Chestnuts Cooked in Syrup

Chestnuts Cooked in Syrup

Make shiny, beautiful chestnuts cooked in syrup. You can make it easily at home. As long as you finish the peeling, the rest is easy!


1 kg (with the shells on)
Dried gardenia fruit (optional)
1 tablespoon
400 g


1. Soak the raw chestnuts in boiling water for about 30 minutes, then peel. The outer skin will be softened and easy to peel.
2. This is the toughest task, but don't give up. Soak the peeled chestnuts in water.
3. Cut the dried gardenia fruit in half. The gardenia fruit are used to color the chestnuts, so they're optional.
4. Put 1 liter of water, the vinegar and the gardenia fruit in a pan and bring to a boil.
5. Add the chestnuts, bring to a boil again and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
6. The chestnuts will become nicely colored as shown here.
7. Drain, and rinse the chestnuts one by one in water.
8. Put the chestnuts, 800 ml of water and the sugar in a pan over medium heat. When the surface is covered with small bubbles, turn the heat down to low just before it comes to a boil.
9. Be sure to cook over low heat, and put on a small lid that sits right on top of the chestnuts (a drop lid or otoshibuta - you can also use a piece of kitchen parchment paper as a lid). If the pot is so hot that the chestnuts dance around in the liquid, they'll break apart. The simmering time differs depending on how big the chestnuts are, but it should be about 15 to 20 minutes after turning the heat down to low.
10. Cool the chestnuts in the pan, and leave overnight. The flavors will penetrate and they'll become delicious.
11. Take the chestnuts and pack in clean jars. Strain the syrup, and simmer to reduce to about 2/3 its original volume. Add the syrup to the jars to finish.
12. These have less sugar than commercially made chestnuts in syrup, so store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Please look up ways to store them for a long time.

Story Behind this Recipe

The biggest concern when making chestnuts in syrup is preventing from falling apart while cooking, but if the cooking time is too short, they'll be hard. I finally found the right cooking time that works for me after making them several times, so I uploaded the recipe so I could remember it.