1 large or 2 small kuchinashi dried gardenia fruit
2 tbsp rice vinegar
100-120 g granulated sugar
50 g brown sugar
2 tbsp mirin
Bring plenty of water to boil, remove from heat, and soak kuri for 30 minutes. (By the time the water cools enough to pick out a chestnut with your hand, the tough outer skin should be soft.)
Cut kuchinashi in half.
In a pot, place kuri and water to cover.
Add rice vinegar and kuchinashi, and bring to boil on medium heat.
Add water as necessary to keep kuri immersed while simmering. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Drain, add cold water to cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
In a pot, put kuri, just enough water to cover (approx. 350-400cc) and 1/3 of sugar, and bring to boil on medium heat after placing an otoshibuta drop cover.
Add 1/2 of remaining sugar, cover with otoshibuta, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add remaining sugar and mirin, cover with otoshibuta, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and cool overnight.
Kuri no kanroni is ready.
- Rice vinegar helps prevent chestnuts from crumbling while simmering.
- To get chestnuts to hold their shape better (firm up), soak peeled chestnuts in water and yaki myoban burnt alum (1 tsp yaki myoban per 1000 cc water) for 30 minutes to overnight. Then soak chestnuts in cold water for 30 minutes to several hours, and continue with Process 3 above. When yaki myoban is used, rice vinegar is not needed. Yaki myoban also helps to retain the yellow color.
- Kuchinashi dried gardenia fruit are added to color chestnuts, but they are optional. Kuchinashi is available at Chinese grocery stores or herbal medicine shops in the US.
- If mirin is not available, honey works. (Honey is much, much sweeter than mirin for the same amount.)
(Last updated: November 12, 2016)