“Osechi Ryori 2022” Japanese New Year Cerebletory Dishes
What is Osechi Ryori?
Osechi Ryori is a traditional Japanese New Year cuisine that is served during the New Year holiday.
It consists of many dishes that have different meanings for each one of them to represent new year wishes.
They are typically packed in a “Jubako,” multi-tiered lacquerware box.
But I like to present on a lacquer ware plate to serve for each person, to make it simple and you know, for the situation we have.
The Origins of Osechi Ryori
The origins of Osechi are back in the Nara period (710 – 794).
People had worshiped nature, and Japan started forming an organized society by setting Buddhism to govern people.
At that time, special foods are offered to God at the changing of the seasons.
That is called “Sechie,” taking place five times a year. The biggest and the most important Sechie is New Year’s Day. Osechi is deprived of the “Sechie.”
This offering is very humble to start with, but became a luxury and festive banquet as time passed.
How many Osechi are in Japan?
There are 30 or more kinds of Osechi Ryori are found in Japan.
There are nationwide varieties and regional varieties. In addition to that, there are Preference and family traditions.
Some of the Osechi is not so popular in terms of its taste, but you know, we should respect the tradition. Lol.
Here, I introduce traditional Osechi that is made nationwide but selected by me and taste so good!
I make at rest 8 dishes because 8 represents Happiness in Japan.
My version of Osechi 2022
Datemaki are sweet omelet rolls blended with white fish meat or “Hanpen” fluffy fish cake. They look like precious ancient scrolls and are believed to bring family with knowledge and educational achievement.
Kuromame is sweet black soybeans that represent work diligently until getting tanned by the sun. And it is also believed that bring health for the coming year. Despite the cooking time, the large beans are appreciated for their texture and flavor.
Kazunoko is yellow herring roe marinated in Dashi seasoned with light soy sauce. It’s literally translated into “a number of children.” It is a symbol of fertility and family prosperity.
I always wrapped in thinly shaved Kombe kelp to add the Umami and avoid leaking Dashi.
Tazukuri is baby anchovies coated in sweet and savory glaze. Tazukuri, literally translated into “rice paddy making,” comes from uses as fertilizer. They become a symbol of big harvest and abundance.
I add toasted walnut to give it a nutty flavor to make it unique. Once you taste it, you can stop eating.
Namasu is originally a shredded carrot and daikon marinated in vinegar. The red-and-white combination is a celebratory color in Japan. These root vegetables represent the sturdiness of family bonds.
I add sesame seeds and paste to season Daikon and Carrot to make them richer and tastier. Serve in a Yuzu cup, which will brighten up your Osechi.
Onosime is a simmered vegetables and chickens seasoned with soy sauce and Mirin. Satoimo, a Japanese taro potato, should be included because it represents fertility.
Satoimo is precooked in rice rinsed water or water added a little bit of vinegar to remove the slimy property. Precooked Satoimo absorbs delicious Dashi.
Next let’s make Tazuna konnyaku.
Tadzuna represents a rein for horse, and that means we can control our mind to go for the target.
And it represents a knot which means having a good relationship with a partner as well.
Tataki Gobo is burdock roots cooked in slightly sugary water until soft, then pounded and marinated in sweet vinegar.
Gobo grows deep into the ground and represents sturdy family ties and strength.
Shrimp in Osechi represents the backs of older people, thus representing longevity and wisdom. We respect older adults as they work hard to build our society.
Kurikinton is originally made with candied chestnuts mixed with sweet potato puree. I don’t use Chesnut to make Kurikinton, so it is called “Imokinton” to be exact. Make cooked and mashed sweet potato into small gold chunks to represent the future’s financial prosperity.
The halls on the lotus root represent “see-though” the future. It has a unique crunchy texture with a sweet and sour taste that cleanses the palate when you have it in between the rich dishes.
Matsukaze is made of ground chicken seasoned with miso. Sprinkle poppy seeds or white sesame seeds along with Aonori seaweeds before baking. The garnish is on the surface so there is no garnishing on the other side. “Nothing on the other side” represents honesty.