Ozoni (Japanese New Year Mochi Soup) is an important dish for the Japanese New Year. This clear dashi-based mochi soup with chicken and seasonal vegetables is enjoyed in the Kanto region (Eastern Japan).
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.
Watch How To Make Ozoni (Kanto Style) 関東風お雑煮の作り方
Japanese New Year Mochi Soup, Ozoni recipe. This clear dashi based mochi soup with chicken is enjoyed in the Kanto region (Eastern Japan).
The 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) – Japanese mustard spinach, usually harvested in winter months.
Ingredients for Ozoni
As each family has its own recipe, there are often colorful ingredients added like fish cakes (kamaboko), dried shiitake, and the carrot that is 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.
Interested in Kansai-style Ozoni?
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！
Ozoni (Japanese New Year Mochi Soup – Kanto Style)
- 1 Tbsp sake
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and put them in a small bowl, add ¼ tsp kosher salt.
- Add 1 Tbsp 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 overcook). Soak in iced water after removing from pot to stop cooking further.
- Squeeze the water out and cut the komatsuna into 1 ½ inch (3 cm) length.
- Make a knot with each mitsuba’s stem. Peel the yuzu skin.
- If there is too much pith (the white fuzzy thing) 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 mochi and komatsuna, and finally topped with mitsuba and yuzu. Enjoy immediately.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container or in the pot and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 26, 2015. It’s been republished in December 2021.