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Rice with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes

Updated on September 24, 2014
Rice with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes
Rice with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes

A Celebration of Fall in a Bowl of Rice

Food plays a vital role in Japanese culture and we love to celebrate the bounties of each season. I am particularly fond of fall not only for the beautiful weather, but also for the food available during this time. Chestnuts and sweet potatoes are at its peak in nutrition and taste.

Steamed rice with chestnuts and sweet potatoes is a typical fall dish enjoyed by many Japanese families. This recipe uses a rice cooker making it easy to get professional results. The dish is simple in flavor, highlighting the natural tastes and aromas of each ingredient.

*All photos taken by myself

The Food Culture of Japan

Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen
Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen

Learn about what authentic Japanese food is about and how to cook it at home. More than teriyaki, sushi and tempura, Japanese food uses the freshest seasonal ingredients, using techniques to highlight them.

Much more than just a cookbook, this book takes you on a journey through a cuisine rich in history.

 

Sweet Potatoes are Good For You

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Did You Know...

Chestnuts are a great source of trace minerals and low in fat. They are often called the grain that grows on trees.

Although sweet potatoes are available all year around, they taste best in the fall. Here in Japan, you'll find them everywhere in various forms. Sweet potato cakes and pies, sweet potato ice cream, baked sweet potato vendors and even sweet potato kit kats pop up all over the city. Not only are they delicious but they are also highly nutritious.

One sweet potato contains only 130-160 calories and contains about twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, about half of the RDA for vitamin C, four times the RDA for beta carotene and more fiber than oatmeal! Also among all root vegetables, they have the lowest glycemic index rating and is recommended for those watching their GI levels.

To learn more about the sweet potato and its benefits, check out Natural News.

The Best Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System, Stainless Steel
Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System, Stainless Steel

Rice cookers are the best way to cook rice. This is one of the best brands and will result in restaurant quality rice every time.

Zojirushi is a favorite brand among Japanese households and is known for its reliability, which makes this my rice cooker of choice.

 

Fall Food Poll

What Is Your Favorite Fall Ingredient?

See results
Chestnuts
Chestnuts | Source
Chestnut and Sweet Potato Rice
Chestnut and Sweet Potato Rice

Let's Get Started!

Rice with chestnuts, or Kuri Gohan, and is a favorite during the fall and everyone can't seem to wait to get their fill of this comfort food here in Japan. For today's version, I decided to add some sweet potatoes to the original recipe which adds extra fiber and other nutrients to the dish.

If you plan to use cooked chestnuts, that's absolutely fine. You may also add the sweet potatoes to the rice cooker, but I decided to steam them separate from the rest, because they wouldn't fit into my already-full rice cooker.

For a complete meal, add a bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed. Feel free to add a piece of grilled fish for a traditional fall meal.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15

Total Time: 40-60(depends on your rice cooker)

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups short-grain rice
  • water according to your rice cooker's instructions
  • 1 cup uncooked chestnuts peeled (cooked chestnuts can be used)
  • 1 medium size sweet potato
  • 1 large strip dried kombu cut into two pieces
  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black sesame seeds (optional)
Kombu - 2.1 oz - Strips
Kombu - 2.1 oz - Strips

Kombu is used mainly for adding umami to broths in Japanese cuisine. Use it in everything from miso soups to rice dishes.

 

Instructions

  1. Unless your rice needs no rinsing, it is usually better to rinse the rice for best taste. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  2. Put the rice into the rice cooker and add the chestnuts, kombu strips, mirin, soy sauce and salt.
  3. Add water according to your rice cooker's directions. A quick rule of thumb is to add the same amount to the amount of cups of rice you used and add an extra 1/2 cup. So if you used 4 cups of rice, you would use 4 1/2 cups of water.
  4. Cook the rice according to your rice cooker's directions. Once it has cooked, don't open for at least 5 minutes. Open the rice cooker and air the rice with a shamoji or rice paddle. This motion makes your rice fluffy.
  5. Prepare the sweet potatoes by cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Lay flat on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on medium-high for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
  6. Add the cooked sweet potatoes into the rice and mix well to combine. Mix carefully being mindful not to destroy the rice kernels. You want the rice to remain as fluffy as possible.
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds if you like.

Kuri Gohan or Chestnut Rice

This video shows you how easy it is to make chestnut rice. Although I used peeled chestnuts, this video shows you how to make it from fresh chestnuts.

Let Me Know What You Think

5 stars from 1 rating of Rice with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes-The Recipe

Other Recipes You Might Like

Do you like Japanese food? In that case you might enjoy some of my other recipes. Check them out!

Easy Japanese Pickles

Japanese Rice Balls

How to Make Yakitori

Does This Recipe Appeal To You? Please Feel Free To Leave Your Comments. Thanks!

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    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      LisaMarieGabriel, thank you. Although i'm not diabetic, I try to eat as little of rice and breads as possible to control my weight. Thanks for dropping by.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      esmonaco, thank you. Chestnuts are wonderful right now. I hope you try them out.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      This looks great. I have to watch myself with rice because of the diabetes, but as a starting point I would enjoy this dish immensely (just reduce the rice I think)

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Another amazing recipe!! I love chesnuts this time of the year, sounds like a wonderful combination.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Heartily: Thanks for visiting. I hope you get to try it.

    • Heartily profile image

      Lucy Bieri 3 years ago from Switzerland

      Rice with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes looks great to me.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      Looks easy and yummy! I'll have to try it. Thanks

    • AlanJC321 profile image

      AlanJC321 3 years ago

      The recipe looks really good and healthy too. Thanks for sharing!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @sousababy: I hope you try this especially during the fall!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      Oh, this looks amazing. I love sweet potatoes and chestnuts. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @yania227: thank you so much yania

    • yania227 profile image

      yania227 3 years ago

      It looks great to me! :)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Shihoko: It was my pleasure making this dish.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Yes indeed! We eat Calrose rice practically every night, I love sweet potatoes and chestnuts, so must try this recipe...thanks for sharing!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Doc_Holliday: You have to try it. It's really good!

    • profile image

      Shihoko 3 years ago

      Now I have to ask my mom to bring me chestnuts when she comes in from Japan. Thank you for the recipe!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @delia-delia: Tell me how you liked it! cheers!

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

      Have to give this a try :-)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VspaBotanicals: Thanks! Me too actually. I haven't had anything to eat yet.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      I can only say one thing...I'm hungry now. Thanks!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @GeorgeneMBramlage: Yes I love sweet potato skins. They add color to the dish plus extra fiber. I just make sure to wash and scrub well before using.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you so much! You are awesome. ;)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Steph Tietjen: Thanks for your comment Steph. I wish Japanese restaurants in the US would serve food other than sushi, sashimi teriyaki and tempura. There is so much else we eat here.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @anonymous: Thank you so much!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Margaret Schindel: Thanks MSchindel. You might want to try dried shiitake instead of the kombu for umami.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      What a delightful sounding recipe! It is certainly on my to-do list. I notice that you leave the skins on your sweet potatoes. Do you eat the skins, or peel them away as you eat the dish?

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I will love your recipe. These are all ingredients that greatly appeal to me. Wishing you all the best in this month's Food Club vote.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I would like to eat different Japanese food. Mostly I eat sushi and sashimi. The ingredients in your recipe are great, so I will try it. I love Kombu in my soups.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Another delicious and yummy lens!

      Good luck in the September Squidoo Food Club Quest

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love everything about this recipe except the kombu (I don't care for the taste). But I may play around with it and see what else can provide the umami. Congratulations on the purple star!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @samsmom7: Let me know how it turns out.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Minoru10: It is good Minoru. Hope you get to try it.

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Sweet potatoes and chestnuts... sounds so good.

    • profile image

      samsmom7 3 years ago

      I love sweet potatoes and will definitely try the rice with chestnuts recipe.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @captainj88: Let me know how it turns out! Thanks for reading leah.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      So simple! I've never combined those ingredients before, but I enjoy them all. Great recipe; printing now :)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Elsie Hagley: Thanks kiwinana71. I hope you enjoy it!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @LiteraryMind: Actually these are the chestnuts that grow on trees, not water chestnuts. The Japanese use these chestnuts in everything. :)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @RoSelou: Thank you so much for your comments RoSelou.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @MarathonRunning: You could actually try it without the sweet potatoes. The original recipe is without it anyway. :)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes this recipe does appeal to me, I like rice and those ingredients look very tasty, will give it a go.

      Thanks

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I am thinking these are what we in the U.S. would call water chestnuts? They are not the chestnuts that grow on trees in the U.S. which are very different. So thinking about crunchy "water chestnuts" in rice, this does sound good.

    • profile image

      RoSelou 3 years ago

      I love these recipes! rice, sweet potatoes, and chestnuts are among of my favorites.

    • MarathonRunning profile image

      Martina 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Love the rice but i`m not a great fan of sweet potatoes. Maybe I should try your recipe. :)

      Great Lens!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @anonymous: Oh yes, those rice cookers are a must in every household. Thanks for reading!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: Thank you Vinn. ;)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Susan Zutautas: Thanks for reading and commenting susan.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Sounds awesome and I love rice!! I may need to invest in one of those cookers.

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 3 years ago

      Yummy!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Looks delicious! I've never thought to put potatoes and rice together, other than in soup, but look forward to trying your recipe.