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
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]
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!]
– 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
Boil vegetables and freeze [up to 3 weeks]
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.
1 can of sweet chestnuts
Boil chestnuts till soft, drain.
Mash with sweet syrup from can.
They symbolize a wish for many auspicious days.
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
Konbu (昆布), a kind of seaweed. It is associated with the word yorokobu, meaning “joy”.
2 pieces of salmon
30g of konbu
thin strips of daikon
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
Kuro-mame (黒豆), black soybeans.
Mame also means “health,” symbolizing a wish for health in the New Year.
1 cup black beans
1.5 cup sugar
2 large teaspoon brown sugar
1.5 teaspoon soy sauce
3 cups hot water
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.
I didnt make these, i just bought them from the supermarket but cut it myself.
Do you like the fancy curly cut above?
Its the year of the rabbit after all..heehee
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
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!
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!