How to make fresh mochi, or pounded rice, at home, with ease, and without a mochi making machine.
Happy New Year! I wanted to post this a little earlier, but better late than never I hope!
During the New Year holiday period, traditionally rice is not cooked, to give a rest to the cook. Instead, dried mochi cakes were used as the carbohydrate. Ozouni (お雑煮 おぞうに), which literally means ‘mixed stew’, is a soup with mochi cakes in it. There is no one set recipe, and there are lots of regional variations. This one is a simple Kanto (Tokyo area) style ozouni, the way my mother makes it. It’s very simple, not to mention economical - just clear soup, greens, chicken and mochi. Garnish is optional.
Revised and updated: This recipe for Toshikoshi Soba, or Year-End Soba, traditionally eaten in Japan on New Year's Eve, is one of the earliest recipes posted on Just Hungry. I've expanded the directions so that you can use various methods for making the soup. Originally posted December 30, 2003.
I love Christmas celebrations, and Thanksgiving when I'm in the U.S., but the holiday that has the most memories for me is New Years. This is the biggest holiday celebrated in Japan.