Ozoni

Traditional soup served on New Year’s Day

Servings: about 4 to 5

Ingredients:
• 4-6 cups of dashi stock, or water and appropriate amount of dried dashi to taste
• 1- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
• 1/3 cup cooked chicken meat cut into small pieces
• 4- 6 ounces mizuna, spinach, bok choi or other green leafy vegetable – lightly chopped if large leaves
• ~ 4 mochi – 1 per serving (two if very small)
• about 6 ounce or half a block kamaboko (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices) – pink kamaboko adds a nice color to the soup

Directions:
1. Heat soup base (dashi stock or water + instant dashi) to simmer then add leafy greens. ozoni
2. Cook at low heat for only a few minutes until the vegetables are wilted.
3. Cook the mochi (either toasted over open flame, under a broiler, or in microwave) until just slightly puffy. Again this is quick unless the mochi is frozen. Some cooks simmer the mochi in the soup for a few minutes but not long enough to let it turn into a gooey blob.
4. Put one mochi into each bowl, add kamaboko then fill bowls with the hot vegetable soup. Garnish as you wish (carrots, sprouts, etc) or just appreciate the warm simplicity.

Some families add leftovers of family favorites (shrimp and shitake, nabbed from the jubako, is common at our house). Some families add udon noodles, some add a dash of sake and some do not include chicken. There are many regional and family versions of this basic soup. Find your favorite by experimentation.

Warning – several people die each year in Japan by choking on mochi. Enjoy it at your own risk. Tokyo Fire Dept FYI mochi choking first aid and statistics (Japanese)