“Ozouni” New Year Soup お雑煮

japanese cake

We started having New Year’s soup or “ozouni” お雑煮 as a lunch rather than breakfast a few years ago. We need coffee in the morning even if it’s New Year’s day. So, we started the day with our cappuccino and the assorted holiday breads such as stollen and panetonne that my wife baked for the holidays. The ozoni made its debut at lunch. Ozoni varies among regions and even families. Sometimes husbands and wives may have grown up with totally different types of ozoni and it can be a source of contention. In our household, however, there is no problem since mine is the only ozoni we both know. (Ozoni was not part of my wife’s childhood menu so the only ozoni she has ever eaten was based my mother’s recipe which is also the ozoni I grew up on). My wife suggested several modifications early on in our marriage, so our ozoni varies slightly from the original and is rather uniquely our own. The base is clear soup seasoned with mirin, soy sauce and salt. I make a stock base from  kelp, dried bonito and chicken. The items in the soup include shiitake mushrooms, freeze dried tofu (kouya-dofu 高野豆腐), daikon, carrot, burdock root 牛蒡, chicken, shrimp, fish cake 蒲鉾, snow peas, and mitsuba greens みつば. As per my wife’s suggestion, we put the Mochi 餅 rice cake in the deep fried tofu (or “abura-age” 油揚げ) pouch, tied with “kanpyou” 干瓢 so that it won’t dissolve or stick. (Unfortunately, it is on the bottom of the bowel and can’t be seen in the picture). The items vary from year to year as well. This year, I forgot to get freeze dried tofu and shiitake so I used maitake instead.

I also served the usual new year food I made. All except for the gobo dish are in “Norio’s New Year’s dishes” tab in our blog.

Left is “Russian” marinated salmon 鮭のロシア漬け and the right herring roe 数の子.

Daikon namasu 大根なますwith ikura salmon roe. Since we could not get octopus leg, I had to be satisfied with head (body) of octopus this year.

Datemaki 伊達巻 egg roll and “gobo” burdock root with sesame dressing.

We had only one small cup of symbolic sake with this.

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