Happy MOO Year!!

I'm sorry this has taken me so long, everyone! Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! 2009 is the year of the Ox. To celebrate New Year, or O-shougatsu, a special meal was enjoyed at my home. The soup is called O-zouni (雑煮) and is extremely delicious clear broth with mochi rice cake, chicken and thinly-sliced naruto fish cake. Also, next to the soup, is Nori mochi-- mochi rice cakes flavoured with sweetened shoyu (soy sauce) and wrapped in nori (dried, roasted seaweed); this is also very, very tasty. After these were consumed, a wonderful dessert called Anko mochi (not pictured) made of warm sweet mochi rice cake topped with sweet red bean paste was served and this, too, was unbelievably yummy. Served along side these wonderful dishes and eaten throughout the meal and throughout the holiday is Osechi-ryouri. Each of the colourful and tasty items inside the Osechi have a specific meaning for O-shougatsu. For example, you can see the Datemaki (伊達巻き) or sweet, rolled omelette that's served in hopes that many auspicious days will come. Konbu (昆布), the green, rolled seaweed symbolises joyfulness. Kuro-mame (黒豆 - black soybeans) symbolise a wish for health in the New Year. There's a pretty decent English-language explanation of Osechi on about.com.

The serving of osechi-ryouri and these other wonderful New Year foods is a long-standing tradition dating back to the 1st century A.D. Its origins are in samurai celebration and tradition, and my wife and I are proud to participate in the continuation of these beautiful traditions. O-zouni, Nori mochi and Anko mochi courtesy of my wonderful wife, Rinko. Osechi-ryouri courtesy of Mitsuwa Marketplace, the mall of Japan, in Arlington Heights, IL.

(2009 Ox image courtesy of bouncingredball.com)

1 comment:

Panther said...

Happy New Year!