In October, fresh chestnuts appear in Japanese market, and Kurigohan (栗ご飯) is one of the way to enjoy Chestnuts. It's autumn now, and this steaming hot bowlful of kurigohan is perfect autumn flavors that made my kitchen smells really great! :)
Kuri means Chestnuts in Japanese. Today I'm gonna introduce you this popular Japanese autumn dish. Autumn is Kuri's season. And this probably explains why this dish is so popular in Japan. It is simple home cooking, basically a flavored steamed rice with chestnuts. Japanese home cooked food is all about cooking with what's in season, and it can be cooked in a variety ways.
I had been wanting to cook this for the longest time. But I have always no luck in getting Japanese Kuri at Japanese store because Japanese kuri only appears somewhere autumn. Disappointing. So, one fine day (that's few months ago), I saw some nice chestnuts from the wet market. Having fresh chestnuts selling at the wet market is not common here. I can't help but to buy first, and think later. No Japanese chestnuts, normal chestnuts also good la :)
(Recipe Source : About.com, with slight modification)
- 420g or 2 cups Japanese Rice. Preferably Koshihikari
- 52g or 1/4 cups Glutinous Rice
- 20pcs Small Chestnuts / Kuri
- 1 pc Dried Konbu
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 1 tbsp Sake
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 583ml or 2 2/3 cup Water
- Some black sesame seeds
- Some spring onions
- Soak kuri in hot water for about 30 minutes. Crack open the chestnuts and discard the shells. Soak peeled chestnuts in hot water for another 10 minutes. Drain the chestnut in a colander.
- Wash and soak dried konbu for 10mins or until the konbu is soft.
- Wash rice till water turns clear and soak the rice in room temperature water for 30 minutes and then drain it in a colander. The preparation is just like how you usually cook Japanese rice. Not difficult.
- Put rice, water, soy sauce, mirin, soft konbu, sugar and sake in a rice cooker. Lightly mix them. Place chestnuts on top and start cooking.
- When rice is cooked, keep the rice warm in the rice cooker for about 10 minutes before opening the lid. Garnish and serve.
If you have all the ingredients ready, it's really easy to make Kurigohan at home.
The rice is cooked with chestnut, sake, mirin, soya sauce, konbu and abit of sugar. I used my mighty Zojirushi rice cooker to do the work. It cooks up perfectly! This is total life-saver for me. If you don't have one, go get it. Immediately!
As the rice is cooking, you'll start to smell a heavenly nutty aroma. At that moment, I start to understand why this dish is such a popular dish during chestnut season in Japan.
The existence of konbu and soy sauce makes the rice really umami. A pinch of sugar is to add a touch to bring out the flavor of the chestnuts and to contrast the salty soy flavor. Yumms~!!!
Chewing the soft and bouncy rice grain texture, taking that bite of soft and nutty chestnut is an incredibly satisfying and comforting moment. Look at the nice color. Isn't it beautiful?
I definitely will cook this again. I love it! :)
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #1 Oct 2013 : Japan, hosted by Alan from travelling-foodies