Ozoni (お雑煮) is a mochi soup that we eat along with Osechi Ryori (traditional dishes) on New Year’s Day in Japan. The preparation for ozoni varies both by household and region.
I’ve shared Kansai (western Japan) style Ozoni recipe before, so this year I’m sharing Kanto (eastern Japan) style Ozoni.
Kanto Style Ozoni
Unlike white miso based Ozoni enjoyed in western Japan (Kansai, Shikoku, and Kyushu regions), clear dashi-based soup is the mainstream in Tokyo and eastern Japan (Read this post to learn some of the differences between eastern and western Japan.).
The soup includes toasted mochi, chicken, and komatsuna (小松菜) – a Japanese mustard spinach, usually harvested in winter months.
Ingredients for Ozoni
As each family has their own recipe, there are often colorful ingredients added like fish cakes (kamaboko), dried shiitake, and carrot that are cut out in a pretty flower shape (here’s how to make it).
Some of the key ingredients for ozoni – such as komatsuna, yuzu (citrus), and mitsuba (Japanese parsley) – can be hard to find outside of Japan and you might need to substitute or skip.
Living outside Japan, it’s hard to recreate an authentic Oshogatsu (New Year’s Day) experience, however I do try my best to keep the Oshogatsu spirit going with Japanese New Year’s decorations around the house, otoshidama (monetary gifts), and food.
Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! 良いお年を！
I hope you enjoy making this Kanto-style Ozoni recipe! If you try it, don’t forget to share your picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #JustOneCookbook. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!
- 1 chicken thigh (160 g, 5.6 oz)
- 4 stalks (100 g, 3.5 oz) komatsuna or spinach
- 4 mochi (Japanese rice cakes)
- Yuzu zest (optional)
- 4 stalks mitsuba (Japanese herb, optional)
- 1 Tbsp. sake
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 cups (960 ml) dashi
- 1 Tbsp. sake
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and put them in a small bowl, add ¼ tsp. kosher salt.
- Add sake and mix well with hands. Let the chicken marinated for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile blanch the komatsuna or spinach in boiling water and cook until tender (do not over cook). Soak in iced water after removing from pot to stop cooking further.
- Squeeze the water out and cut into 1.25 inch (3 cm) length.
- Make a knot with each Mitsuba’s stem. Peel the yuzu skin.
- If there is too much pith was removed along with yuzu’s skin, trim with knife. Julienne the yuzu peel very thinly.
- Add 4 cups (960 ml) dashi in a large saucepan or pot and bring it to boil. Once boiling, add the chicken pieces.
- Once all the chicken is added, cover to cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of chicken.
- Once the chicken is cooked, skim the foam and fat on the surface.
- Add 1 Tbsp. sake, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Mix well and keep it on simmer.
- When everything else is ready, start toasting mochi in a toaster oven. Optionally you can do this on a frying pan or oven as well.
- Serve the chicken and soup, add the mocha and komatsuna, and finally topped with mitsuba and yuzu. Enjoy immediately.