Rice is very important to Korean cuisine. It’s the center of pretty much every meal and in fact the Korean word for “cooked rice” (bap: 밥) can also mean “meal.” Most of the time we Koreans eat white rice, or multigrain rice, but on special occasions we prepare rice mixed with red beans, called patbap.

Patbap tastes a little sweet, salty, and nutty and has a wonderful texture. It’s also a lovely reddish-purple color, which is one reason it’s prepared for special occasions like birthdays (and especially children’s birthdays): the red color is known to ward off evil spirits in traditional Korean culture.

This special occasion rice needs time to prepare, which is one reason Koreans don’t have it often. Red beans are very hard so you need to spend some time boiling them to make them soft. I use short grain rice in this recipe but you could also make it with chapssal (sweet rice) which will be really chewy like rice cake.

Once they learn individual recipes, my readers and viewers often ask me how they’re used together to make a typical Korean meal. So in this video I show you how to make a nice meal using Korean banchan (side dishes) and mitbanchan (preserved side dishes), including kimchi, kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi)wanja-jeon (meat patties), sukju-oi-namul (a mung bean sprout and cucumber side dish), and doenjang-jjigae (fermented bean paste stew).

Ingredients (4 servings)


Prepare the beans

  1. Rinse the beans in cold water and strain. Put in a heavy pot with 4 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes over medium high heat. Then turn down the heat and cook for 50 minutes.
  2. Strain the beans and reserve the red bean water to make rice with later. Let the water cool down thoroughly.

Prepare the rice

  1. Put the rice into a heavy bottomed pot. Rinse in cold water and drain, then scrub the wet rice with your hand.
  2. Rinse and drain a couple of times until the drained water is clear, then drain out the last of the water by tilting the pot as much as you can.
  3. Add the cooled down red bean water. We need 2½ cups so if you don’t have enough make up the difference with clear water. Add the cooked red beans and salt. Let it soak for 30 minutes.

Make patbap

  1. Boil for 10 minutes over medium high heat.
  2. Open the lid and mix it up from top to bottom so everything is cooked evenly. Cover, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.


Remove from the heat and fluff up the rice with a rice scoop or spoon. Keep it covered until you serve. Serve with side dishes.

Doenjang-jjigae (fermented bean paste stew: 된장찌개)

Mung bean sprout side dish (Sukju-namul: 숙주나물)

Pan-fried meatball pancakes (wanjajeon: 완자전)

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  1. Luckyseito13 Orlando, Fl joined 9/17 & has 4 comments

    Hello Maangchi!! I am always excited to read your blog. I have a small question. I recently have purchased a rice cooker, and I am trying to get more familiar with using it. My husband is from South America (Ecuador) and we eat rice daily, which is why I purchased the rice cooker. Can Patbap be made in a rice cooker? How do the steps change?? Is there any possibility of you doing some recipes for rice cooker users? I would fall over with joy!! You are the best. Thank you in advance for your reply. God bless!

  2. VeganLegation Europe joined 6/17 & has 17 comments

    Thank you very much for the recipe Maangchi! We love Patbap/Sekihan!

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  3. alicia930926 Australia joined 4/17 & has 1 comment

    I usually do it the easier way. All I did was presoaking the red adzuki beans for at least 1/2 a day or overnight then cook them together with white rice/ brown rice in a rice cooker.

    This way the adzuki beans will be soft enough as it cooks along with the rice .

    Cheers! :)

  4. Jennifer joined 9/08 & has 20 comments

    I have been eating this rice every day! But but I use brown rice and I eat with with radish and cucumber kimchi

  5. Iwantfood Sydney, Australia joined 4/17 & has 1 comment

    Hi there! My son made your potatoes the other night and they wer soooo good! Going to make the patbat tonight. Can you tell me when to add the beans please?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      I’m sorry about not mentioning when to add the cooked red beans in the written recipe. Thank you for asking me about it. I added it just now. As you see it in the video, you will have to add the beans after adding 2 1/2 cup red bean water. You probably has already figured out and made nice patbap, yeah? I hope so! : )

  6. sansan joined 5/15 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi – what size is your le creuset pot to make the rice? Thanks :)

  7. Rameses69 Modesto, CA joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi. I have been following your videos for several years and I appreciate the way you explain ingredients and processes, making it easy for anyone to enjoy Korean cuisine. Today I made Patbap and the flavor is incredible. To add something spicy, I also made tteokbokki and the two dishes go very well together. I made the tteokbokki with only 1/2 pound rice cake and increased the fish cake to 1 pound and used 6 hard boiled eggs. I made the changes to cut back on the starch and increase the protein. Since I’m comfortable with the basic ingredients, I’m starting to experiment more. A few weeks ago, I was watching the Korean Drama Series, ‘Dae Jang Geum’ and realized something had been missing from all the Korean dishes I prepared – eating utensils. A search on Amazon and eBay showed me a large variety of Korean chopsticks and spoon sets. Never gave much thought to chopsticks but discovered Japanese, Chinese and Korean chopsticks are very different. I ordered several Korean sets, from the basic plain metal to the fancy stainless steel with turtle pattern, crane pattern, ginseng pattern, and the gold plated titanium. The sets were ordered from vendors in Seoul so now I can eat authentic Korean dishes with authentic Korean utensils which makes dining even more enjoyable. Thank you for sharing your love of food. Paul

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  8. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16 & has 40 comments

    Gosh this is so beautiful with all the side dishes. Today I bought some azuki beans and will make the Patbap tomorrow. Sounds so delicious. I’m anxious to see the difference in taste of azuki beans and American red kidney beans. yum.

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