Sweet Stewed Chestnuts (栗の甘露煮, kuri no kanroni)
- 500g raw chestnuts in the shell
- 300mL water
- 300g light brown sugar
- 40mL mirin
- 1 tablespoon rum (or more, if you like rum flavor)
- (I’ve seen some recipes call for くちなしの実 kuchinashi no mi, which colors the chestnuts bright yellow, but no worries if you can’t get it. I believe these are gardenia seed pods.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, pierce the shell of each chestnut on the flat side with the tip of a knife. Add the chestnuts to the boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes.
Drain the chestnuts and let them cool a bit, until you can handle them. The outer shell is pretty easy to remove at this point; the problem is the inner skin, which you also have to peel off. I used the tip and edge of a (dull) knife to scrape it off. Rinse to remove any remaining peel and bits of shell. (The store-bought variety of stewed chestnuts are a lot more evenly shaped and bright yellow color; however, I imagine that a lot of chestnut gets lost when cutting them to that shape.)
Put the water and sugar into a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is melted, then add the mirin, rum, and peeled chestnuts. (If you can get kuchinashi no mi, put one in a bit of cheesecloth or teabag and add that too.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool. (Remove the kuchinashi no mi.) Store the chestnuts in the stewing liquid in a glass jar in the refrigerator. They should keep for several months.
|In case you were wondering, this is what the kuchinashi no mi looks like.|