I am quite sure that you already have an idea what you are going to cook for Christmas (attention for those who don’t: next Monday is already Christmas eve!), and I know you must have a lot on your plate this weekend and a complicated recipe is the last thing you want to read. So this week’s recipe is an easy and delicious side dish, a great compliment to any main dishes, an alternative to the usual stuffing if you like. My family loves it! And I hope you will give it a try!
I use precooked chestnuts, as I don’t really have time to cook and peel them from scratch. I simply cook the rice and add the pre-cooked chestnuts at the last stage (see the recipe below). But by all mean to use shelled fresh chestnuts, although it is not an easy task to peel them, but you can boil them in water for about 10 minutes and then peel them while still warm. Cook them together with all the other ingredients at the same time.
Tips: This rice can also be made into Onigiri (rice balls) with Nori seaweed. Just finely chop the chestnuts before folding into the cooked rice, adjust the seasoning, then form the cooked chestnut rice into triangles or balls. See my ‘salmon onigiri’ recipe for how to form onigiri.
(serves 4-6 as a side)
- 200g Pre-cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups uncooked rice (I use Japanese short grain rice)
- 2 ½ cups water
- 3 tbsp. Soy sauce (use Tamari if gluten free)
- 1 tbsp. Sake
- 2 (5cm) pieces Konbu seaweed (Asian store), wipe clean with damp paper towel
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
If you use raw chestnut in shells, first perpare them by boiling them in water for about 10 minutes and peel them with a knife while still warm. Roughly chop the shelled chestnut and put them in a bowl, set aside.
Using a sauce pan: Put all the ingredients apart from the chestnut in the sauce pan and mix well. Once boiled, turn to low heat and cover with a lid, cook for about 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Remove the konbu seaweed then fold in the chopped pre-cooked chestnuts in the rice. Let it stand for another 10 minutes with the lid on. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds before serving.
Using a rice cooker: Put all ingredients apart from the chestnuts in the rice cooker (amount of water according to the cooker) and cook. Once cooked, remove the konbu seaweed, then fold in the chopped pre-cooked chestnut in the rice and let it stand for another 10 minutes on the ‘keep warm’ setting. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds before serving.
If you use fresh chestnuts, cook the chestnuts with all the other ingredients at the very beginning. You might get some ‘burnt’ rice at the bottom of the pot, but don’t throw it away, it is the best!