Boiled Chestnuts 茹で栗

japanese cake

This is continuation of the North American chestnut theme derived from the chestnuts I mail ordered from a farm in California. The chestnut rice was a success. I decided to just simply boil the chestnuts since this was the most common way I enjoyed them as a kid in Japan and we collected chestnuts from the neighborhood chestnut trees.

Obviously my mother cooked the chestnuts when I was a kid and I do not remember how long she cooked them. The pamphlet that came with the chestnuts had some information but I decided to do a web search and settled on this method.

I first soaked the chestnuts in cold water just enough to cover for several hours (close to 6 hours).  I poured the water to just covered the chestnuts, then added a pinch of salt. I placed the pot on a medium flame. As soon as the water started boiling, I tuned it down to simmer with the lid on. I boiled it for 40 minutes mixing the chestnuts once during the cooking. I let it sit in the pot until the water cooled to room temperature and then drained (Picture above).

When I was a kid, everybody peeled their own chestnuts. My mother would serve them in a big bowl and we all sat around the table peeling and eating. Since I was dealing with a chestnut amateur (my wife) I did the peeling before I served them. I peeled the outer skin as well as the inner skin (Picture above). It was not too difficult to remove these two layers of skins.

This was very good. The natural sweetness of the chestnuts was very nice with an almost starchy consistency. I told my wife that I did not remember when I last tasted boiled chestnuts.  She replied that she had nothing to remember since she never had boiled chestnuts and certainly nothing related to chestnuts that tasted this good. Surprisingly, the chestnuts went very well with the red we were drinking  (100% tempranillo from Spain), Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel Ribera del Duero Crianza 2005.  This is interesting pairing and we rather enjoyed it.

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