Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts – Rumaki

This New Year’s Eve we celebrated with our kids with fireworks and a movie. Then we put the kids to bed and had a babysitter watch them while we headed to a friend’s for food and games. The fact that we could actually get a sitter on New Year’s Eve is mind blowing. For those of you who have kids, you know what an impossible task that is. Which is why for the last 7 years we’ve watched the ball drop from the comfort of our couch. I don’t mind that at all either, but it was nice to have a change of pace.

I know a lot of people are anti-resolutions but I think there’s nothing wrong with setting your compass North to things that are better.

My resolution this year is to BE ON TIME.

With four kids there are a lot of ‘X’ factors that can happen between the time you decide to go out the door and actually get there. Diaper change, lost shoe, snacks, missing glove, etc.

But all of those aren’t good excuses. If you give yourself enough time it doesn’t matter what happens. My goal is to add ten minutes more prep to however long I think it will take us to get out the door. BTW – I already muffed this one the second day of the year but have recommitted to it again.

What are your resolutions…if you’re sharing?

bacon-wrapped-water-chestnutsThis recipe was sent to me by a reader Jamie and I’m so glad she did. The sweet and salty bacon wrapped around the marinated water chestnut is the perfect combo. Some people call this Rumaki.

water-chestnutThe water chestnuts marinate for 4 hours and then are wrapped in bacon.brown-sugarThen it’s rolled in brown sugar…bacon-wrapped-water-chestnuts-plateAnd baked until nice and crispy.water-chestnuts-insideYum.


Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

  • Yield: about 36


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts, drained well
  • 1 (lb) center cut bacon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • toothpicks (see note)


  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the soy sauce, vegetable oil, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Add the drained chestnuts and mix to coat. Cover and marinate in fridge at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375. Line a jelly roll pan or 9×13 pan with foil or parchment paper and place a metal cooking rack on top or use a broiler pan so that the drippings can fall off.
  3. Cut the bacon slices in half or in thirds, depending on how big the bacon is. Drain water chestnuts from marinade. Roll one water chestnut in a piece of bacon, secure w/ toothpick. Roll in brown sugar. Bake 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Don’t worry if the fat and brown sugar that fall off smoke a little.


To prevent toothpicks from burning, soak them in water while the chestnuts are marinating.

Source: from reader Jamie MacFarlane

Speak Your Mind



  1. Wonderful — my mom used to make these when I was a kid. I will definitely have to bake some of these for my kids!

  2. My mom has made these since i was little. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! They are the first to go at every gathering! Thanks for posting.

  3. I do not care for water chestnuts, but, wrap anything in bacon and it has to be good. I know my husband would love this, he is the one that gets the water chestnuts when I pick them out of something.

  4. Totally know the feeling of wanting to get somewhere on time. We have three kids, and it just seems like everything falls apart right before it is time to leave. I’ve started getting everyone going 10 minutes earlier this week too! It totally makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Okay, I’ve had Rumaki, but the pics of these babies made my mouth water–definately making these. And I see nothing wrong with wanting to make our lives better or easier or more fruitful. I love your resolution of being on time (and the fact that you did recommit after a glich).

    I feel as if I need to write a manifesto for my resolutions this year!

  6. I make a version of this for new yrs eve every year. I never knew it had a name! I like the br sugar coating, I’ve never had it that way before! I bet the salty and the sweet is scrumptious!

  7. I love rumaki! My husband and son could make a meal of them! Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. oh my goodness, my husband talks all the time about these snacks his grandma used to make. i thought it sounded bizarre, but these look amazing. i’m going to have to surprise him with this… i’m so excited! 🙂

  9. You had me at bacon 🙂 They look great.

  10. …And I bet these were everyone’s favorite appetizers! Yum! Happy New Year!

  11. These are a little different than how we make our’s, but still look JUST as tasty! 🙂 I’ll have to try them! 🙂

  12. absolutely gorgeous! you make wrapping the bacon around that little chestnut look so easy. I love rumaki! love this with dates too. mmmgood!

  13. These look SO yummy! What kind of vinegar do you use? Just white or something fancier? 😉

  14. These sound awesome. Anything bacon wrapped is fine with me!

  15. I have two comments, !: We used brown sugar and maple syrup, worchestershire sauce and the bacon and water chestnuts, turned out perfect, best flavor with the added maple syrup…

    2: They (pro’s), claim one is late as they feel superior to the ones waiting for them, makes sense to me….But a person would never be late, if they felt the vibes of those that have been waiting for them. I wait for no one. When my meal is ready, we eat, and latecomers are more than welcome to HELP THEMSELVES, as I’m certainly not waiting on someone that is late, unless it is a situation where they HAD to come late, and I knew it, ahead of time. Then I will wait on them, as if they were punctual. That is such a different scenario. No one should ever make anyone wait for them, it is purely rude, obnoxious behavior. I know a daughter that made her eldely father upset and angry at every holiday because she came late…if she knew what he went thru, she’d have never done that to him. Be kind, people, be ontime or stay home. Unless there is a good reason that you let the hostess know ahead of time.
    Parents, picking up school children, be concsious of the fact that your child ‘hates’ having to wait to be picked up when the other kids are picked up already. It isn’t too safe, either…I’ve seen kids at grade school hate being picked up, late. Everyone needs to think of how their actions affect others.

    I purposely get ready, early, and then relax for at least half an hour, makes going anywhere a pleasure. No hurrying. I save enough time so I can primp at my leisure, with a cup of coffee, and then have a second cup once I’m all ready. I make it pleasureable….hope that helps.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Sherry, Great tips! Thank you!

    • Sherry, all your tips sound GREAT – but there are SOOOOOO MANY of us who do not have such LUXURIES as to have an extra 30 minutes to JUST SIT around SIPPING COFFEE, or tea or SIPPING ANYTHING…. many of us, especially WORKING SINGLE MOTHERS, barely have time to run to the bathroom or even grab a DRINK OF WATER in between all the responsibilities we have to deal with ourselves, since so many men think that shirking THEIR responsibilities is OK – and society is ALLOWING IT TO THE POINT IT IS BECOMING NORMAL. Try walking in someone else’s shoes a while before condemning and criticizing them, yourself! Your haughty attitude is showing miserably here, too. What ever happened to “let go and let God” – and to not be judgmental of others… it is TRULY NOT our place… or how about “live and let live” – now THERE’s an old adage to live by!

    • besides…. everyone ELSE was talking about rumaki and wonderful bacon recipes – and NOT passing judgment on others!

  16. my family has always added a little twist to our rumaki … often add scallops and sometimes chicken livers too… the scallops with the water chestnuts are my personal favorites! If you like seafood, give it a try… they are much richer that way, but oh, soooo yummy!

  17. The rumaki I grew up with always had liver in the middle. Mom loved it but I was never crazy about it. These sound soo much better 🙂

  18. Hi. I was wondering if these are good at room temperature? I was thinking of bringing them to work for an appetizer buffet, but if I kept it in a crock pot to keep warm, I would think it could overcook. Any ideas? Thank you!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      They are good at warm temperature. I don’t think you could overcook them so a crockpot would be fine to keep them warm.

  19. Made these for a work gathering last night and they were awesome! Thanks for posting.

  20. Should be noted true “Rumaki” is made with either chicken or duck liver. But because some people do not enjoy livers some place omitted the liver.

  21. My Mom always made these but she made a sauce of ketchup, brown sugar and mustard and dipped them in it and then re baked until bubbly. Oh Soo Good, reminds me of home.

  22. ummm no, this is not Rumaki. Rumaki has no sugar and its made with chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon. I used to make it all the time for parties. Make it now and nobody knows what you’re talking about. It’s a “cough cough” older recipe! LOL!

    This recipe with just water chestnuts wrapped in bacon will be yummy. The dusting of brown sugar with add a whole new dimension! Going to do it! 🙂