Ozoni is a special soup with Mochi (rice cake) in it that you eat in the morning on New Year’s Day in Japan. We decorate the house with Mochi to dedicate to the New Year, and eat it to celebrate and hope for a good year. We have a big meal called Osechi along with Ozoni, but we’ll talk about that some other time.
Although we made Kansai style (as usual), Ozoni is different region by region, and also household by household. Clear fish broth is preferred in some areas, like Tokyo and Osaka, but Miso based soup is eaten in Kyoto or some parts of Shikoku. The kind of mochi used is different, too. Square baked Mochi, round fresh and soft Mochi, or even Mochi with Anko (sweet red beans) inside could be used in Ozoni.
Vegetables and meats in Ozoni also vary depending on where you are from. Local products are often used because of abundance. After all, Ozoni is an old world food that was cooked just from what you got long before convenient transportation. However, typical ingredients are chicken, some fish, shrimp, and Kamaboko (fish cake) and winter vegetables like Daikon radish and carrots. Mitsuba, sometimes called Japanese parsley, adds color and refreshing flavor to Ozoni, but if you can’t find it, use green onion instead.
For the soon coming new year, make nice and hot Ozoni and hope for you and your family’s health and good luck for a whole year. Have a very Happy New Year!
- 3 cups Dashi
- 1/2 cup Daikon radish, thin and skinny slices
- 1/2 cup carrot, thin and skinny slices
- 8 slices Kamaboko
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sake
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
- 8 Mochi
- 4 Mitsuba, coarsely chopped
- Heat Dashi in a pot at medium temperature and add Daikon radish, carrot and Kamaboko, and cook until vegetables become tender.
- Meanwhile, bake Mochi in a toaster oven about 5 minutes until the Mochi has expanded and browned.
- Season soup with soy sauce, Sake, and salt.
- In a soup bowl, place baked Mochi and pour hot soup, then sprinkle with Mitsuba.