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

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  • Kuri Kinton, Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes in a red bowl and a new year decorations on a table.
    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 in a red bowl.

    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 on a plate and Japanese's new year decoration on a table.

    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 in a red bowl.

    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 in a bowl.

    If you are interested in learning about Japanese Sweet Potato, check out Japanese Sweet Potato.

    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!

    5 from 2 votes
    Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes) | JustOneCookbook.com
    Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts with Sweet Potatoes)
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    30 mins
    Total Time
    45 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Servings: 4
    Author: Nami
    • 1.1 lb Japanese sweet potato (Satsumaimo) (1.1 lb = 500 g)
    • 1 jar Kuri Kanroni (Chestnuts in Heavy Syrup) (Marrons Glacés)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
    • 3 Tbsp syrup from Kuri Kanroni
    • 1 Tbsp mirin
    • 2 Kuchinashi no mi (dried gardenia pods) (optional, see Notes)
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Kuri Kinton Ingredients
    2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
      Kuri Kinton 1
    3. Slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces (so that it will be cooked equally)and soak in water for 1 hour.
      Kuri Kinton 2
    4. Rinse the sweet potatoes.
      Kuri Kinton 3
    5. Put the sweet potatoes in a pot and pour water just enough to cover them.
      Kuri Kinton 4
    6. Bring the water to a boil on high heat and once boiling, lower the heat to medium.
      Kuri Kinton 5
    7. Cook the sweet potatoes about 15-20 minutes, or until the skewer goes through smoothly.
      Kuri Kinton 6
    8. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the water and drain completely.
      Kuri Kinton 7
    9. 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.
      Kuri Kinton 8
    10. Put the mashed sweet potatoes back into the pot. Add sugar, salt, and syrup and mix well.
      Kuri Kinton 9
    11. 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.).
      Kuri Kinton 10
    12. Add the chestnuts and cook for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.
      Kuri Kinton 11
    13. 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.
      Kuri Kinton 12
    Recipe Notes

    Kuchinashi no mi (dried gardenia pods): This 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.

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