Wishing you a happy new year!

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Hello, a happy new year!
Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu (明けましておめでとうございます)
This is the phrase we say in new years days.

For Japanese, new year days (started from new year’s eve) are very special.
Visiting family and relatives, old & new friends, having peaceful mellow time together with people.
When spending time together with them, new year foods are essential !!

At the end of the year, people start preparing new year’s foods.
It takes normally few days. Most of them can be kept long days
so that people don’t have to be worry about food during new year days with lots of visitors.

The new year days dish called Osechi Ryori (おせち料理).

Because people are busy these days, some people pre-order Osechi Roryi from shops,
but my family always make it by our own. I like family taste.

These are the foods I made in Melbourne, Australia with limited ingredients, limited budget and limited plates and cups.
I realised how plates and cups are important to decorate Japanese foods. I need to get some!
It is far from proper Japanese Osechi, but still this is something you can fell Japanese new year’s taste.
Most of the dish have meaning. Normally the meaning is to wish for good luck, health and prosperity of descendants and so on.

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Black one in a bowl on top – Sweet black beans (Kuromame 黒豆)
Pink one in the bowl on top – Red turnip pickles (赤かぶの漬物)
Yellowish rolling thing, right – a rolled omelet mixed with fish paste (Datemaki 伊達巻き)
Orange and white thing, middle – red & white salad (Kouhaku namasu 紅白なます)
Tubes left – a tube‐shaped fish paste cake with cucumber and cheese (ちくわ)*this is not a new year celebration food, I just added because I like it :-p

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Pink thing in the middle – Fresh tuna with daikon garnish (maguro no sasimi マグロの刺身)
It is marinaded with Shio koji !! ==>>try it, it become yummier!
Striped brown & Orange thing, top right – Dried squid, carrot and seaweed marinated with spicy soysauce
(Matsumae-zuke 松前漬け)
Orange thing in a bowl – Mashed sweet potatoes with sweetened chestnuts (kuri kinton 栗きんとん)
*I used wrong sweet potato and it become very orange, normally, it looks more yellowish.

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This is called Nishime. Traditional Japanese stewed meal with root vegetables and konnyaku etc.
The cooking technique of taking time to simmer the contents so as to leave no broth left is called ‘nishimeru,’ and dishes so cooked are collectively called ‘nishime.’

One more… you can’t ignore this, Ozo-ni.
This is one of the very interesting food to me.
Depend on the area, there are so many different variation.
We quite often ask people “Tell me about your Ozoni. What kind of soup? what is the shape of rice cake (mochi)? do you grill them? What do you put in ??”
My dream is to visit all different area and ask for Ozoni. I want to try all different Ozoni!!

Well, my ozoni is combination from Fukushima and Gunma where my parents come from.
Soup – clear soup, konbu and bonito dashi with daikon and carrot and green leaves.
Rice cake (Mochi) – Square, grilled
Topping – chopped sweet soy chicken
Japanese herb called Mitsuba
Sliced Yuzu citrus

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While you are eating these celebration foods (we call it Osechi Ryori) in Kotatsu,
post man will deliver new year cards (nengajo 年賀状)to your family.
I love this moment!

I will introduce how to make some of these celebration foods later!!
Hope you are having wonderful new year days!! Best wishes from Melbourne.

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2 thoughts on “Wishing you a happy new year!

  1. Hi Happa-san!
    I did hope of seeing some dishes for New Year celebration and I really like of what I’m looking at and reading right now.For me,New Year is not really that special and I do not have food feast like yours.That is why upon seeing all of these,I was really amazed! Well,the dishes look so exquisite to me and mouth watering too! ( I don’t know but the maguro no sasimi and nishime really are tempting me ) I like it when you mentioned that each dishes have their own meanings..I think that made the dishes become special.Besides,the pictures are really pleasant to the eyes.I LOVED THEM.

    • Hi Anna, thank you for your comment.
      It was difficult to make these new year’s dishes with very limited ingredients, but I also enjoyed to think & try.
      I should have mentioned all the meaning of new year’s dishes, but next time!

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