Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) 栗きんとん

Print RecipeJump To Recipe

Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) | JustOneCookbook.com
For the final post on the Osechi Ryori (Japanese New Year Meal) series, I am sharing another popuar dish called Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes).

Kurikinton (栗金団) literary means “chestnut gold mash”, which symbolizes economic fortune and wealth and it’s important part of the New Year meal to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.

Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) | JustOneCookbook.com

If you make this dish, please use Japanese Sweet Potatoes called Satsumaimo (さつまいも).  Japanese sweet potatoes have bright yellow color and they are sweeter than regular sweet potatoes.

Traditionally we put dried gardenia pods (kuchinashi no mi, くちなしの実) while simmering the sweet potatoes.  The gardenia pods give a bright yellow color and they are used to naturally color other food such as “takuan” radish pickles and noodles.  Unfortunately I could not find these pods in the US so I couldn’t add them while cooking.  The yellow color in the photos is purely from the Japanese sweet potatoes.

If you have never had this dish, you might be surprised how sweet it is considering that it is not a dessert dish.  You can adjust sweetness to your liking before you add suggested amount.

Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) | JustOneCookbook.com

Last but not least, I just want to say a big Thank You for reading my little blog!  When the New Year Day comes, Just One Cookbook will turn 2 years old!  It’s been such a wonderful journey and without you I definitely won’t be having as much fun blogging.  Your kind comments and feedback, and personal letters make my day very meaningful and happy.  I am looking forward to sharing more delicious recipes based on your requests (via this post) next year.

Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) | JustOneCookbook.com

I’ll be taking a little break from blogging to spend some quality time with my family, but don’t worry, I’ll be back in the second week of January.

I wish all of you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!! 

Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) | JustOneCookbook.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1.1 lb (500g) Japanese sweet potatoes (satsumaimo)
  • 1 jar of Kuri Kanroni (Chestnuts in Heavy Syrup) or Marrons Glacés
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. syrup from Kuri Kanroni
  • 1 Tbsp. mirin
  • 2 dried dried gardenia pods (kuchinashi no mi)* (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into ½ inch pieces (so that it will be cooked equally)and soak in water for 1 hour.
  3. Rinse the sweet potatoes.
  4. Put the sweet potatoes in a pot and pour water just enough to cover them.
  5. Bring the water to a boil on high heat and once boiling, lower the heat to medium.
  6. Cook the sweet potatoes about 15-20 minutes, or until the skewer goes through smoothly.
  7. Reserve about ½ cup of the water and drain completely.
  8. Mash the boiled sweet potatoes through the strainer/sieve with a spatula to remove fiber and lumps. If necessary you can add a little bit of cooking liquid here.
  9. Put the mashed sweet potatoes back into the pot. Add sugar, salt, and syrup and mix well.
  10. Put the pot back on the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Add the cooking liquid as needed (I didn't need to add but it depends on how much syrup you added in previous step). Add mirin if you want to add more sweetness (I added about 1 Tbsp.).
  11. Add the chestnuts and cook for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.
  12. Remove Kuri Kinton into an airtight container and let it cool. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator and consume in 3-4 days.
Notes
* Dried gardenia pods (kuchinashi no mi) give a sunshine yellow color when simmering sweet potatoes. They are used to naturally color “takuan” radish pickles, noodles, and other foods. If you can find them, crack in half and wrap in a cheese cloth to cook with sweet potatoes.


Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Enjoy It? Share it!

Never miss another new recipe!

Sign up and receive the Just One Cookbook email newsletter.

Disclosure: Just One Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published - required fields are marked *

  1. Hfriday

    Hello! If I’m using marrons glacé in a box, how much should I put? And what can I use instead of the syrup since I’m not using jarred chestnut?

    Thank you and hope you and your family have a wonderful new year!

    1
    • Hi Hfriday! In that case, I suggest to add more sugar and mirin as you are missing syrup, which is quite sweet. While heating the mashed sweet potatoes (step 10), add additional sugar and mirin to your liking. If you have never had this dish, you might think the original recipe is too sweet (especially you are used to typical mashed (sweet) potatoes)…

      Thank you for your kind words. Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

      2
    • Harumi-san、このレシピ気に入っていただけたら光栄です。お砂糖とシロップの量は、お好みの甘さに加減して、味を見てみて下さいね。良いお年をお迎え下さい。コメントどうもありがとう!:)

      6
  2. I learned something new today. I didn’t know gardenia pods can be used for cooking and how they give the natural yellow coloring. This dish looks absolutely divine like the rest of your posts. Thank you for sharing all these delicious Japanese dishes. If not for you, I wouldn’t be learning anything about the Japanese cuisine. Happy New Year and Happy 3rd Blog Birthday! May you have all the blessings and happiness in life!

    5
  3. Another beautiful New Year’s dish. I finally tasted chestnuts this year and found the flavour very subtly sweet. I wondered whether the chestnuts would be pureed together with the sweet potatoes but I see that they’re included as a sweet textural surprise inside the smooth mixture. Very unique.

    Happy New Year.

    10
  4. Nami, i love this series of photo, look so stunning and beautiful.. This sweet just nice to usher a New Year.. Thanks for sharing all wonderful recipes throught out the year of 2012, we are looking more in 2013. Happy New Year 2013 to you, shall await for your return.

    13
  5. Love this! It is so interesting to learn that Japanese food is so diverse. I only knew a handful of Japanese dishes before I started reading Just One Cookbook. Congratulations on your second year. Wishing you and your family all the best for the new year, Nami!

    14
  6. those look like the sweet potatoes we ate in south africa. harder to get here, we get mainly the softer more orange ones. That does look good. I love all the symbolism in your food. Happy New Year to you and your family, Nami!

    17
  7. Eri

    I’m sure it tastes like heaven!
    Happy Holidays Nami, I’m wishing you all the happiness, may the new year be one of the best of your life.
    Hugs and Kisses

    18
  8. Kimmi

    What a lovely bowl of goodness! =) Thanks always for your delcious and easy-to-follow recipes, and congratulations on the success of the blog! Looking forward to another year of good eating! Yoroshiku ne~~

    Happy (early) New Year to you and your family!!

    21
  9. Jim Takita

    Have you tried the okinawan sweet potato which is purple and mealy? I like it and wonder if how different it is from the satsuma potato.

    25
  10. How pretty and easy. I love sweet potatoes and eat them all the time but never combined them with chestnuts. Love the color of this dish Nami!
    Happy New Year to you and your family..hope you are enjoying the holidays!

    26
  11. Nami, what a beautiful post you have here! I love every detail on your photos. The colors are so happy. This is absolutely amazing dish. I wish I can celebrate New Year with Japanese traditions. I wish many wonderful days to you and your family in new year.

    30
  12. That’s a lovely looking dish, Nami. I’ll have to look out for those yellow sweet potatoes. Congrats on such a successful two years, Nami. Well done! I hope you enjoy your break with your family xx

    31
  13. Happy New Year Nami! And congratulations on two years. It’s been two years for us now too. Isn’t it amazing how much blogging can bring into your life?! I’m very thankful that it brought you and your blog into ours. Our home is more delicious for it and our life is all the richer. Thank you. Here’s to a fantastic 2013 – and with dishes like this one, it’s not doubt it will be. This looks so tasty. I love how colorful and happy it looks too. Cheers Nami!

    35
  14. You know Nami, I can spend hours looking at your beautiful pictures! I love your styling and photography, you are truly an artist.
    I have never tried candied chestnuts and I am not sure I can find the Japanese sweet potatoes but I will look for them for sure

    36
  15. I pressed submit too soon!
    Congratulations on two years of blogging Nami. It has been a pleasure to follow your journey and I look forward to your upcoming posts and pictures
    Happy new year, wishing you one full of laughter, success and happiness

    37
  16. Oh, I’m glad you did this recipe. It sounds so wonderful, I definitely have to try it sometime. I’m pretty sure I can get my hands on Japanese sweet potatoes, but of course I’ll have to check my market. Congrats on two years of blogging! Everything you do is first-class — the recipes, the writing, and the photography. Enjoy your brief time off, and we’ll all be here (and hungry!) awaiting your return. Happy New Year!

    38
  17. Nami, what a fantastic dish – I had never heard of Candied Chsetnuts with Sweet Potatoes before but it looks and sounds delectable – I am sure I would really enjoy to eat this because I really like to eat chestnuts and sweet potatoes! I also wanted to take the opportunity to send you and your family the very best wishes for the New Year! It has been a pleasure discovering your blog and I look forward to each and every blog post of yours and I cannot wait to see/read all about your amazing recipes in the upcoming year! All the very best from all of us here and a really heartfelt “Happy New Year! – Frohes Neues Jahr!”!

    40
  18. What a beauty! I love your presentation and the colour is really stunning. I have never heard about this dish and in general I have an impression that Japanese New Year’s dishes are not known abroad, so I’m very grateful that you share them with us.
    2 years is such a short period! I feel as if I had known you for 20!
    Happy New Year! I’m very impatient to see what surprises you have prepared for us!

    41
  19. Happy New Years to you and your family as well! And Congrats, your blog is almost 2 years old!!

    What a lovely sweet potatoes dish. My mom loves eating sweet potatoes.

    42
  20. A beautiful dish and such wonderful photos, Nami! I hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays with your family. Congratulations on the 2 year anniversary of your blog (time sure does fly!) I look forward to more of your wonderful offerings! And I wish you a very healthy and happy new year to come! : )

    45
  21. wow Nami! I never knew that candied sweet potatoes was a Japanese thing! Loving the step-by-step instructions! Congratulations on your second year of blogging! Looking forward to more recipes for the coming year! :)

    46
  22. Oh my gosh, your presentation rocks festivity! I enjoy fresh chestnuts but the last time I roasted them in the oven, they kinda “exploded’ in the oven :( No experience!

    48
  23. Eha

    A totally new dish for me, tho’ I love both sweet potatoes [those I know :) !] and chestnuts . . . Shall take a look in the New Year! Firstly tho’ a huge bouquet to you for taking the blog thru’ two whole years and making it one of the first to which we turn after the computer goes on :) ! Nami’s is a fun place at which we DO learn!! And, naturally tho’ you have to wait for your 2013 for awhile yet, whilst our fireworks are almost upon us: hope 2013 brings you everything you need, want and desire . . .a big hufg across the Pacific!!

    49
    • Thank you for such a sweet comment Eha! Thank you so much for following my blog this year. It’s always wonderful to hear from you. Happy New Year!

      83
  24. Mich Piece of Cake

    I love this snack, Nami, as sweet potatoes and chestnuts are 2 of my favourite ingredients. Here is wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!

    50
  25. 御節料理の中ではこれが一番好きかも。このポストは昨年のものなのね。なみちゃん、あったまいい!先日LAから帰って来て、風邪を引いて寝込んでます。旅の途中で病気にならなかったから、すごくラッキーに思っているんだけど、本人は。2013年も良い年になりますように。コメントいつもありがとう。Have a happy New Year!

    51
  26. The old Gunny

    My Goodness I have not seen such beautiful and tasty and presentations of food since I was in Japan in 1955-56 and Okinawa in 1963-64. I have seen 4 dishes. Having the Azuki Beans for New Years with mochi. Thank you for bring great beauty into my home. My Japanese preparations are very tasty but not as gorgeous as yours

    55
  27. The old Gunny

    Sweet Potatoes in Japan you Betcha– A cold night in December walking down a neighborhood street the smell of Baked Sweet potatoes from a push cart vender pip[ing hot in the hand a little soy sauce HEAVEN and the walk continues..

    Happy New Year and thank you Namiko and stay out of the kitchen tomorrow!

    56
    • Yaki Imo! Oh yes, those are so delicious and I miss eating it too… Thank you for your well wishes, and Happy New Year to you and your family!

      70
  28. Hi Nami, This post is looking great! It was a real delight to see and learn so much from your each and every post. Hope to see more of your creative endeavours in the new year. Wish you and your family a very Happy and Blessed New Year!!!
    Happy Holidays :)
    Love & Regards, Sonia !!!

    57
  29. Nami, wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year and continued deliciousness! I don’t think I’ll be able to get the Japanese sweet potatoes but I’m going to give this dish a try with regular sweet potatoes as I’ve lots of chestnuts to use up.

    59
  30. あけましておめでとうございます。

    おおお~、ブログでの写真で見るとまた美しい!すっごくおいしそう!細部にまでこだわりが感じられるすてきな盛り付けだね~。お正月気分がぐんと盛り上がります♪

    今年はなみさんのブログに出会えて、そしてその後交流を深めることができて、とてもうれしい一年でした。いつもこまめにコメントをくださって、どうもありがとう!なみさんを見習って、今年こそはもう少しブログ更新の頻度をあげていけたらと思っています。

    今年もどうぞよろしくお願いします♪

    60
  31. Hi Nami, Happy New Year to you and your family.

    I like Japanese sweet potatoes, although they are much more expensive than local ones but they are a lot sweeter. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    61
  32. Happy New Years!!! Enjoy some time with the family, you deserve it. 2 years already, time sure does go fast, doesn’t it? Looking forward to seeing all your yummy creations next year. I need this dish for sure, I can use all the prosperity help I can get, lol.
    -Gina-

    65
  33. What a beautiful recipe! Congrats on 2 years. I love reading your recipes because I learn so much. Gardenia pods? I had no clue these were used for cooking!

    66
  34. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    Wonderful! I love Japanese cooking because it doesn’t taste as sweet as most food. Hope you had a wonderful new year!

    67
  35. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try this. I have no idea if I can find these sweet potatoes but I’m on a journey and won’t be satisfied until I find them.

    Happy New Year and I hope 2013 is a fantastic year for all of you.

    72
  36. Japanese sweet potatoes are indeed sweeter and the colors are very vibrant. Beautiful and stunning photos of the potatoes in the bowl. Have a Happy New Year to you and your family, Nami! Wishing you more success in this year.

    ~ ray ~

    76
  37. all through my pregnancy, i craved sweet potatoes but i simply sliced and baked them and made sweet potato fries. i am sure if i had seen this recipe during my pregnancy, i would have been obsessed with it and put on a lot of weight…hahahha

    85
  38. Wishing you a happy 2nd birthday and a fantastic 2013. I think your photography skills have really peaked now look at that crisp close up with the great blur in the background and your recipes are great but it is the photos that makes me stay and ponder a bit longer when I visit. Take care, BAM

    86
  39. This dish looks stunning! I had a typical southern meal for New Year’s that is supposed to be lucky and the greens to bring prosperity (green for US dollar I guess) :) So I love hearing what others traditions are. We often get Japanese sweet potatoes, I like them better. Plus so easy to get here.

    I am blessed to have the pleasure of getting to know you. I am amazed at how much you do. Have a great time with your family and will be looking forward to seeing you again! Take care! 😀

    88
  40. Dear Nami, Happy New Year!!!!
    This dish has to be delicious, beautiful picture.
    Thank you so much for always sharing such an amazing and wonderful food.
    Wishing all the very best.
    xoxo

    90
  41. Nami, you are always introducing me to new and interesting combinations – not to mention beautiful! I love how simple and achievable this is as well; that’s my kind of cooking! ;-). What a delightful recipe. Happy New Year Nami!

    93
  42. How lovely. Japanese sweet potatoes are now on my must-find list. Thank you for sharing…what a nice way to end my weekend (and get ready for dinner!) I hope you have a wonderful week!

    96
  43. Your photos are always so gorgeous and I adore seeing the cute little Japanese objects you use. My daughter is back from her study abroad and is still fixated on returning to teach English through the JET program when she graduates. I’m very curious about this dish as I’ve never had Japanese sweet potato or candied chestnuts! Happy New Year and congratulations on your amazing two years, Nami!

    97
  44. Happy New Year to you and your family too. As much as I love Japanese food, I’m not too sure if I’ve tried this one yet. But sounds like something I would really enjoy. Get I better go get some Japanese Sweet Potatoes and start cooking. 😛

    99
  45. Happy New Year to YOU, Nami! Sorry to be a bit late but been on a break myself. I love the idea of sweet tatties and chestnuts, even if our French version won’t be at all like this Japanese dish. Tell me, if it’s not a dessert as such, how do you serve this? Is it with savouries or just on its own? It’s fascinating.
    Congratulations on 2 years of your fabulous blog and sumptuous photos, Nami, and wishing you and your family the most precious times together.

    100
  46. nancy

    My husband who is Japanese and remembers his mothers wonderful cooking says”OISHI!!”
    I love cooking special Japanese recipes and following your directions and the pictures are a huge help (and beautiful too) makes cooking very enjoyable. Happy New Year to you, your family and thanks for such a great blog

    102
    • Hi Nancy! Yay! 😀 Thank you so much for your kind feedback. You and your husband made my day. I hope you enjoy other recipes on my site as well. Happy New Year to you and your family!

      103
  47. Oh wow, love this recipe! I tried chestnuts for the first time at Christmas, and I loved them. I think the idea of mixing the chestnuts with a sweet potato is wonderful flavor combo:-) It really sounds delicious! Enjoy your time with your family, Hugs, Terra

    104
  48. Winnie Lim

    Hi, I bought some fresh chestnuts. Wondering is they can be used for this recipe. If so, how do I modify the recipe? Is it the same as you recommended to Hfriday? Thanks.

    106
    • Hi Winnie! You have to cook the chestnut till tender (ready to eat). These chestnuts I used are soaked in syrup and very sweet. If you have extra time, I’d soak in syrup (simple syrup) and cook a little bit. It may be a little long process to make this from scratch. I hope this helps.

      107
        • Winnie, I think that will save a lot of time to make this dish. I have chestnut rice and roasted chestnut recipes on my blog if you’re interested in using fresh chestnuts. :)

          109
  49. You can find kuchinashi no mi in the United States. Just go to a Chinese herbal shop and ask for zhi zi ren (栀子果), which is the Cape gardenia fruit. I think in traditional medicine it is used to “dispel heat” or reduce fever. I just bring a printout with the Chinese characters and a picture to help.

    110