Kid-friendly Steamed Sesame Rice Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Steamed Sesame Rice

Recipe: Steamed Sesame Rice

Steamed Sesame Rice

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by WhiteYura/
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
5 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Steamed Sesame Rice

Want to transform plain rice into a subtly nutty, fragrant bed for your favorite dishes? If so, this is the recipe for you. Fluffy rice, delicately flavored sesame rice with an unexpected crunch!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • boil :

    to cook a food in liquid heated to the point of gas bubbles and steam forming (boiling point is 212 F at sea level).

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

Equipment Checklist

  • Small pot + matching lid
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Fork
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon


Steamed Sesame Rice

  • 2 C instant white rice
  • 2 C water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds **(for SESAME ALLERGY sub dried onion flakes)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Steamed Sesame Rice

  • Sesame: Substitute dried onion flakes for sesame seeds.


Steamed Sesame Rice

measure + boil + stir

Measure and combine 2 cups instant rice and 2 cups water in a small pot over medium heat and cover with a lid. The lid is important to create steam within the pot. Steam will give the rice a fluffy texture. Boil for roughly 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and small holes appear at the surface of the rice. Season with 1 pinch of salt. Stir gently with a fork, cover, and reserve for later. Practice some Japanese counting while you stir: 1 ichi (ee-chee), 2 ni (nee), 3 san (sahn), 4 shi (shee), 5 go (goh).

season + serve

Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds, stir gently with a wooden spoon, and the rice is ready to be served! Make sure to put a big scoop of Crispy Japanese Eggplant "Katsu" Curry over the top!

Surprise Ingredient: Sesame!

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Photo by Sea Wave/

Hi! I'm Sesame!

"I can be a seed or an oil pressed out of a sesame seed. Sesame oil is used in Asian cooking, but it is a healthy oil you can also use to dress and cook other foods. You can find sesame seeds in Asian dishes, like Bibimbap, in salads, on the tops of hamburger buns, in chips, crackers, and even cakes!"

  • Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the oldest oilseed crops in the world. Many species of sesame grew wild in Africa. The sesame plant was domesticated about 5,500 years ago in the Indian subcontinent. 
  • The ancient Egyptians may have grown sesame as early as 1600 BCE or as late as 30 BCE.
  • Ancient Romans cooked with sesame seeds and made a spread of ground sesame seeds and cumin.
  • In India, sesame seeds symbolize immortality and are used in sacred rituals. During funerals, Indians offer vases of sesame to help the dead pass to the afterlife. Indians also burn sesame oil in votive offerings because they consider it sacred.
  • The word "sesame" comes from late Middle English, from the Latin "sesamum" and Greek "σήσαμον: sēsamon," from an ancient Semitic language, like Akkadian, "šamaššamu."
  • Sudan produces the most sesame seeds worldwide, followed by Myanmar, Tanzania, and India. Japan imports the most sesame. They primarily use the oil from the seeds in their cooking. 
  • Sesame is a hardy crop. It can survive a drought, high heat, and heavy rain.
  • Sesame seeds can be white, tan, brown, red, or black. We generally see white and black sesame seeds. White seeds are mild, while black seeds taste more intense and visually striking. 
  • Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is added to dressings or sauces and can be added to spreads, such as hummus and baba ghanoush.
  • You can make your sesame milk by soaking sesame seeds in water overnight and blending until smooth. Strain with a cheesecloth before serving.
  • Sesame seeds are a rich source of natural antioxidants, protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. They benefit your immune system and contribute to healthy blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Sesame seeds can trigger allergic reactions. If you have a sesame allergy, food, cosmetic, and skin-care product labels should be carefully checked for sesame. Cross-reaction with nut allergies is also possible.

Let's Learn About Japan!

Photo by yamasan0708/
  • Japan is an East Asian island country with more than 6,800 islands! However, there are five main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu (called "Hondo" or "mainland"), Kyushu, Okinawa, and Shikoku. 
  • The country is governed by a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with an emperor, a prime minister, and a legislature. 
  • Japanese is the official language, with English becoming more widespread in business and education. 
  • Japan lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," contributing to its island geography. There are more than 111 active volcanoes, and Japan has the most earthquakes every year. Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain and volcano in Japan at 12,389.2 feet. 
  • Tokyo is Japan's capital and largest city. Japan's total area is 145,937 square miles, and its population is over 125.5 million. 
  • The Japanese word for Japan is "Nihon" or "Nippon." The Japanese or "kanji" characters used for its name mean "origin of the sun." This is the source of Japan's nickname, "Land of the Rising Sun." The red circle in the center of the Japanese flag represents the rising sun, or "circle of the sun." 
  • "Kanji" is a Japanese writing system that uses characters derived from Chinese writing. Each character represents a word or words. 
  • Ancient warriors of Japan were known as Samurai and were highly skilled swordsmen and fighters. 
  • Japan's national flower is the cherry blossom. The symbolism of the cherry blossom is abundant in Japan. The cherry blossom tree is also known as the Japanese cherry or "Sakura" (which means "cherry blossoms").
  • Haiku poetry originated in Japan. Haiku consists of just three lines, with the first line being 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the 3rd line 5 syllables. 
  • Shigeichi Negishi, a Japanese engineer, created the first karaoke-like machine in 1967, using 8-track tapes and booklets for the lyrics. However, he was not successful in distributing his "Sparko Box" machines. 
  • Then, in the early 1970s, a Japanese musician, Daisuke Inoue, marketed tape machines, taped music, and amplifiers to bars to accompany regular people who wanted to get up on stage and sing, and his karaoke business model took off. 
  • Japan produces the most robotics globally. The ASIMO is a human-like robot created by Japanese engineers of Honda Motor Company in 2000. The acronym stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.
  • Sumo wrestling is Japan's national sport, and like sumo, other martial arts originated in Japan, including karate, judo, kendo, jujutsu, and aikido. Western sports such as baseball, basketball, and soccer are also popular.
  • Since the 8th century, Coming of Age Day has been a holiday to celebrate a young person reaching the age of maturity—20 years old in Japan. Their special day serves to encourage them as they realize their adulthood. 
  • The Japanese tea ceremony is considered a traditional art in Japan, and some practice it as a hobby to share with family and friends. Tea was brought to Japan from China in the 9th century by a Buddhist monk. It is said that the ritual of drinking green tea began as a way for the monks to keep awake during meditation.
  • Japan has about four million vending machines, the highest per capita worldwide. The machines sell everything from hotdogs to underwear and soup to umbrellas!
  • In addition to sushi, other Japanese dishes include "soba" (thin buckwheat noodles), "teriyaki" (broiled or grilled seafood or meat with a soy sauce glaze), "tempura" (battered and deep-fried seafood, meat, and veggies), and yakitori (skewered grilled chicken). 
  • Many kids and adults enjoy bento boxes, which are lunch boxes filled with sushi and other snacks. Bento boxes are an experience with texture, shapes, and flavors!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Japan?

  • Most school children in Japan wear uniforms, and their school breaks are shorter than in other countries. 
  • Kids have to learn 1,026 basic kanji characters by the time they finish sixth grade.
  • Parents and schools teach kids to respect their elders, teachers, and each other.
  • Primary school kids eat lunch together in their classrooms. A few students are assigned to get the lunches, serve them to their classmates, and return the dirty dishes to the school kitchen. Every student prepares themselves for lunch by cleaning their desks and washing their hands. In some schools they even put on a lunch uniform—a white garment and hat—to protect their clothes.
  • Some of the sports and martial arts kids participate in are baseball, soccer, swimming, judo, kendo, and karate.
  • School lunch may consist of rice or noodles, soup, fish or meat, fruit, salad, a cup of tea, and always a bottle or carton of milk.  
  • Two popular sweet treats kids in Japan like are "mochi," a molded cake made of rice, sugar, cornstarch, and water, sometimes with a sweet red bean filling, and "Pocky," a brand of chocolate-coated biscuit sticks.

Lettuce Joke Around

Did you hear the tall tale about rice? 

There wasn’t a grain of truth behind it!

The Yolk's On You

Why wouldn’t the sesame seed end the game? 

Because he was on a roll!

THYME for a Laugh

What did one rice say to the other rice? 

"I hope I see you a-grain!"

The Yolk's On You

What did the sesame oil say while sitting in front of a campfire? 

I’m getting toasty!

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