Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year Food - Osechi Ryori


Happy New Year!
新年明けましておめでとうございます!
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)

Kuromame
(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

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