Ozoni is a Japanese New Year’s specialty soup which contains Mochi rice cakes and vegetables. It is certainly a hearty and filling soup to get through cold Japanese weather in New year days.
What is Ozoni?
Ozoni is a hearty soup with mochi. Japanese love eating it in the colder seasons. Ozoni has been a traditional New Year’s dish in Japan for a very long time, since the time of the samurai. There are many variations across the regions.
Kansai vs Kanto
Generally speaking, in Kansai region (west around Osaka) where I come from, Ozoni is made with miso soup, and round mochi. On the other hand, in the Kanto region (east around Tokyo), people make Ozoni with clear soup and rectangular mochi.
What type of Miso?
So I usually make the Kansai version with miso. But which miso? There are mainly three types if we classify by colour, Red (Aka), White (Sihro) and Mixed (Awase). If you would like to know more detail about Miso, read here. Anyway for Ozoni, White Miso is usually used.
Shape of Mochi round or rectangle?
As I mentioned above, for Ozoni Kansai style, they usually use round mochi, and Kanto style, rectangular. Unfortunately I could not find any round mochi from local Japanese grocery stores. Though, mochi is mochi and the shape doesn’t really matter. I guess when you are living outside of Japan, it is lucky if you can get mochi anyway.
Mitsuba for garnish
Although, I could not get round mochi, I got Mitsuba! yay from my Japanese friend live nearby. Japanese parsley or Japanese wild parsley is Mitsuba. It is used for garnishing many Japanese dishes such as Chawanmushi. Mitsuba has a distinctive, refreshingly clean and slightly bitter taste.
Tradition runs in my family in Japan
In my family, we eat Ozoni in the morning for breakfast on New Year’s Day. My mom says that it is a New Year’s breakfast food, thanking God for good harvesting, our family lived safely in previous year, and to receive the grace of God.
Beware of Mochi danger
Mochi is very yummy so beware not to try to eat a lot of it at once, because there is a significant choking hazard and you may potentially DIE. Not even kidding…seriously, people have died. Apparently, old people especially are being warned in Japan of the danger of choking on the mochi (check out this article to know more).
I think it happens quite rarely though, so I’m sure it won’t happen to you…hopefully! It really says something about how delicious mochi and ozoni is though…people risk their lives to eat this dish! I will never stop eating it, because it’s so delicious. Enjoy.
Here is my recipe for Ozoni Kansai mochi soup. Please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
- 2 cups of water *1
- 1 tsp dashi powder
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1/2 a medium sized carrot or 40g
- 1/4 small daikon radish or 40g
- 2 mochi rice cakes
- 2 Shiitake mushroom *2
- 2 leaves Mitsuba for garnish
- 2 slices of Naruto *5
- Cut the carrot, radish small thin slices.
- Parboil the carrot and radish and cut out to flower shape using Japanese cookie cutter. *3
- Chop stems off the shiitake mushrooms and score cross to create a pattern on mushrooms.
- Add the water and dashi powder in a sauce pan and let it simmer over medium heat.
- Add the carrot and radish to the sauce pan and leave it cook for about 5 minutes.
- While the carrot, radish and mushrooms is cooking, cut the mochi in half and put it in the oven to grill for 15 minutes on 180c. *4
- Turn the heat off the saucepan after carrot, radish and mushrooms are cooked. Add miso paste (straining it through a small sifter ladle to remove the hard chunks).
- Once the miso has dissolved, put the saucepan back on to medium heat. Watch it carefully and remove from heat just before it boils.
- Once the mochi is done, add the mochi to a bowl and pour the miso soup over the mochi.
- Garnish with Mitsuba and naruto(*5) to serve.