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Monday, December 31, 2007

Ozoni soup for New Year's Day

On New Year's Day, it is a Japanese tradition to eat Ozoni soup, which is essentially a soup made with clear dashi broth with mochi (pounded glutinous rice) and an assortment of various vegetables (spinach, watercress, mushrooms, daikon, carrots, etc). The mochi can be cooked by boiling it or roasting it in a toaster or oven. When I am using a mochi for soup (instead of a sweet dessert), I look for mochi that has ZERO fat, sodium and sugar (I use Shirakiku brand if you can find it but there are countless brands and types of mochi).

This traditional soup is a symbol of beginning the new year with harmony and balance. Recipes for this New Year's day soup will vary greatly depending on the region of Japan and family traditions, but I highly recommend that you either look for a recipe and try it at home or order it at a Japanese restaurant...

My aunt used to serve Ozoni soup with a side of Abekawa mochi, which is mochi that has been rolled in a Kinako (soybean flour) and sugar mixture (and sometimes a pinch of salt). It's warm and gooey and sweet....mmmmmmm. This year, although I wish I could eat these amazing treats at my sister-in-law's house (she's from Japan), I am going to attempt to try to make some on New Year's Day. (Note: I made my Ozoni soup with spinach, carrots, daikon, and mochi)

Happy New Year!

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