Happy New Year! Pics of Japanese New Year’s Food

Japanese eat noodles on New Year's Eve. Noodles symbolize longevity. Most people eat buckwheat noodles, but since I'm allergic to buckwheat, I eat udon. I topped udon with kakiage, or mixed tempura, that I made with shrimp and mitsuba. Eddy's parents live in Charleston, South Carolina, and gave me shrimp for Christmas. They know what I like!

We eat ozōni, or a Japanese soup with mochi, on New Year's Day. Mochi is a sticky rice cake. How you cook ozōni depends on where you're from. I'm from Nagoya, so our ozōni is very simple. We put mochi in fish- or kelp-based soup and serve with boiled spinach, fish cakes, and fish flakes. Since I'm allergic to fish, I don't put fish cakes or flakes in mine. This year I skipped out on boiled spinach because I was too lazy.

Eddy holding up mochi. See how stretchy it is!

Clockwise, kouhaku namasu, kuromame, kurikinton, and tataki gobō. Kouhaku namasu is made from daikon and carrots. Japanese consider the colors red and white to be good colors, thus we make kouhaku (red-white) namasu (slaw) for the new year. I used carrots from Jerusalem, Arkansas, to make the slaw. Japanese eat kuromame (black beans) because the color black wards off evil. The pronunciation for the word beans (mame) is same as the word active, so we eat kuromame on New Year's Day. Kurikinton, or mashed Asian sweet potatoes with chestnuts, symbolizes wealth because the color is similar to that of gold. I used Asian sweet potatoes that I bought at the River Market Farmers' Market to make this dish. Japanese eat tataki gobō, or burdock roots with sesame, because burdock plants have very deep roots, thus they symbolize a good foundation.

We drank a good bit of sake, but I forgot to take a picture of them before they disappeared! I snacked on dried squid dipped in soy mayo while I drank.


One response to “Happy New Year! Pics of Japanese New Year’s Food

  1. Pingback: Plug It Out, Plug It Out! | GreenAR by the Day

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