New Year 2011 – Making Osechi Ryori Part 1

Do you know what Osechi Ryori is?
[From wikipedia]Osechi-ryōri (御節料理 or お節料理) are traditional Japanese New Year foods. The tradition started in the Heian Period (794-1185). Osechi are easily recognizable by their special boxes called jūbako (重箱), which resemble bentō boxes.”

Today most families order/purchase their osechi from either department stores or at local supermarkets. The prices usually start at around 10,000yen [USD$120] and the sky is the limit. Some osechi made by famous restaurants or high end department stores [takashimaya, mitsukoshi] can cost even more [we are talking almost 10 thousand usd!~!!]

But like most japanese people, i feel that new year isnt new year unless your osechi is homemade XD. Whilst its not usually my job to make it, this year it has fallen upon me to do so XD
tw01
I admit, this is my first time doing it all on my own. I have been collecting osechi related cooking articles/magazine cutouts for a really long time now so i spent almost a whole month reading/planning my cooking XD

Note: i ganked a lot of info from wikipedia cos i was lazy to translate descriptions but all the recipes are translated by me so please do not repost!

ALL RECIPES TRANSLATED BY ME. DO NOT REPOST!!!

The biggest portion is generally the nimono ie simmered chicken and vegetables
I used the recipe from an old NHK magazine [i have an obsession with filing]
Osechi
I used a recipe suitable for freezing so even if u are not making osechi, you could make this for dinner [freeze and make ahead of time!]

Meatballs
Ingredients
400g minced chicken
1 small teaspoon dashi
1/2 stalk of spring onion diced
1 egg
1 small pinch of salt
1/2 a small carrot diced
Osechi
Boil in water and freeze [keep up to 2 weeks]

Vegetables
– 1 cup of sugar snaps
– 1/2 small carrot, cut into slices <– you can use a flower cutter to make it pretty
– 1 cup of shitake mushrooms
I also added some bamboo shoots and lotus root that i had left from another osechi component XD
Osechi
Boil vegetables and freeze [up to 3 weeks]

How to put it all together
Osechi
Prepare the following in a pot
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of mirin
3 tablespoons of soysauce
2 – 2.5 cups of dashi stock

Add the frozen meat balls and vegetables and bring to a boil
Simmer till most liquid has evaporated
osechi

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Chestnut Mash
There is a more complicated traditional recipe for this involving sweet potatoes but i forgot to buy sweet potatoes and resorted to this recipe from this month’s Benesse.
Ingredients
1 can of sweet chestnuts
Osechi
Boil chestnuts till soft, drain.
Mash with sweet syrup from can.

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Datemaki
They symbolize a wish for many auspicious days.
Osechi
Ingredients
5 eggs
Minced fish paste 100g
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
See directions here http://www.ajiwai.com/otoko/make/datemaki.htm [sorry only in japanese]
Note: Rolling it was a lot harder than i thought. Usually its a lovely spiral line like a rollcake. As you can see mine didnt turn out..well you can see it for yourself hahaha

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Konbumaki
Konbu (昆布), a kind of seaweed. It is associated with the word yorokobu, meaning “joy”.
Ingredients
2 pieces of salmon
30g of konbu
thin strips of daikon
Osechi
Roll salmon in the konbu and tie with thin strips of daikon
Simmer in a pot for 15 – 20 mins, with the following
1 tablespoon mirin
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of water
1.5 tablespoons of soysauce

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Kuro-mame (黒豆), black soybeans.
Mame also means “health,” symbolizing a wish for health in the New Year.
Osechi
Ingredients
1 cup black beans
1.5 cup sugar
2 large teaspoon brown sugar
1.5 teaspoon soy sauce
3 cups hot water

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Kamaboko (蒲鉾), broiled fish paste
Traditionally, slices of red and white kamaboko are alternated in rows or arranged in a pattern. The color and shape are reminiscent of Japan rising sun, and have a celebratory, festive meaning.
Osechi
I didnt make these, i just bought them from the supermarket but cut it myself.
Do you like the fancy curly cut above?

Here is the page of instructions i used from the magazine….
Osechi

My entire plate of kamaboko all cut up…
Osechi

Its the year of the rabbit after all..heehee
Osechi
There are 8 to 9 more elements of the osechi to cook but you are probably bored of this long post [though if u are interested, leave a comment and i’ll post them here]

After you finish cooking everything [it took me 3 days, almost 6 hours a day]..you start to assemble your osechi
Osechi
I’ll teach you guys how to assemble your osechi and how it all looks like next week!
I’m trying to do one cooking post and one makeup post a week ^^

I am awaiting on some news this Thursday evening [tomorrow]and i am hoping that it is a piece of good news. Please send me good vibes and cross your fingers for me!! It will mean a great deal to me!!!

Have a really good week!
XOXO Yumeko

See part 2 of making osechi ryori HERE

p.s A big thank you to everyone for joining my giveaway [now ended], i havent gotten round to picking winner but i’ll do it in my next makeup post!

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70 Responses to New Year 2011 – Making Osechi Ryori Part 1

  1. sheila says:

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    • Bittenbefore says:

      so sorry dear , honestly i have no idea wat the situation is in nagoya. in tokyo it isnt too bad. electrolysis is the more common option these days cos everyone is lazy XD

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    • Bittenbefore says:

      Hi, i dont have a list actually, thats just what it says for posts i have locked for myself [just me] , i have unlocked some blog posts over time [i think i unlocked 80 recently]
      hope u enjoy reading them ^^

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    • Bittenbefore says:

      the food is made from 26th to the last day of the year
      usually we cook the actual food on the last day and assemble it then as well.
      its the food prep that takes time ^^

      we eat this on the 1st of January in Japan [we do not celebrate lunar new year]
      the food will keep for around 4 days. <– ie a lot of ppl buy it and tat lasts even longer

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    • Bittenbefore says:

      aww i would absolutely love to see what you cooked for your new year! i bet its full of yummy food too!

  54. kit says:

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    • Bittenbefore says:

      i have to admit i made some changes to the more traditional recipes like using the chicken meat ball recipe instead of the more traditional diced chicken meat in the nimono as my husband is not used to the traditional food here [he’s australian]
      perhaps u can try making them with differences too ^^

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