Ingredients for 4 Servings
Sweet potato (さつまいも / Satsuma imo) 1 large (enough for 200 g after skinning)
Gardenia (くちなし / Kuchinashi) 1
Apple juice (りんご ジュース / Ringo jūsu) 50 ml (100%)
Amazake (甘酒 / Amazake) 100 g
Salt (塩/ Shio) Pinch
Apple (りんご / Ringo) 1/4 (about 70 g)
Shiokōji (塩麹 / Shiokōji) 1/2 tsp
Apple juice (りんご ジュース / Ringo jūsu) 1/2 tbsp
Raisins (レーズン / Rēhzun) 15 g
How to Make
1. Cut the sweet potato into rounds about 2 cm thick. Skin the rounds to remove all of the skin and a little bit of the potato underneath. Place the skinned rounds into a bowl of water. This will remove unwanted flavors.
2. Fill a medium-size pot with water until it is mostly full. Break the gardenia up, place it into a tea pack, and then place the tea pack into the water, together with the sweet potato rounds. Place the pot on medium heat and boil until the sweet potato rounds become soft. Once the sweet potato rounds have softened, drain off the water and then mash them in the pot.
3. Into a separate pot, add the apple juice, amazake, and salt. Bring this to a boil, then reduce to low heat and add the mashed sweet potato and mix well. This mixture will tend to stiffen as it cools, so it should feel a bit loose when you are finished mixing (The mixture will still be a warm at this point.)
4. Leaving the skin on, cut the apple into wedges. Place these into a mixing bowl. Add the shiokōji and 1/2 tsp of apple juice, and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then heat the bowl in a microwave (600w) for 2 minutes.
5. Mix the mashed sweet potato, apple wedges and raisins, and serve.
Significance of Kinton as an Osechi Dish
Kinton is written with the Chinese characters金団. 金 (kin) means gold, 団 (ton) refers to a group – often of people, but this character is also used in the word “futon” (布団), which might literally be interpreted as cloth that has been grouped. Kinton (金団) refers more specifically to gold dumplings (金の団子 kin no dango) or a golden quilt (金の布団 kin no futon). And these in turn are metaphors for gold nuggets or ingots (金塊 kinkai), or the gold coins (flat ovals) used from around 1600 to 1867 in Japan. Kinton, therefore, symbolizes financial good fortune (金運 kin-un) or good luck in competition (勝負運 shōbu-un).
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