New Year’s Food

Osechi Ryori
The most traditional New Year’s traditional food is called Osechi Ryori. I help my family cook Osechi Ryori every year. It typically includes Nimono (stewed/boiled vegetables or meat), Sunomono (vinegared dish), Kuromame (sweet black beans), Kazunoko (preserved herring roe), Kamaboko (fish cakes), and Tatsukuri (cooked small dried sardines). Japanese people traditionally pray for good harvest and many children with Kazunoko and a healthy and long life with Kuromame. Most Japanese families used to cook Osechi Ryori from scratch, but not everyone does today as it really takes a lot of time. Many families now purchase Osechi Ryori in department stores or online.


Ozoni (Soup with vegetables, meats and usually Mochi)
We also eat Ozoni in the New Year. This year, we even made Mochi from scratch by having a machine knead the dough and manually shaping the Mochi with our hands. The flavor of Ozoni can vary by region; it can be Miso based, soy sauce based, etc. What goes inside also varies depending on the region. My family’s Ozoni is always soy sauced based and has chicken. It would be interesting to try Ozoni from many different areas of the country.