Baked Chestnut Rice
Tis the season of chestnuts? I think so… deep in Fall, yearning for chestnuts dishes intensify with love and hate. My feeling of discordance is of course, removing its shells…it’s so darn hard! However, our Autumn won’t pass by without welcoming the shiny brown petite friends.
Although there are many methods to remove the tough outer layer of skin Japanese call it onigawa (demon skin/鬼皮) and inner thin skin called shibugawa (bitter skin/渋皮), right now I prefer pressure cooker method because of no soaking time necessary and quicker…still I don’t feel the love yet at this point.
I say this is French because I borrowed the recipe from a Japanese chef of a French restaurant La Blance I saw in a magazine. I like the uniqueness…yep very original!
Ingredients and Instruction for 4 servings (Print Recipe Here)
- 20 to 25 chestnuts
- 3/4 cup multi grain rice (五穀米) I used 8 grain rice mix
- 1/2 medium size onion minced
- 3 to 4 slices of bacon roughly chopped
- 2-3 leaves of cabbage roughly chopped (optional)
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Prepare chestnuts – remove two layers of skins.
Pressure cooker method – carefully notch the peak of chestnuts in cross fashion first without going too deep. Put prepared chestnuts in the pressure cooker. Add barely enough water to cover the chestnuts. Cover with lid, set to low pressure for 6 minutes. when it finishes, release pressure and remove one with tong. The area you notched should now be opened up, pull downward to remove brown shell. Then with sharp knife peel the inner skin from bottom. Do this as fast as possible while it’s still warm. Repeat for the rest. Note: I leave chestnuts in the pressure cooker pan while I’m working on the others. It will be difficult to remove skin if chestnuts cool
- Prepare rice - Boil about 3 cups of water and add rice. Cook until soft about 25 minutes at low heat. Do this step while you are peeling chestnuts. When the rice is ready strain thru fine mesh. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 390F. Sauté bacon and onion until onion is transparent. Add cabbage if using (cabbage adds sweetness to the dish), cook till wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread them in the bottom of an oven safe dish with at least 2 inch rim.
- Assembly – Place drained rice on top of the step #3. Then chestnuts, sprinkling chicken broth is next and finally grated cheese.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
More chestnuts fair - Japanese style chestnuts nice, a staple fall dish. This with black beans is a little twist on our tradition. The matsutake mushroom savory custard, steamed pork belly with lotus roots and sweet potato was definitely something to enjoy the full moon the other night.And last but not least, the Almond cream chestnuts bundles are uncomplicated if you use the store bought frozen pastry.I can feel the love finally! ~ Can you feel the love tonight ?~ that’s my favorite song in The Lion King!…wait, Hakuna matata is my best?…Circle of life?… oh whatever! What’s a-motto with you?
Anyway, I hope you have no worries for the rest of your days!