Growing up, New Years was spent deep in Palolo valley with my grandmother at the stove, skimming the soup until it’s clear. The weather is chilly, with the streets blanketed in red paper and smoke. Our tradition is to eat at midnight, just after the loudest barrage of fireworks. The first meal of the year for good luck.
This is an attempt at recreating her ozoni with a twist, using a consomme instead of broth. It’s seasoned with dried scallops and ebi and uses traditional hand-pounded mochi from our annual mochi-tsuki.
Above: Traditional Japanese food for New Years. Ozoni for good luck and prosperity. Cold soba noodles for long life. Below: Ingredients. Not pictured: Daikon (absolute must have!) & chicken broth
Start with 5 quarts of chicken stock. I made my own using a whole organic chicken. Save chicken meat to add to soup later. Add dried scallops, dried ebi, and konbu. Bring to a boil and simmer until desired flavor is made. Taste taste taste. Don't add any salt yet. While stock is boiling, prep your vegetables
For mizuna, chop in sections. Put in an oversized bowl and fill with water. Let gravity do the work and let any dirt settle. Remove greens. Throw out water. Repeat. Peel and slice daikon as well.
Put dried shiitake in pot of water and rehydrate on very low heat
Wash and peel gobo. You can also cut sides off like you would for carrot sticks then slice. Gobo is round and very hard when raw, so put it on a towel to stabilize when cutting.
Slice renkon. The one I bought was already peeled from Nijiya Market
Bamboo shoots. Don't worry about the white stuff. I read it's residue from rice? Just wash it off.
Strain scallops, ebi, and konbu and discard. You can also set aside to add back after consomme process. Clarify to consomme using raft of egg whites. See recipe in link above.
Add daikon and boil first. It takes the longest to cook and adds a lot of flavor. Follow with other root vegetables. Continue to taste. Lightly season with salt (or hondashi if you like MSG lol), but you probably won't have to with all that dried scallop and ebi
Start a second pot of water on medium low. Add mochi to heat and soften.
Add the cooked chicken to heat. Don't overcook! Add mizuna greens as you serve, quickly blanch then spoon into bowl. Top with softened mochi and add a few more greens for color.
Enjoy the first meal of the new year and savor all that good luck! 😉