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torakris

Osechi ryouri

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I decided to pull this out of the osechi for dogs thread, so it doesn't get lost and anyway it deserves a thread of its own! :biggrin:

helenjp wrote:

So what kind of osechi does everybody actually make every year?

I guess our staples (apart from sekihan and nishime) are some kind of konbu rolls (since husband comes from Hokkaido), salmon cured in honey and a little salt (cheaper than smoked salmon so I can make enough for 4-5 boys and men!), and some kind of marinated or pickled vegetable dish.

What about soup? We have a decade long battle over whether to have clear soup with chicken, komatuna, grilled mochi and yuzu, or white miso with round mochi, daikon, and buri decorated with a mountain of tororo konbu and katsuobushi.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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because my in-laws live next door we spend New Years day at their house, where my MIL makes a Kanto style oozoni soup (broth rather then miso that is common in the Kansai area) and a takokomi gohan with beef and negi, this is not really a traditional New Years dish but it is one of the few things she makes well.

The rest of the meal (this is all for breakfast by the way) consists of a 3 dan (or 3 tiered) osechi bought from Takashimaya department store.

I am the only one who enjoys it! I love osechi ryouri but my husband only eats the kazunoko (herring roe) and my kids don't even eat that! :sad:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Could you give a little more information on Osechi ryouri and the new year?

Also, is that the same Takashimaya as the one in New York? Either on Madison or 5th?

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look here:

http://gojapan.about.com/library/weekly/aa010199.htm

In usually avoid this site because of the ridiculous number of pop-ups, but they have a good explanation of both the New Years holiday and of osechi along with several recipes.

I would go under the assumption that the Takashimaya in New York is a branch of the Japan one, but since I have never been to New York :angry: I can't say for sure.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thanks for the link. I want to come to eat during New Years! Everything sounded so good.

I would go under the assumption that the Takashimaya in New York is a branch of the Japan one, but since I have never been to New York  I can't say for sure.

One of the trademarks of the store is their triangle shaped shopping bags. Whenever I go to New York, which isn't as often as I would like, I go to the tea shop in the basement. For the next couple of weeks I have the best lunch bag in the classroom!

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What is it with guys and osechi? Is it the large amount of veges they don't like??

My kids look forward to it, I suppose because I have made some kind of osechi ever since they were born, but husband's stepmother never cooked. However, I think it's mostly prejudice -- he still claims to dislike osechi, but when challenged on individual items, he always says, "Oh no, I like THAT".

What about the nishime/iritori?? I've tried numerous ways of doing it...cutting ingredients small...cutting them large...cooking the vegetables together with the chicken...cooking almost all ingredients separately... I think it tastes best if I cook everything separately, so the flavors have more individuality, but it is definitely more hassle than I need in a kitchen with a two-burner range!

Takikomi-gohan for osechi?? Sounds good to me...but sekihan is the one thing my family can't get enough of. By the way, those packs in the supermarket with partly cooked beans actually make respectable sekihan for bento etc.

DH hates kazunoko, and one DS hates ebi, so we almost always buy those little fish pickled in bright yellow millet.

I used to make more elaborate things, but with 4 guys in the household, I go for volume these days...

One favorite hot thing to eat with osechi is hakusai cooked Chinese-style with shredded scallops and a little cloud-ear fungus.

What about toshi-koshi soba? DH doesn't like soba, so every year this is my chance to make Sanuki udon and have it The Proper Way, served in the cooking liquid, with just yuzu peel, sesame, and green onion!

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I don't make any osechi at all, since we always go to Osaka for New Years.

I do help mash the sweet potato through the strainer. Sad, since I don't like the resulting kinton- far too sweet! I wish I could just eat the plain mashed sweet potato (but I realize that's impossible since the whole point of o-sechi is the heavy flavourings that preserve it without refridgeration).

There is a chance that my husband will have to work through New Years this year so I may finally have to make my own osechi. Dreading it!

My MIL uses a clear broth for her ozoni, but a few years ago she tried a miso broth. We all agreed that the clear broth is better (but maybe because she didn't make it like Helen does!).


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I sometimes wonder how many Japanese make all of the osechi from scratch, I would estimate it to be pretty low especially in the cities.

Near the end of the year the supermarkets fill the refrigerated sections with prepared traditonal osechi dishes so shoppers can pick and choose the ones they like in the amount they want them.

Then there are the ones you can order, not only traditional Japanese ones, but those containing Chinese foods and Western foods have become quite popular in recent years. Then there are the major hotels and restaurants that entice you to buy "their" osechi. :biggrin:

For those that are unfamiliar with osechi here are a couple pictures, scrolll down, there is a Chinese foods near the bottom:

http://www.w-mama.com/ami/KISETU/osechi.html


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Well, prepared osechi is really really pricey, so I don't know how many people really eat it. I imagine that 3-dan Takashimaya osechi is in the hundred-thousand yen range!

I think my MIL is really typical- she makes most of her osechi at home and only buys the stuff that is too difficult/too time consuming/she doesn't have the equipment for.

So the tomago-yaki, kombu-maki, kamaboko and mochi are all store-bought, while the rest are home-made.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I've never really liked osechi - but I don't think I've ever really had it prepared well. An older woman who used to visit the bar I worked at would bring in a huge tray of homemade osechi dishes every year, and they were always awful. She wasn't the best cook, though, in general - I remember she once brought in a box of homemade "choux cream," or cream puffs, that we all bit into to find that they were filled not only with cream, but also with (horrifying) smoked salmon.

Anyway, I usually just ate the kuromame and left it at that.

Last year my boyfriend and I ate toshikoshi soba and drank sake on New Year's Eve, and then ozoni the next day. That's about it, I think. We also took advantage of the sales on mochi at Japanese groceries and ate lots and lots and lots of them - either toasted with sato jyoyu and nori or else in zenzai (or oshiruko). I probably still have some in the freezer from last year.

This is a nice site that explains a lot about New Year's foods in Japan - fyi.


Edited by margaret (log)

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Thanks for the link.  I want to come to eat during New Years!  Everything sounded so good.
I would go under the assumption that the Takashimaya in New York is a branch of the Japan one, but since I have never been to New York  I can't say for sure.

One of the trademarks of the store is their triangle shaped shopping bags. Whenever I go to New York, which isn't as often as I would like, I go to the tea shop in the basement. For the next couple of weeks I have the best lunch bag in the classroom!

Takashima-ya in NY although a branch of the Japan department store chain in no way resembles the Japan department stores, it is much more of a specialty shop (my wife who is Japanese goes there for the tea). Wished the NY branch had a Foodhall of the same quality as the Japanese Takashimayas

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I used to dread Osechi-Ryori. Since no one ever cared to make it we always up ended up buying very expensive and in my view not particulary tasty food at a department store. Two years in a row, and then I had it, told them I could have a gourmet vacation for the money spent.

Besides Torakris in this thread I never heard anyone who ever actually liked it.

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Well, prepared osechi is really really pricey, so I don't know how many people really eat it. I imagine that 3-dan Takashimaya osechi is in the hundred-thousand yen range!

Takashimaya's osechi order page:

http://www.shop.takashimaya.co.jp/plan/osechi/index_f.html

It really isn't that expensive, the 3 dan tend to be about 20,000 yen ($200).

They are quite good too! This is where my MIL orders from every year :biggrin:

She makes ozouni and a takikomi rice dish with beef and leeks, which is far from traditional, but it is by far her best dish and she makes it for any semi-special occasion.

My FIL slices up some nice sashimi and it makes a great breakfast!

After breakfast we read the nengajyo, then the kids receive their otoshidama (gift of money from relatives/friends) and we head off to Toys R Us to let them pick out something.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Surprise, surprise, the latest issue of Orange Page has .... Ginger-glazed Meatballs in their easy osechi feature!

My question: what osechi foods can safely be made ahead and frozen or fridged for at least 3 days before serving? I know I can freeze the sweet potato puree (kinton) and add the chestnuts when serving...how about namasu? Anybody think it will get too flabby if I make it way ahead of time and fridge it? Reckon datemaki has enough sugar in to freeze without turning the egg rubbery?

My unsubtle plan is to actually do some cleaning as well as cooking this year, so a little foresight is called for!

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Last month's Kyou no Ryouri had a pretty decent osechi section with traditional preparations of the traditional foods (as well as a couple twists on the favorites) and it including a time schedule for making as well as info for how long to store them.

Almost everything was able to be stored for at least 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, one of the joys of osechi.

Kinton I am sure would freeze well, namasu (I made some last night for dinner) has a refrigerated shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks. Datemaki should be fine in the refrigerator for a couple of days.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I clipped a recipe out of Kyou no Ryouri a couple years back for an anzu (apricot) kinton made with dried apricots, satsumaimo, mizu ame and sugar.

If I ever make osechi I am definitely going to make this!

It reminds we of the sweet potato-apricot casserole that is one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving at my Aunt's house.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Hmmm...I was hoping to make some stuff a week ahead of time -- in other words, combine the Big Christmas Cook-up with the Big New Year Cook-up, and concentrate (uncharacteristically) on cleaning in the lead-up to New Year. I just cleaned out my whole dry-foods storage area, so maybe the virtue of that will carry me through to the 31st...

I think I'll go ahead and make the namasu, and see what it's endurance powers are!

About kinton: I used to make one that included kiwifruit and canned Japanese cherries (which are not very sweet). It was nice, but didn't keep as well as the regular type. However, anzu sound as if they would keep well too...

One thing I used to like was a "tomo-ai" of sato-imo (small taro-family root veges). I think it used peanut butter in the mashed sato-imo, with whole boiled (or maybe deep-fried??) sato-imo folded into it.

Think I'll buy the datemaki this year...the boys are too young to remember me making it, and if never find out it can be made at home, so much the better!

I've cooked a bunch of chicken breast chunks slowly in sake, with a few dried shiitake thrown in, and frozen both the chicken and the shiitake, for ozouni soup and for the nishime [mixed simmered veg).

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osechi 2004

Here is what we ate at my in laws house, all of the following products were purchased except for what I made.

The ozouni or New Years Day soup, my MIL makes this typical Kanto style (Kanto being the name for the Tokyo and surrounding areas, in comparison to Kansai the Osaka area) with a clear, soy based broth (Kansai ozouni usually adds miso) and beef, carrots, daikon, gobo (burdock root) and garnished with mitsuba (trefoil) and naruto (the white and pink swirl that is made from fish paste), a piece of grilled mochi (rice cake) burned as usual is placed inside.

i1883.jpg

Next come the typical osechi products various simmered vegetables (shiitake, carrots, gobo, bamboo shoot, butterbur--fuki in Japanese, and taro), two kinds of sweet beans--black and green, two kinds of "candied" fish--cooked with soy and sugar these are sort of a sticky sweet, herring rolled konbu (kelp), and in the middle is kurikinton the Japanese sweet potato pureed and heavily sweetened and mixed with chestnuts.

i1879.jpg

then there is the kazunoko (herring roe) the long brown pieces, these ones are soy flavored and the sweetened egg omelette formed into a roll, the yellow stuff is the kinton that I made with sweet potatoes and dried apricots, in front of it is matsumaezuke a popular dish of dried shredded konbu (kelp), dried squid, carrots and sometimes kazunoko (herring roe), next to those are the grilled shrimp.

i1882.jpg

the sashimi platter, my FIL cuts all of this himself, he refilled the platter 3 times!

All of the fish was bought at Costco

i1880.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I heard on the news yesterday that in November, even 100,000-yen ($1,000) osechi had sold out at a particular store.

For anyone who doesn't know--or in case my spelling is incorrect--osechi is traditional new year food that is often arranged in stacked trays with a lid on top, forming a tall box.

What I want to know is, what exactly might a 100,000-yen osechi include??? Sure, probably abalone and things like that. But can good ingredients really add up to that much? Or is it merely a case of stores jacking up the prices because they know there will be a demand regardless of cost?

EDITED to add price in US dollars


Edited by torakris (log)

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This country is mysterious, even to me.

Why buy a 5,000-yen melon?

Why buy a 10,000-yen osechi?

Why buy a 20,000-yen matsutake?

And, why buy a 100,000-yen osechi?

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