The japanese celebrate the new year by feasting on osechi ryori お節料理 traditional japanese new year food packed in lacquered boxes along with this special mochi soup called ozoni お雑煮. Making and eating mochi is an age old ritual to ring in the new year and each prefecture across japan has its own variations on how mochi is prepared cooked and served.
Ozoni お雑煮 is a special miso based soup enjoyed in the morning on new year s day in japan.
Japanese new year food mochi. Also known as a rice cake mochi is a super chewy traditional japanese snack made from an ingredient known as mochigome which is a short grain glutinous rice. The preparation of mochi is called mochi tsuki and involves pounding rice in a usu a large wooden or stone bowl using a kine a hammer like wooden mallet until it forms into a smooth paste. The process begins the night before when the rice mochigome is cleaned and left to soak in water.
On its own mochi tastes like rice but has a sticky stretchy soft and chewy texture. Zōni 雑煮 or ぞうに often with the honorific o as o zōni is a japanese soup containing mochi rice cakes.
While mochi is enjoyed year round it is particularly popular during the new year s holiday when families come together. While also eaten year round mochi is a traditional food for the japanese new year. Kagami mochi 鏡餅 mirror rice cake is a traditional japanese new year decoration.
Texture wise it s difficult to explain if you haven t yet tried it but essentially it s a gooey combination of rice and dough. Vicky wasik ozoni is one of japan s traditional new year s foods. In japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.
This is important because the traditional method of making mochi takes time and a lot of helping hands. Now eaten all year round mochi still has associations with various festivals and seasonal events throughout the year such as japanese new years celebrations. It usually consists of two round mochi rice cakes the smaller placed atop the larger and a daidai a japanese bitter orange with an attached leaf on top.
The dish is strongly associated with the japanese new year and its tradition of osechi ceremonial foods. The soup usually includes mochi rice cake and the preparation varies by region and household. It comes in many forms depending on the locale and family but it always featur.
Zōni is considered the most auspicious of the dishes eaten on new year s day. In addition it may have a sheet of konbu and a skewer of dried persimmons under the mochi.