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ozouni (New Year's traditional soup)


torakris
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I love ozouni, for me it is one of the best things about New Year's Day morning. :biggrin:

My, born and raised in Tokyo, MIL makes a clear based soup with thinly sliced beef, daikon, carrots,and gobo, she then places a piece of just grilled mochi in the bowl and tops it with mitsuba. I usually eat 3 bowls!

For the longest time I assumed ozouni, like all of the other New Year traditional foods, was the same in every household. it wasn't until a couple years ago that I found out just how much it varies from household to household.

While generally those in the Kansai (Osaka and surrounds) prefer a miso based ozouni and those in Kanto (Tokyo and surrounds) prefer a clear broth, what goes in the soup can vary greatly.

The mochi preparation can also vary, some grill it while others actually boil it in the soup.

So how do you like your ozouni?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Not my favorite New Year's dish when I was a kid - but I like it now.

Shiro miso soup, round mochi (not toasted) , sliced Daikon is it around my household. My Kanto born wife has had to adjust however.

------------------------

to taberu is to ikiru

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I still haven't acquired the taste for ozoni, but my grandmother used to make it with clam broth, clams, mizuna, and the mochi cooked in it so it's that stretchy, very dangerous consistency. Perhaps daikon or gobo also, but no carrots. I recall it being very austere looking - white mochi, pale broth, wilted greens, and clams.

Family traditions aside, I think torakris' MIL's version sounds the most appetizing.

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My mother doesn't like to cook and cannot cook, so our family always made pilgrimage to grand parents houses to eat during new years day.

For my father's side in Matsuyama-shi, Ehime-ken, my grandma made ozoni using shiro miso soup with daikon, ninjin, gobo, kamaboko, spinich or something green, and grilled mochi. My grand father's job was to grill mochi on hibachi.

For my mother's side in Iyo-shi, Ehime-ken, my grandma used clear soup, usually soup is made from tai fish bones or any fish that available that time of the year, with daikon, ninjin, tai or whatever she used for making dashi, eggs, and pink and white mochi. My grand father used to put ankomochi in his ozoni... :hmmm:

Both versions are so different that I love them both!

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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Ankomochi in ozouni, yeah, that's definitely Shikoku-style!

My first husband's family came from Takamatsu. The ozouni prepared by my MIL (from Okayama) was a white miso soup with small rounds of daikon and carrot, grilled buri (yellowtail), and round mochi cooked in the soup...the bowl was always stacked high with pillows of finely shaved bonito and scraped kelp (tororo-konbu).

FIL always waxed nostalgic about the ankomochi zouni of his youth, but he never mentioned whether they had had clear soup or white miso.

In Tokyo, I make a standard Kanto zouni for my Hokkaido-born husband. Quite a few northern traditions are not found in Hokkaido, because it was settled from so many different regions. I believe that some Hokkaido people put salmon and salmon roe in their ozouni, but husband's Tohoku-born mother always used chicken with komatsu-na, small round spiral pattern (naruto-maki) kamaboko and grilled mochi in a clear broth. DH can't remember what else she put in, so I usually add shiitake, mitsuba, a slice of plain brown-top kamaboko, and yuzu peel.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

I found this information about ozoni styles from different regions in Japan:

Source: Honpa Honganji Hawaii Betsuin: Favorite Island Cookery Book 5, 1989.

:laugh:

Kanto District:

Soup: Sumashi Jiru (Clear soup)

Mochi: Kaku mochi, broiled

Other ingredients: Chicken, kamaboko, carrots, komatsuna, mitsuba, shiitake, koimo, daikon, chikuwa, horenso, gobo, hasu, kanpyo (tied in knots), kezuribushi, nori, mizuna.

Ingredients are boiled separately.

Tohoku District

Soup: Sumashi Jiru

Mochi: Kaku mochi, broiled; Fukushima: fresh mochi is torn up and put in soup.

Other ingredients: Chicken, gobo, koya dofu, carrots, komatsuna, salmon, zenmai, warabi, fuki, watercress, sasatakenoko, kamaboko, ikura, daikon, kaki (oyster), aburage, imogara, koimo.

Seafood is used alot because of its abundance in these areas.

Chubu District:

Soup: Sumashi Jiru, except in Fukui where aka (red) miso is used.

Mochi: Kaku mochi, broiled - Nagano, Niigata, Yamanashi;

Kaku mochi, boiled - Aichi, Gifu, Ishikawa, Shizuoka, Toyama.

Maru mochi boiled in soup - Fukui

Other ingredients: yaki dofu, daikon, konnyaku, ikura, koimo, buri, green onion, tofu, carrots, hakusai, kobumaki, iwashi no surimi, watercress, kezuribushi, komatsuna, chicken, nishime konbu, aburage.

Most of these areas cook the vegetables in the sumashi jiro and add mochi. When mochi is cooked, serve it with vegetables and cooked seafood as condiments.

Kinki District

Soup: red (aka) or white (shiro) miso is generally used except in Kita (north) Hyogo where sumashi jiru is prepared.

Mochi: Maru mochi, boiled

Other ingredients: Hamaguri, daikon, koimo, komatsuna, kashira imo, kezuribushi, carrots, kamaboko, yaki dofu, mitsuba, chicken, mizuna, gobo, konbu, yamaimo, tofu, shingiku.

Chugoku District

Soup: Sumashi jiru

Mochi: Maru mochi, boiled

Other ingredients: Shioburi, daikon, horenso, oyster, carrots, koimo, watercress, kokabu, kamaboko, iwa hagi nori, kezuribushi, konbu, anago, ko ebi, shiitake.

Iwa hagi nori, kezuribushi, Iriko, or buri is used for soup base.

Shimane's specialty is serving wasabi with the soup.

Tottori: Zenzai with mochi is eaten instead of ozoni.

Shikoku

Soup: red (aka) or white (shiro) miso and sumashi jiru.

Mochi: Maru mochi, an mochi, kaku mochi, boiled

Other ingredients: Daikon, koimo, carrots, tofu, buri, komatsuna, chicken, kamaboko, mizuna, shiitake, anago, usuyaki (sliced thinly) tamago.

Kagawa uses an mochi; buri is specialty in Southern Tokushima, Kochi uses various methods (West- Kanto style; East- fish ara as dashi); Ehime uses bright colored garnish.

Kyushu

Soup: Sumashi jiru and shiromiso shiru

Mochi: Maru mochi, boiled

Other ingredients: buri, daikon, yaki dofu, shiitake, makina, green onion, koimo, bean sprouts, chicken, surume, konbu, komatsuna, kuwai, kamaboko, gobo, mizuna, whole dried prawns, carrots.

Bean sprouts is specialty of Miyazaki and Kumamoto; Fukuoka and Nagasaki use a lot of different ingredients; Saga prefers it simple and refreshing.

Okinawa

Soup: Pork and katsuo bushi soup base

Mochi: Kaku mochi, broiled

Other ingredients: Belly pork, taka na (cabbage), daikon, usuyaki (sliced thinly) tamago.

Kanto style ozoni was adopted circa 1945.

Hokkaido

Soup: miso shiru

Mochi: Kaku mochi, broiled

Other ingredients: people migrated to Hokkaido from all different prefectures and brought with them thier regional recipes. Although preparation differs, salmon and ikura are used throughout Hokkaido. Specialties are shrimp, hokkigai, shiitake, daikon, salmon, and ikura.

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Source:  Honpa Honganji Hawaii Betsuin: Favorite Island Cookery Book 5, 1989.

What a detailed account of regional differences in zouni, and it's in English!

Kanto District:

Soup: Sumashi Jiru (Clear soup)

Mochi: Kaku mochi, broiled

Other ingredients: Chicken, kamaboko, carrots, komatsuna, mitsuba, shiitake, koimo, daikon, chikuwa, horenso, gobo, hasu, kanpyo (tied in knots), kezuribushi, nori, mizuna.

Ingredients are boiled separately.

I was born in Tokyo, which is in Kanto, but my family's zouni was more like miso soup with lots of vegetables of different types plus grilled kaku (rectanguluar) mochi. There are of course personal differences as well.

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Source:  Honpa Honganji Hawaii Betsuin: Favorite Island Cookery Book 5, 1989.

What a detailed account of regional differences in zouni, and it's in English!

It seems they did some research to gather all that info, but I found that yesterday morning and had to share!

Ive just made ozoni the way my friend's mom taught me: clear soup with nishime konbu, clams, mizuna, carrots, chicken, and boiled mochi....this sounds so boring now.

This year I think i'll "soup it up" a bit with yummy sounding ingredients from anywhere on this list.

Most tempting..... aburage, kanpyo, gobo, shiitake, salmon, tofu, and i'll definately try broiled mochi this year.

And maybe make half the batch with clear soup and half with miso.

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  • 4 weeks later...

ozouni for 2005

gallery_6134_549_1104619744.jpg

same as my MIL always makes it, a clear broth with beef, daikon, carrots, gobo and garnished with mitsuba and naruto and buried deep in the bottom one grilled piece of mochi.

I could eat this every day :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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same as my MIL always makes it, a clear broth with beef, daikon, carrots, gobo and garnished with mitsuba and naruto and buried deep in the bottom one grilled piece of mochi.

I could eat this every day :biggrin:

Clear broth with beef... I have a feeling that personal differences outweigh regional differences.

I should have posted mine here. Here is a copy from another thread:

gallery_16375_5_1104538807.jpg

My wife made zouni with hakusai (Chinese cabbage), daikon, chikuwa (type of fish paste), salmon, yaki dofu (grilled tofu), and soy sauce (not miso). I always grill mochi, but my wife prefer to boil hers. She says that people here boil mochi rather than grill them.

Note that Niigata is in the salmon culture area. My wife usually puts salmon to zouni.

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gallery_7940_336_1104904419.jpg

This is the o-zouni made by my mother-in-law in Osaka. Clear chicken stock with hakusai, naruto, fu, chicken and mistsuba, with a square of mochi. The mochi is made by my sister-in-law's in-laws in Chiba and was sent to us in a flat block, which was cut by my husband. Which is why the mochi isn't round as is typical in Kansai (like Hiroyuki said, location is less important than family preference, so this is not a typical Osaka ozouni). The mochi is first boiled or cooked in the microwave.

This is the ozouni served on the first and third days of the year. It's delicious enough, but the ozouni on the second day is even better. The stock is made from the bones of the grilled tai served the night before. It is just heavenly.

Edited by smallworld (log)

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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  • 11 months later...

It's that time of year again, and all the veggies and ingredients have just been bought and gathered: mizuna, carrots, daikon, dried ika, konbu, araimo, gobo, kamaboko, bonito, hasu... tomorrow there will be lots of chopping and cleaning of the veggies!

Tonite we soak the rice. Tomorrow is for steaming, pounding and forming it into mochi. I'm currently soaking the azuki for the tsubishian fillling (and later to turn into zenzai for dessert). One of my friends likes to eat his ozouni with an-filled mochi and sweet kuromame in it. The tastebuds fall off of my tongue just thinking about it.

We also need to make noodles and wonton, for those in my family that just don't like to eat their ozouni with mochi. Hmph.

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  • 11 months later...

I'm thinking of moving the root vegetable component out of the juu-bako and into the ozouni :biggrin: so this year's ozouni included:

Clear broth

square grilled mochi

komatsuna

mitsuba

chicken

naruto

kamaboko (grilled)

dried shiitake (pre-simmered and flavored)

daikon (ditto)

gobo

sato-imo (actually yatsu-gashira, which has a denser texture)

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gallery_6134_549_1104619744.jpg

Ok, this is the same picture that I posted 2 years ago, but yesterday's ozouni looked exactly the same...

grilled square mochi

beef

gobo

daikon

carrot

naruto

mitsuba

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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