One of my ultimate favorite foods is chestnut. You can buy roasted chestnuts from a street vendor or a kiosk at a train station in Japan when chestnuts are in season. As a child, I liked to snack on roasted chestnuts. I also like eating plain boiled chestnuts or any kind of chestnut dishes.
I researched and found a chestnut farm in California which doesn’t use pesticide and produces very large chestnuts. I’ve been buying chestnuts from them for quite some time. Their chestnuts are sweet and flavorful. Since chestnuts are available during a very short period, I usually buy them a lot and freeze most of them for later uses.
I just received this year’s harvest and decided to make one of my favorite chestnut dishes – chestnut rice (栗ご飯). It’s simply rice cooked with chestnuts. This is a common way to eat fresh chestnuts in Japan. Normally, chestnuts used in this dish are not as large as the ones I used today but I really like these jumbo chestnuts!
Let’s begin cooking! I’ll show the step-by-step instructions but the shorter version of the recipe and the listing of the ingredients are available at the bottom of this blog post.
- Soak chestnuts in water at least for 2 hours and keep them in the refrigerator. I usually soak them in water overnight.
2. Boil chestnuts for 3 minutes.
3. Peel skin of chestnuts. It’s easier to peel them while they are still very warm.
First peel the thick outer skin.
Then, peel the soft inner skin.
4. Rinse rice and water becomes clear. See how to cook rice here.
5. Pour rice into a colander to drain water.
6. Put rice in a rice cooker and add the seasoning.
7. Add water. I am using semi-brown rice today so I am measuring water where it says 2 for semi-brown rice.
8. Place chestnuts on top of rice and cook rice and chestnuts in a rice cooker.
9. When rice and chestnuts are cooks, leave them in a rice cooker for 10 minutes. Open rice cooker and stir rice.
As you stir rice, chestnuts may crumble.
This dish has wonderful sweet nutty smell. I like the smell fills up the kitchen when it’s cooking.
It is usually eaten with side dishes and this chestnut rice just replaces plain rice. I like to eat this chestnut rice by itself. I can taste the sweetness of chestnuts in rice as well. It’s just a wonderful fall rice dish.
- Soak chestnuts in water at least for 2 hours and keep them in the refrigerator.
- Boil chestnuts for 3 minutes.
- Peel skin of chestnuts.
- Rinse rice and water becomes clear.
- Pour rice into a colander to drain water.
- Put rice in a rice cooker and add seasoning.
- Add water.
- Place chestnuts on top of rice and cook rice and chestnuts in a rice cooker.
- When rice and chestnuts are cooks, leave them in a rice cooker for 10 minutes. Open rice cooker and stir rice.