Monday, January 3, 2011

Osechi Ryori- Japanese New Year's Food

New Year’s Eve in Japan is celebrated by getting ready for the coming year. Major cleaning and cooking, basically everything you can do to make sure to start off the new year with a fresh start. This year I was thinking of ordering an Osechi ryori box (special New Year’s food- more on that later) but we decided to make our own after finding a pretty looking three tiered box at the Daiso 100 yen store. That meant that I had to start cooking the meal on the 30th and finished on the night of the 31st. We made a lot of things but got some at the store and the Nishiki market. This is what we made and what we bought- with links to some recipes in English.
Kuromame- black beans (From Savory Japan)
Kuri kinton- mashed sweet potatoes and chestnuts
Kohaku namasu- vinegared daikon and carrot
Iridori- simmered chicken and root vegetables
Ebi no sakamushi- sake cooked shrimp (from Japanese food section)
Kobumaki- rolled kelp
Nishin konbumaki-rolled kelp with herring
Kamaboko- fishcakes
Namafu- gluten – in this case in the shape of a flower
candied citrus
flower cut vinegared lotus root
Datemaki- egg roll
Tazukuri- simmered dried sardines
Tai no shioyaki- Salted Red Snapper
I didn’t bother with Kazunoko because no one in our family would eat them. As it was most of the Tazukuri went uneaten. I wanted to do Tataki gobo, but there wasn't time. There are by the way other good sites out there for osechi besides Savory Japan and Here are two others: shejapan and petit chef.

The Nishiki market is a really fun place to visit on New Year’s Eve, even more insane than usual. They had lots of the traditional new years foods on display and some decent discounts. Here is an image of an almost $240 salted red snapper. Some of the more interesting New Year's foods they had that I DIDN’T get were tiny octopi stuffed with quail eggs, fishcakes with rabbit designs, vegetables cut out in auspicious shapes, and of course the giant salted red snapper.

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