Japanese New Year's Dish: Ozoni
Ozoni with round mochi
Japanese people eat New Year's dishes such as ‘Osechi’ during the holiday. Ozoni is one part of Osechi cuisine.
There are several origins for this dish, but in the past, people ate Ozoni to give thanks for the safe harvest of the previous year's crops, and to pray for a good harvest and safety for families in the new year.
Ozoni with clear broth
Ozoni is a traditional soup. It usually contains rice cakes (mochi), but the seasoning of the soup, the shape of the rice cakes, and the types of ingredients vary between regions and households.
In eastern Japan, it's made with square rice cakes, while in western Japan it is made with round rice cakes. In many regions, the soup stock is made from seafood and soy sauce or salt, but in Kansai, the stock is miso-based. The ingredients are sometimes local specialties.
In Tokyo and other parts of the Kanto region, the most common ingredients are square rice cakes, fish cakes (kamaboko), carrots, Japanese mustard spinach (komatsuna) or other green vegetables, and shiitake mushrooms.
Kanto style Ozoni
It would be interesting to compare the Ozoni of different regions. Have you tried any of Japan’s New Year's dishes?