Category: rice

Rosé Rabokki

Rosé Rabokki

If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine like I am, you’re probably familiar with tteokbokki, the hugely popular street food featuring chewy rice cakes in a spicy, savory sauce. But have you ever tried rosé tteokbokki? This delightful twist combines the classic flavors of tteokbokki read more



In the realm of Japanese cuisine, few dishes evoke the same sense of warmth and nostalgia as Oyakodon. Even its name, where the literal translation is parent and child rice bowl, conjures comfort. The parent and child actually refers to the juicy morsels of chicken read more

8 Treasure Rice

8 Treasure Rice

Lunar New Year starts on February 10th this year. It is a 2 week celebration that is one of the most (raucously!) celebrated holidays of the year for the more than 1.5 billion people worldwide that celebrate. Think fireworks, parades, elaborate decorations, gifts, new festive outfits, and of course special foods. Dishes that symbolize luck and prosperity, long life, and family are especially popular. This 8 Treasure Rice is another classic Lunar New Year dish. Not to be confused with the dessert rice dish of the same name, this is super savory and packed with luxurious ingredients fit for a royal celebration. Juicy chicken thighs, scallops, dried shrimp, and shiitakes mingle with other goodies like roasted chestnuts, lotus root and crispy shallots. The eight treasures get quickly stir fried and then mixed into perfectly steamed rice. This is a feast for the senses, so let’s get into it!

ingredients for 8 treasure rice

Dried ingredients are usually more intense than fresh. Sun dried tomatoes, dried porcinis, dried herbs…they all lend a deeper flavor than their fresh counterparts. I make use of that in my 8 Treasure Rice with dried scallops, shrimp, and shiitakes. So I start this recipe by soaking them. (The rich soaking liquid will be used later on.)


Make sure to remember to save the soaking water!

Then I get the rice started so that it’s piping hot when everything else is ready. (If you need a refresher on making perfect rice, start here.) Traditionally, this dish is made with sticky rice and then wrapped in Ti leaves and steamed. This is a simpler version but if you feel inclined to soak and steam some sticky rice, that is a great option.

Once the rice is begun, I get everything prepped. I peel and dice the lotus root. It also gets soaked in water right until I start cooking because otherwise, like a potato, it will discolor.

sliced lotus 8 treasure

carrot diced rice

chicken 8 treasure rice

When everything is prepped I gather it all within reach; it will be quickly stir fried. Closeup shot of all 8 of our treasures:

I also have the sauce ingredients at the ready as the sauce gets made directly in the pan while cooking.

chicken onions 8 treasure rice

soy sauce rice

shrimp treasure

Taste and add more salt or white pepper as needed. Now the only thing left do is to transfer the 8 Treasure Rice to a serving platter and garnish with the minced scallions.

If you want to round out your Lunar New Year meal try serving 8 Treasure Rice with Shanghai Bok Choy and Almond Cookies. Hopefully this becomes part of your family’s treasured traditions too. Let me know in the comments what you think, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!


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recipe closeup 8 treasure rice

8 Treasure Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: appetizer
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh, diced small
  • ½ large onion, diced small
  • 1 small carrot, diced small
  • lotus root, peeled, diced small, and soaking in water to prevent discoloration
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 dried scallops
  • 3 Tablespoons dried shrimp
  • ¼ cup cooked shelled edamame soy beans
  • ½ cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, about 8 pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons crispy shallots
  • 2 Scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 4 Cups freshly cooked rice


  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • A couple dashes Ground White Pepper


  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and dried scallops in 2 cups of warm water for 20-30 minutes in a medium bowl (put something like a small dish on top of the ingredients to keep them submerged). Pour the soaking liquid into a separate container and save (You need 1 cup. If you don’t have enough soaking liquid, add a little water so you have 1 cup). Set the ingredients aside.
  2. If you haven’t started making the rice yet, start it now. You want to use freshly steamed rice that is piping hot for this dish. 
  3. Trim and discard the shiitake stem. Slice the mushrooms thinly and set aside.
  4. Drain the lotus root just before starting to cook.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the oil and chicken.
  6. Let the chicken cook for 1 minute untouched and then break it up and stir fry for another minute. 
  7. Add the onions and carrots and continue stir frying for another minute. Add the drained lotus root and shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for another couple minutes.
  8. Add the sauce ingredients to the pan: Oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and 1 cup of the reserved soaking liquid. 
  9. Bring the pan to a  simmer and add the dried shrimp and the scallops. Stir the ingredients together. 
  10. Add a couple dashes of the white pepper, stir, and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 4-6 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
  11. Turn off the heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.
  12. Once the rice is ready, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the saucy ingredients, edamame, and chestnuts and gently combine the ingredients together using a slight chopping motion to prevent the rice from being crushed.
  13. Add the sesame oil and crispy shallots and mix again.
  14. Taste and adjust seasonings with a little salt and ground pepper as needed.
  15. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the minced scallions.
  16. Serve immediately.


*This dish is delicious hot, warm, or room temperature.

*Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Gently microwave for several  minutes before serving.

*You can substitute any of the ingredients if they are difficult to source or you don’t want to bother. The idea is to keep the ingredients special. So you can use fresh shrimp and scallops instead of the dried, adding them in right after the sauce ingrdients. Use other vegetables such as diced snap/snow peas, wild mushrooms, or zucchini. And if you’re vegetarian, use tofu or a meat substitute for the protein along with a vegetarian oyster sauce or hoisin sauce instead of regular oyster sauce.

Keywords: lunar new year, chinese new year, 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