Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sweet Brown Rice with Adzuki Beans

Sweet Brown Rice with Adzuki Beans

Sweet Brown Rice, also known as brown glutinous rice or brown sweet rice is a short grain rice that is very sticky when cooked because of its high glutinous content. This rice is popular among Asians in savory and dessert dishes. Sweet brown rice can be purchased from Whole Foods Market or from a health food store.

Here I have cooked up my own version of a Japanese sweet rice with adzuki beans. Dried adzuki beans (also labeled as azuki beans or aduki beans) are best purchased from an Asian food market where it is reasonably priced. Adzuki beans are low in calories and high in soluble fiber. These beans are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc and also rich in B vitamins. According to Dr. Oz, red beans contains the highest antioxidant of all foods. Traditionally, this dish is cooked with regular sweet rice. The recipe have been modified to be cooked with sweet brown rice. This is a very simple rice dish that is very nutritious and delicious. I can eat this all on its own. You can enjoy this dish as a side dish or eaten all on its own.

1/2 cup dried adzuki beans (3.5 ounces)
4 cups water (32 ounces)
One 3-inch by 2-inch size piece of kombu (0.1 ounce) (Optional)
2 cups sweet brown rice, washed and drained (13.4 ounces)
Cooking liquid from the drained adzuki beans and additional water to measure 3 cups
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash beans well and place in a small pot. Add the 4 cups water and place the kombu, if using, in the pot. Bring beans to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes. I forgot how long I acutally cooked the beans so I recommend checking at 1 hour, 15 minutes and taste one. If the bean is still too firm, let it cook longer. You don't want the beans too soft either. Make sure you cook it on medium-low heat where there is very little bubbling activity in the pot (about 1 or 2 bubbling action at a time). If you cook the beans at too high of a temperature, the beans will not stay whole and the outer skins will burst open.

When the beans have cooked, drained the beans, RESERVING  the cooking liquid. Plunge the beans in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain the beans and set aside. With the reserved cooking liquid, add enough cold water to measure 3 cups of liquid. Set aside.

Place rice in a medium-size pot and add the 3 cups reserved cooking liquid/water and salt. Bring rice to a boil. Give the rice a good stir, cover pot and reduce the temperature between medium-low heat and low heat. Let the rice cook for 45 minutes, undisturbed.

When rice is cooked, gently fluff the rice using chopsticks or a fork. Rice may be a bit wet, but that's okay. Add the reserved cooked adzuki beans and gently stir the beans and rice until combined. Cover pot with the lid and let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Now the rice is ready to serve. Place rice in a seving bowl. Sprinkle the top with some roasted black and/or white sesame seeds and tear up some roasted seaweeds. So delicious!!!

Yield 2 to 4 servings

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