Nutty, earthy, and incredibly aromatic, black sesame chahan is a Japanese fried rice dish that is a delicious way to remake leftovers. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner!
I got inspired by this Japanese sesame seed book called “Powerful Goma (sesame seed recipes)” by Hatsue Shigenobu that I bought while I was in Japan about 5 years ago.
This Chahan recipe gives basic Japanese fried rice an extra flavourful kick with the nutty sesame oil and black sesame seeds. I’m a big fan of anything sesame so this is perfect for me!
I love how tasty it is and how the sesame seeds add a little crunch to the soft rice.
Table of contents
What Is Chahan?
Also known as Yakimeshi, chahan is a Japanese fried rice dish that has rice as the main ingredient. There are a lot of different ways to spice it up and a bunch of different ways to prepare it. The most common way is in a wok.
This is a really easy fried rice recipe for beginners!
Why You Will Love This Chahan Recipe
Adding black sesame seeds to chahan is a simple way to elevate an already amazing recipe. The tastes dance on your tastebuds – salty, savory, even a little sweet!
This is a simple way to give your leftovers new life. Your chicken won’t even taste like you reused it. There are so many different ingredients you can add to this recipe, and they all taste delicious with black sesame seeds. It’s amazing how versatile those seeds are.
This is a great dish to make for a weekly dinner because it’s super quick and easy, especially if you already have some pre-cooked leftover rice! I think fried rice always tastes better made with rice that isn’t super fresh straight from the rice cooker.
So whenever I cook rice, I make sure to cook more than I will need in that moment so I can freeze the leftovers that I can then whip out whenever I need a quick dinner or lunch. You can pack this for lunch and just heat it up when you’re ready to eat!
This chahan recipe only needs a few ingredients to make it! Most of the time I have all of these ingredients in my pantry and fridge.
Here’s what you need to make it:
- White Rice: Rice is the main ingredient and base of this incredible chahan recipe. It’s best to use pre-cooked rice that was able to set in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. If you try to use fresh rice, it will stick to the pan too much.
- Eggs: I also fried up a couple of eggs with my rice. This is a traditional way of making Japanese fried rice and I love how the scrambled eggs taste with the spices I used!
- Oil: To fry everything, I used a combination of sesame and olive oil. Sesame oil is a much healthier alternative to vegetable oils, which is why I used it to heat up all the vegetables and meat in this recipe in the pan (plus the bonus of the added flavour enhancement of the sesame oil)! Sesame oil and sesame seeds are great for your skin, hair, bones, heart, and other health and body benefits. I love that it makes the fried rice a little healthier plus tastes great at the same time!
- Bacon: I added a few slices of rindless bacon to the rice too. As opposed to the traditional bacon you’ll find at the grocery store, rindless bacon is a leaner cut. It won’t make the rice greasy, but will still give it the smoky flavors it’s known for.
- Spices: I used grinded black sesame, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and chopped green shallots to season the chahan. Only add as much salt and pepper as you need to enhance the rest of the flavors.
How To Make Chahan At Home
This is such an easy recipe to make; it is great for beginners!
First, start out by chopping the green shallots and bacon finely and then set them aside. Then, grind the sesame seeds and set them aside.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan and make the scrambled egg. After they are fully cooked, set them aside.
Heat the same frying pan, wipe off excess olive oil, and add sesame oil. Cook the bacon in this pan and then add the ground sesame seeds until you can smell them.
Next, add the rice and egg to the pan and mix and fry them all together. Pour the soy sauce over and continue to stir and turn over constantly with a spatula.
Add salt and pepper to taste!
With the soy sauce and sesame seeds, you might not think it needs any extra salt, but it does a good job of enhancing all the other flavors.
When the rice grains have all separated and mixed well with the other ingredients, add the green shallots to stir in and turn the heat off.
Serve in rice bowls or plates and garnish with more shallots. You will love all the fresh colors in the bowl. It really does taste as good as it looks!
Tips for Making Sekihan
- When we cook ordinary rice in a rice cooker, we let the rice grain absorb some water before cooking it so that when the rice is cooked it is soft. However, do not leave glutinous rice in water if you are going to use a rice cooker or a pressure cooker, because the water absorption rate of glutinous rice is higher so there ends up being not enough water to cook it or if you add water to cook, it ends up soggy.
- Traditionally, the rice is cooked by steaming, when we did not have pressure cookers. If you are going to decide to cook this dish in the traditional way, you need to soak the rice in water for 6-8 hours and if the rice is old, it needs to be soaked for longer. Then drain the soaked liquid and steam cook the rice.
- It’s important to add the salt at the right time when cooking. Do not add the salt to the Azuki Beans. The salt makes the azuki beans firm and will not be cooked properly. The salt needs to be added when cooking the rice (after the beans have cooked).
Frequently Asked Questions
They both taste very similar. The biggest difference between them is the type of rice they use. Traditionally, Japanese fried rice uses short-grain rice and hibachi fried rice uses medium-grain.
I prefer to use a regular skillet, but lots of people like to make fried rice in a wok. The choice is up to you and what you are most comfortable using.
Add as many different vegetables as you want. Try this with corn, onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, or garlic. Add fresh ginger for a bit of spice!
Yes, this will taste delicious with chicken, pork, shrimp, or your favorite type of seafood. Instead of bacon, try it with some pork belly or some chashu!
What To Serve With Chahan
Even though this Japanese dish is great on its own, here are few more dishes you can make to serve alongside the rice:
- Japanese Teriyaki Chicken
- Crispy Japanese Tofu Steak
- Authentic Gyoza Recipe
- Chicken Nanban
- Hamburger Steak Recipe
Other Japanese Rice Recipes:
- Curry Fried Rice
- California Roll Sushi
- Pressed Sushi With Smoked Salmon
- Yaki Onigiri – Fried Rice Balls
Black Sesame Chahan
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise *1
- 2 eggs
- ½ tbs olive oil
- ½ tbs sesame oil
- 2 slices of rindless bacon *2
- 3 tbs black sesame grinded
- 1/2 tbs soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbs finely chopped green shallots
- Mix mayonnaise into the rice and set aside.2 cups of cooked rice1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- Grind the sesame seeds and set aside.3 tbs black sesame grinded
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan and make scrambled egg.2 eggs½ tbs olive oil
- Take the scrambled eggs and set aside.
- Heat the same frying pan, wipe off excess olive oil, and add sesame oil.½ tbs sesame oil
- Add the rice and egg and mix and fry all together.2 cups of cooked rice2 eggs
- Add grinded black sesame seeds and finely chopped scallions.3 tbs black sesame grinded3 tbs finely chopped green shallots
- Pour the soy sauce over and continue to stir and turn over constantly with a spatula.1/2 tbs soy sauce
- Add salt and pepper to tastesalt and pepper to taste
- Serve in rice bowls or plates and garnish with more shallots.3 tbs finely chopped green shallots