Japanese Year Of The Boar Osechi
Happy New year . It’s 2019 and the year of the boar ( inoshishi) the final animal in the zodiac cycle. The boar is honest and helpful,they are affectionate and kind to loved ones.
It is traditional in Japan to make a special meal for New Year called Osechi . I have covered this is previous posts and the symbolism behind it but thought it would be nice to just share a few of the recipes with you.
Below is my Osechi,which consisted of Onishime,kuro-mame,Kuri-Kinton,Namasu,shojin steak and simmered kabocha. Also served with Ozoni and some yatsuhashi I brought back from Kyoto on my last trip to Japan. If you would like to make simmered kabocha you can find this in a previous recipe.
Kuromame are Japanese black beans cooked in sweet syrup and are traditionally eaten at this time.
Kuromame (黒豆) which literally translates to black bean are black soy beans cooked in a sweet syrup.
First wash your black soy beans you will need around 100g then soak them in water over night. The next day add them to a pot with water and add 80g of organic granulated sugar with a tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then gently simmer for around three hours. Let them cool in there own juice and then refrigerate.
Eating kuromame also is considered good for your health for the new year.
Onishime or simmered vegetables
Another traditional meal . First you will need to prepare a dashi stock, I leave a piece of kombu and a dried shiitake in water overnight then put this in a pan and simmer,then remove the kombu and discard,remove the shiitake to use in your meal. Then add mirin around 3 tablespoons to three cups of dashi and 3 tablespoons of tamari and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Prepare all your vegetables. shiitake,,bamboo shoots,taro,carrot,shiitake,daikon,freeze dried tofu ( Kouya Dofu ) and lotus root. The lotus root is very significant as it represents a happy future with out obstacles. Add the vegetables to your dashi except the snow peas and carrots ( I like to blanch these and add them at the end) . Cover with a drop lid ( or otoshibuta )
Simmer until your vegetables are tender. This dish is often served in a new year bento box called Jubako.
It is custom to make Ozoni for breakfast on New Year’s Day. This year I made it with a citrus twist and added Yuzu peel in my dashi when I made the miso broth. If you would like to know more about this dish see previous post Ozoni .
I will be updating my travel section this year with places that I visited on my last trip to Japan. Places of interest, and restaurant reviews. If you are planning a trip to Japan why not take a look at my travel section for some ideas of things to do .
I also have lots of new ideas for dishes so why not subscribe so you never miss a post this year. Thankyou to you all for all your support both on my website and on Instagram. I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2019!