The Okinawan version of beans and rice is called aka kashichi. This nutty, subtle dish—deceptively simple and surprisingly good—is a common ancestor offering at Okinawans’ twice-monthly visits to the cemetery. Glutinous rice, which is used to make mochi, was traditionally used only for special occasions. Even though this has been historically a celebratory dish, it is today also commonly eaten during lunch or dinner.
1 cup sweet rice (glutinous rice)
11⁄2 cups water, plus more for soaking rice and beans
1 tablespoon dried kidney beans, soaked for 4 hours
1 tablespoon dried black beans, soaked for 4 hours
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes.
Boil soaked beans for 1 hour until tender, drain and rinse.
If using canned, skip this step but drain and rinse beans.
If cooking with a rice cooker, add sweet rice and beans to rice cooker with water and salt.
Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
If cooking on the stovetop, add rice and beans to a medium pot.
Bring to a boil uncovered and then immediately reduce to a low simmer.
Cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes.
Fluff rice with a fork before serving to separate grains.
Add sesame seeds and salt. Serve hot.
The Blue Zones Kitchen fuses scientific reporting, National Geographic photography and 100 recipes that may help you live to 100. The Blue Zones’ food tradition is going the way of the dodo bird, thanks to the encroachment of the American Food Culture.Learn More