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on the menu : chestnut wild rice in green tea

Posted Dec 15 2011 5:19am


The inspiration for this dish comes from a similar Japanese dish called hitsumabushi.  Unlike the inspiration, my dish does not call for eel (though if you’re a fan – go for it!).  Essentially a rice dish layered with unagi (eel) eaten by many connoisseurs in the following order: 1. As is, 2. Topped with chives, wasabi, + nori 3. Topped with chives, wasabi, + nori, then soaked with dashi.  The last stage is quite simply the best.  If you’ve never had rice soaked in some sort of a dashi or tea, you must try it.

The beauty of this dish I’ve created is the lightness.  I sometimes eat dinner past 9:00 so my body is naturally craving something that won’t weigh me down.  This dish taps that bar and so many others – easy to prepare, healthy, fills you up, comforting, warming, etc. etc.  I do encourage you to go for de-caffeinated tea if you’re eating it late at night.  Unless you’re immune to caffeine… :) .

I’ve captured the sweetness that eel in hitsumabushi brings by incorporating roasted chestnuts and sugar snap peas.  I’ve kept things whole grain friendly by opting for the whole grain rice over white rice.  Instead of the sweet unagi (eel) sauce that would traditionally accompany eel, I’ve added brown rice syrup.  Healthy and delicious?  Check and check.  Where does your dinner inspiration come from?


  • Chestnuts (1 lb)
  • Sugar Snap Peas (1/2 lb)
  • Whole Grain Wild Rice (2 cups)
  • Soy Sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Brown Rice Syrup (2 tsp)
  • Nori Seaweed
  • Brewed Green Tea
  • Salt + White Pepper


  1. Roast the chestnuts (pre-heat oven to 375 F, make deep cross hatches on the humps of the chestnuts, place them on a baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes.  Peel as soon as you’re able to handle them).
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to your package.
  3. Chop up the sugar snap peas and chestnuts.  Set aside.
  4. While your rice is finishing up its cooking process, brew some green tea.
  5. When your rice has cooked, add the chopped snap peas and chestnuts and mix well.
  6. Add to the rice soy sauce, brown rice syrup, and a little salt + white pepper.
  7. Prior to serving, add some shredded nori.
  8. Pour in the brewed green tea and serve immediately.

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