Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy 2012!

It wouldn't be New Year's Day without ozoni at the Wilsons.

According to Wikipedia:

Zōni, often with the honorific "o-" as o-zōni, is a Japanese soup containing mochi rice cakes. The dish is strongly associated with the Japanese New Year and its tradition of osechi ceremonial foods.
It is said that zōni finds its roots in samurai society cuisine. It is thought to be a meal that was cooked during field battles, boiled together with mochi, vegetables and dried foods, among other ingredients. It is also generally believed that this original meal, at first exclusive to samurai, eventually became a staple food of the common people. Zōni was first served as part of a full-course dinner (honzen ryōri), and thus is thought to have been a considerably important meal to samurai.

As for ways of cooking the soup, different regions in Japan sport many variations, but in most cases it is either a clear soup (sumashi-jiru) flavoured with dashi (stock usually made from flakes of dried bonito) and soy sauce, generally preferred in eastern parts of the country, or a miso soup generally preferred in the western parts.

Bowls of ozoni soup waiting to be dressed up with toppings

 Toppings include fishcake, shitake mushrooms, and greens
 Also traditional sashimi platter
 Long life beans (one for each year of your life) and gobo
 Kanten, dried permsimmon, and my favorite: cream cheese stuffed lychees
 Sticky rice with azuki beans
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2012!

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