Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Japanese Tradition-Ozoni

Happy New Year Everyone! We hope that 2009 brings you all a lot of joy, prosperity, and good health! I just found out that one of my friends got engaged so it looks like the year is starting on a positive note!
I'm three-fourths Japanese and Mike's full Japanese. This means that every New Years Day we've eaten Ozoni. Ozoni is a soup containing mizuna and mochi. I was told that you eat the soup on News Years Day to symbolize sticking together as a family.
We also eat soba noodles (for long life b/c the noodles are long) and later on we eat fried mochi with a shoyu sugar sauce. Then we split the tangerine that sits on top of the kagami mochi. (See the modified kagami mochi picture above. yeah, it's mochi blocks and an orange). I'm not sure if my mom made it up, but I think that we each it a few sections of the tangerine to symbolize the family sticking together too.
It's funny, every New Years Day, I would dread the ozoni breakfast. I'm a pig in mud when it comes to slurping up the soba and chewing the fried mochi, but something about the gooey-ness of the mochi in broth with the mizuna is one of my least favorite foods. My mom makes a tasty ozoni, and my family loves it and cannot wait to eat bowls of this stuff. My family members would have large bowls of ozoni while I would have a tiny bowl of it because I was obligated to eat the soup so that I would "stick together" with my family.
Here's a secret...growing up, I would be given 1/2-1 piece of mochi in my soup. While I was setting the table, I would quickly break apart my mochi and hide part of my piece in my dad's soup.
And guess what, I married a Japanese guy who doesn't like the mochi in the soup either. He likes the broth and stuff, but not mochi in it. So the dilemna this year was, "should we make ozoni?"

We decided to bite the bullet and make ozoni. Why? Because it's a Japanese tradition and we do not want to lose a cultural tradition. Yes, when we have kids we will make ozoni for them and pretend to like the soup so that they will not lose their Japanese culture. Here's a picture of our modified ozoni with no mizuna because we could not find it in the asian market. I fried the mochi and then put it in the soup to reduce the gooey-ness of the mochi.


Lori said...

That's funny that you would hide some of your mochi in your dad's soup! :) Happy New Year!

K and S said...

we actually have 2 or 3 mochi each in our soup :) Happy New Year!!

Lisa said...

Happy new year! I enjoyed your reminiscences about food traditions associated with the new year in your family.

Did you end up going out to dinner anywhere on New Year's Eve? I was sick, so we just stayed in and drank Champagne (medicinal, you know).

Razzie said...

What is the white and pink thing in the soup? hopefully see you Wed if you are around the lab

genkitummy said...

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for all your comments!
Lori-I think my dad figured it out after a while, but didn't say anything.
Kat- 2-3 mochi! That's more than I can handle in ozoni.

Thanks Lisa. No, we ended up staying in for New Year's Eve (we'll post about this later). I'm sorry to hear that you were sick.

Razzie-It's kamamoko (fishcake). I'll be in lab on Wednesday. Stop by...I made cake. it's not that good, but I had extra sour cream.

chou said...

Could you mess with it a little so you like it? I just have this hilarious vision of generations of people pretending to like something to keep up a tradition ;). Not that that's bad!!!

Pikko said...

Haha, I thought I was the only one that didn't really care for ozoni that much. I've been afraid to speak those words out loud. I do like the mochi in udon though.

genkitummy said...

Chou-If I deconstructed the ozoni and ate everything separately, that would work. I like everything, but not in the same bowl.

Pikko-Hi! Hahaha, in Hawaii it seems like everyone loves ozoni, huh? If my parents read my blog, I wonder if I would get lectured the ozoni. Thanks for stopping by my page.