New Year’s Morning

2011! How did that happen?

I love New Year’s Day…there’s something so great about getting a fresh start with a New Year.

In Hawaii, we’ve kept some Japanese traditions and one is the making of ozoni, mochi soup. Mochi is pounded glutinous rice. A mochitsuki is a gathering of family, neighbors, and friends where rice is pounded in a wooden tub with mallets until it’s smooth and pliable. Everyone who wants to be lucky in the New Year takes his/her turn at pounding. The mochitsuki is schedule between Christmas and New Year’s. This year it was the day after Christmas for our friends in Hilo. Here’s a link to photos from this year’s mochitsuki: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hiphotog/sets/72157625597659319/

 

Mochitsuki

Pounding

A good luck offering called kagami mochi is put up in our house. I think some lucky gods come to eat it or something like that.

Kagami mochi

This morning, I made the ozoni. Mine is based on a recipe from June Kuramoto from the band, Hiroshima. I use shrimp instead of kamaboko (fish cake) and chicken broth instead of making it with the chicken for the soup. The shrimp and chicken are poached in their own broth so that the soup broth remains clear. Then I put the toasted mochi in each bowl before adding the soup. Again, this helps to keep the broth clear. I like this soup really clean looking.

Toasting mochi (this can be done in a toaster oven).

Daikon (Japanese turnip)

Carrots in matchstick pieces

Mizuna

Ozoni - yum!

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