excess starch. Put the rice in a heavy duty saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add the water, sugar, and salt. Stir the rice to dissolve the sugar.
  4. If you have time, let the rice sit for 15-30 mins to let it start absorbing the water, which will help it cook more evenly. 
  5. Bring the pot to a simmer over medium high heat (it takes about 3 minutes), stirring once or twice with a spatula or wooden spoon, to keep the rice from scorching at the bottom. Lower the heat to medium low, stir the rice once more, cover with a lid, and cook for 12 mins.
  6. Check the rice. At this point the rice will be al dente, cooked but still firm. The rice grains should look shiny and will have lost their chalky dull look. If you’re not sure, take a fork and try a small taste. If it still has a bit of a core, add 2-3 more tablespoons of water and cook, covered, on medium low for 5 extra mins. 
  7. Then add the coconut cream, stir the rice once more, cover the pot again, lower the heat to low, and cook the rice for another 5 mins.
  8. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit covered in the pan for another 5 mins. 
  9. Scoop the rice onto a platter. Top the rice with scallions and coconut and serve. 

Keywords: coconut rice, coconut, asian sides