Celebrate even the smallest of victories with this red-bean rice shortcut.

Azuki beans feature in a number of Japanese sweet treats, but they can also be eaten with rice. Called sekihan in Japanese, red bean rice is eaten at New Year or other celebratory occasions, like a new baby in the family or a special birthday.

But unfortunately azuki beans take an annoyingly long time to prepare, as they need to be boiled a lot before you can eat them. So we wondered if there was a shortcut: could we use Azuki ice-cream bars to make azuki rice?

We saw a recipe on social media and immediately wanted to test it out. It called for just rice and Azuki Bars, but we decided to add some glutenous rice into the mix to make it more authentic.

▼ We were nervous. Would the finished result taste too sweet?


  • Rice (one cup or 175 grams)
  • Azuki bars (two)
  • Glutenous rice (half a cup or 90 grams, optional)

Azuki Bars are famously pretty tough, so when you’re breaking them up, we recommend using a kitchen knife as opposed to your bare hands.

Add some water and you’re ready to go! We have to say though, just looking at the “before” image is not giving us much confidence that this will work….

One hour later, we opened the lid of the rice cooker, our hearts pounding with excitement. What we were met with was the tantalising scent of red bean rice — it smelled just like the real thing!

To balance out the sweetness, use a generous helping of salt and sesame seeds for your rice topping and there you have it. Azuki Bar Red Bean Rice!

Something to bear in mind if you want to make your own Azuki Bar Rice is to reduce the amount of water you put in your rice cooker. Normally it’s recommended to use one cup of water for every cup of rice, but you definitely don’t need that much as the Azuki Bar already has a lot of water in it. Half a cup of water per cup of rice should be enough!

If you’re looking for a simple recipe that’s easy enough to make even celebrating mundane victories worthwhile, or just want an easier way to enjoy red bean rice, then pick up a couple of Azuki Bars and you’re good to go!

Who knows, maybe there are other unusual yet delicious ice cream combinations just waiting for us to try it out! After all, ice cream goes unexpectedly well with natto.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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