Ohagi is a traditional Japanese sweet dish – rice balls covered in bean jam. An excellent addition to a bento box.


Wash the rice thoroughly to remove the bran. If you don’t know about preparing rice, trust me – you do not want bran in your ohagi! Put the rice aside to drain. Then cook the rice halfway before finishing by steaming it.

Now take the azuki beans and wash them well. Put them into a pan with 2 or 3 cups of water and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes. Then drain them.

Add fresh water with about a cup of water. Simmer for 40-50 minutes, until the water has almost completely gone. Then add a cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix it all in and simmer for another 10 minutes. You should now have bean jam!

Mash the rice with a wooden pestle – you’re not making mashed potatoes here people! Don’t destroy the rice – just mash the two kinds together. Wet your hands, take some rice and roll it into a ball. If it doesn’t work – the rice should stick together – mash it a little longer.

Cover the rice balls in the soybean flour or the bean jam.

Makes 20 ohagi balls.

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