Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year Food - Osechi Ryori

Happy New Year!
Akemashite Omedetou!

New year's is an exciting time in the Japanese food calendar.
It is a time for families and extended families gather together to celebrate with traditions that have continued for hundreds of years.

The food tradition is called Osechi Ryori.
Osechi Ryori consists of multiple dishes, each with their symbolic meanings to bring blessings throughout the new year and into the future.
The dishes are traditionally prepared on the days leading up to New Year's day, so they can be kept for at least a few days.  Some dishes keep well for a month, refrigerated, and can be served at any time of year, celebratory or not, as side dishes or snacks.

At other times of the year, these kinds of foods would be eaten as okazu with rice, but for New Year's, mochi is the staple, and usually served as part off a soup called Ozoni.

These are some pictures of our simple home-made New Year's food for this year.  Over the next few days I will be posting recipes for each of the dishes.

 For our little family:   

What I made for my in-laws:
Nishime (The large dish of seasoned cooked vegetables)

(see below)

Bought, just sliced up:
Kamaboko (pink and white fish cake)
Datemaki  (Yellow rolled omelete including fish paste)

 Tazukuri - candied small dried fish, symbolising abundant harvest

Kurikinton - a paste of sweet chestnuts and sweet potato, symbolising wealth

Houhaku Namasu - Lightly pickled daikon radish and carrot, the red carrot and white radish being colours of celebration.

Kuromame - Sweet black beans, symbolising health


  1. Happy New Year, Shinobu~san and family!

    I'm half-Japanese and quarter-Welsh and quarter-German, and I have lived in Japan for many years. I'm just a regular obatallion now.... But I was never interested in cooking or eating well until I became ill.

    Now, my poor health keeps me in the house and sedentary, but I wanted to do what I could for my wonderful Japanese husband who works so hard to help me and keep my spirits high. So I decided to try cooking! And totally by chance I found Little Japanese Mama on the internet.

    I've made many of your dinner recipes. You've done a great job of using readily available ingredients (like ketchup) to create authentic and delicious Japanese sauces and flavors. And so easy to make! My husband and I find the taste of regular soy sauce to be too strong so we use "kaki shoyu" instead.

    Anyway, I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, etc. and I NEVER send e-mails except to answer, but I just
    have to thank you not only for the energy you use to give us your valuable web page, I thank you for helping me get through these difficult days by enabling me to cook delicious dishes!


    1. So happy to hear that you're enjoying my blog! I hope you will enjoy the new year and that your health may be blessed♡

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Aria! I wish I had time to do it more often...Thank-you for your patience until April...><;;

  3. Zenbu wa suteki desu~ Oishisou!! X3

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