when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sweet chestnut and Pacific saury

Sweet chestnut and Pacific saury(秋刀魚, sanma) come into season at this time of year. We eat Pacific sauries broiled with salt and rice cooked with chestnuts.

The Chinese characters "秋刀魚"  literally means an autumn fish. Pacific sauries are cheap and better-tasting in autumn.

Japanese chestnut(or Castanea crenata) is delicious, but it is difficult to remove astringent skins from the chestnut. So we frequently buy peeled chestnuts. I peel raw chesnuts a once or twice a year and cook with them or preserve them in syrup.
Raw chestnuts slightly darken when cut or peeled, so food makers or confectionery makers turn them yellow with gardenia fruits or bleach them with hydrosulfite.

We make confections with chesnuts preserved in syrup.
There is also a confection using chesnuts with their astringent skins preserved in syrup.


Baked confection filled with sweet white bean paste and small pieces of preserved chesnuts.


Neri-youkan(練り羊羹) consists of sweet bean paste, kanten solution and sugar. Mushi-youkan(蒸し羊羹) is a steamed mixture of flour and sweet adzuki bean paste. Kuri-mushi-youkan is a mushi-youkan containing chesnuts.

Youkan commonly means neri-youkan, but mushi-youkan has a longer history than neri-youkan. Neri-youkan keeps longer than mushi-youkan.

Kuri-kinton(栗金団) or Kuri-chakin(栗茶巾)

This confection is made by wrapping a mixture of sugar and mashed chesnuts in silk cloth and twisting the cloth.


Kuri-youkan commonly means neri-youkan containing chesnuts, but this confection consists of mashed chesnuts, kanten solution and sugar.


Zeitaku youkan(ぜいたく羊羹)
This contains sweet mashed chesnuts.

Toyo no aki(豊の秋)


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