After much preparation we finally finished making all of the dishes that we wanted to have in our osechi-ryori.
This year we made kobumaki (carrot, fried tofu, and burdock root wrapped in kelp), kuromame (black soybeans simmered in a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce and sugar), shio-koji Tai (red snapper marinated in shio-koji), dattemake (a sweet Japanese rolled omelet made with fish cake and egg), chikuzen-ni (assorted vegetables braised in a sweet and savory stock), namasu (shredded daikon and carrot in a sweet and sour vinegar sauce), tataki gobo (burdock root with sesame sauce), o-zoni (a soup made with stock taken from bonito and kelp) and kuri-kinton (sweet potato and chestnut dessert).
Over the next few days I will be sharing the recipes for these tasty dishes!
Osechi Ryori is eaten in Japan at New Years. It consists of many special foods that are not usually eaten throughout the year. Many of the foods are symbolic or contain special meaning such as good health or prosperity. These foods are displayed in “jubako”, special boxes traditionally made of lacquer.
Many of the foods in Osechi Ryori can be made in advance and kept at room temperature without going bad. We have already started making some of the items to go in our jubako. One of the items that we made today is kobumaki.
Kombu and kampyo are both dried and need to be soaked in water before using
Kobumaki is made by wrapping vegetables such as carrots and gobo (burdock root) in kombu (kelp). It is the tightly tied shut with kampyo (dried gord). It is then simmered in a soup stock made from kombu, soy sauce, sake and sugar.
These days it is easy to find a variety of Japanese products all over New York City. You don’t need to go to a Japanese supermarket to buy soy sauce, mirin, and sake anymore. Places like Whole Foods and other supermarkets carry these items. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the items that you can find almost anywhere. However I had been finding it difficult to get dried organic shiitake mushrooms. Most of the dried shiitake mushrooms sold in American and Japanese supermarkets are imported from China.
However, the other day when I was in Whole Foods I found a brand of Organic Shiitake mushrooms that are produced in the U.S.. These organic dried mushrooms are made by the brand Fungus among us. They are sold at Whole foods but you can also purchase them online along with many other dried organic and non-organic products. I used them to make dashi (soup stock) and the flavor that came out of them was very strong and delicious. You can make vegetarian soup stocks from these dried shiitake mushrooms. Try it for yourself!