I cooked chestnut rice in Japan for the first time using Japanese ingredients. I do see the differences between the chestnut rice I cooked in Malaysia and in Japan, especially the texture of rice. I used new rice we received from a friend. Autumn, is the season for rice, chestnut, and so forth. New rice, newly harvested rice, has a firmer and mochi-like texture compared to rice which has been milled for awhile. Also, each newly milled rice grain will be crystal clear not yellowish. In fact, some high-end restaurants in Japan insisted to do rice milling their own to ensure best quality of rice serve in restaurants. I am not a rice expert ya, that was from Iron Chef - Michiba-san.
Back to this chestnut rice, the combination of mochi-like rice, and soft and smooth texture chestnut is just irresistible for a rice lover like me. For my diet, I cooked only small amount on purpose. This recipe is good for two persons only but I fed it to five persons. A little too less, I guess.
Original recipe is available in Japanese, by Kikkoman (soy sauce company) but I did not use any soy sauce for this. Instead, I used mentsuyu (noodles dipping sauce). Also, I am using a pressure-rice cooker so I skip the rice soaking step. If you are using normal type, remember to soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 1 cup Japanese rice (200 ml/cup)
- 150 g peeled chestnut (fresh)
- 1 tbsp Sake
- 1 tbsp mentsuyu (concentrate type) or 1/4 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
- 1/4 tbsp mirin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Black sesame for garnish
- Wash and rinse rice until water running clear (soak if required), drain and transfer to the rice cooker pot.
- Add in seasonings (sake, mentsuyu, mirin, and salt), and fill in water up to level "1" in the rice cooker.
- Place a single layer of chestnut on the rice, then cook the rice as if cooking plain rice.
- Transfer cooked rice to serving bowls, garnish with black sesame and serve warm.