Chestnut Rice | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Chestnut Rice (Kuri Gohan)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: kurigohan, mixed rice
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 5
Chestnut rice or Kuri Gohan is a traditional Japanese fall rice recipe. This aromatic chestnut rice with black sesame and a pinch of salt is perfect for fall evenings.




  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Chestnut Rice Ingredients
  2. Put rice in a large bowl. Gently wash the rice with cold water and discard water. Repeat this process about 3-4 times until water becomes almost translucent. Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes. Transfer the rice into a sieve and drain for 15 minutes.
    Chestnut Rice 1
  3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Put chestnuts in boiling water, cover with the lid, and turn off the heat. Set aside for 30 minutes and drain (It’s easier to peel when they are still warm).
    Chestnut Rice 2
  4. Using a knife, make an incision around the edge where the flat surface and bottom of a chestnut meets. Then start peeling the shell.
    Chestnut Rice 3
  5. Then peel the inner skin completely and soak in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Peel the rest of chestnuts and change the water a few times.
    Chestnut Rice 4
  6. Put the rice, water, sake, and salt in a heavy bottom pot and lightly mix all together. Then place chestnuts on top.
    Chestnut Rice 5
  7. Bring the rice to a boil over medium heat. Take a quick peek to see if water is boiling (otherwise do not open the lid). Once water is boiling, turn the heat to low and cook covered for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed (take a quick peek!). If you see there is still water left, close the lid and continue cooking for a little longer.
    Chestnut Rice 6
  8. Remove the pot with the lid on from the heat source and let the rice steam for 10 minutes before opening the lid.
    Chestnut Rice 7
  9. Fluff up and mix the rice; wet a rice paddle and slice through the rice with the scooper, then fold over the rice. Sprinkle salt and black sesame seeds.
    Chestnut Rice 8

Recipe Notes

If you're using a rice cooker, follow manufacture's instruction for cooking rice (from Step 5).

Rice: You can omit 1/4 cup sweet rice and use just 2 1/4 cups short grain rice.
Chestnuts: If your chestnuts are big, cut them in half so that they will be cooked thoroughly.

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 and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.