Prep & Simmer! Easy Japanese Ozoni in 10 Minutes! Japanese New Year Mochi Soup
Auspicious New Year’s Ozoni Soup
One dish I eagerly await every January 1st is ozoni soup – the quintessential Japanese New Year’s meal. While I adore this soul-warming bowl, who really wants to labor over a hot stove on Day 1?
My secret is preparing components earlier.
With batch cooking, assembling Ozoni takes just 10 minutes!
The dashi stock, chicken, and vegetables can all be made up to 3 to 4 days ahead.
Dashi in the fridge
I start by soaking kombu seaweed and dried shiitakes overnight for a classic vegan dashi.
Soak one large piece of kombu kelp, which is about 1 ounce, and 5 to 6 pieces of dried shiitake mushroom. Keep it in the fridge; it’ll keep well up to a week. This is a good dashi and actually a vegan Dashi, and if you want it vegan, make it without chicken. It makes a good New Year soup.
For the vegetables, we typically use Gobo, carrot, and daikon.
When you purchase a long Gobo like this, cut it into three, wrap it tightly with a piece of plastic, and keep it in the fridge. It’ll keep well up to a few weeks.
Scrab well to remove dirt, and cut diagonally.
So you are cutting against the grain and it cooks softer and faster.
Release in cold water to prevent turning brown.
For the carrot, peel and cut into 2 inches long strips.
For the daikon, cut into the same size or little larger.
Carrot: two to three minutes
Daikon: three to four minutes
Gobo: five to six minutes
Cook then until soft but still have a crunch to it.
Take out and cool to room temp, and then transfer to a container.
For the Protein part, I am using chicken thigh.
Remove the skin if you don’t like it, and cut into small bite-size pieces.
In a container, combine with 1/2 teaspoon salt and one tablespoon of Sake.
Salt and Sale season the chicken lightly and keep it in the fridge for 3 -4 days.
Wash Mitsuba leaves and kept in the container.
Mitsuba gives a peppery kick to the soup and goes so well with flavorful Dashi.
I love to use Yuzu for the flagrant so if you find it, please use it.
it makes so much difference.
If you can not find it, just skip it!
Let’s Cook Ozoni!
Come New Year’s Day, simply reheat the dashi, season with light soy sauce, simmer chicken, and finish by cooking vegetables for a final minute. Toppings like Ikura, salmon roe, yuzu peel and mitsuba leaves heighten aromatics.
put the lid on and lock the aroma until serve.
That first sip, utterly complex yet delicate dashi, immediately comforts and rejuvenates – the very spirit of ozoni.
No better way welcomes another prosperous year!