Japanese New Year's Dish with many variations: Ozoni

Ozoni with round mochi

In Japan, we eat New Year's dishes such as 'Osechi' during the New Year holiday. Ozoni is one of these traditional New Year's dishes.

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 the family in the new year.

Ozoni with clear broth

Ozoni is a traditional soup dish. It generally contains rice cakes (mochi), but the seasoning of the soup, the shape of the rice cakes, and the types of ingredients vary from region to region and household to household.

In eastern Japan, it's made with square-shaped rice cakes, while in western Japan it is made with round-shaped rice cakes. In many regions, the soup stock is made from seafood and soy sauce or salt, but in Kansai, it's miso soup. 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?

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