What do you eat for New Year’s Eve in Japan? Discover the Osechi Ryōri
This dish consists in mashed sweet potato to which sweet chestnuts are added. Although it is not a dessert, the very sweet taste of this dish may surprise. Its golden color calls for a good fortune over the upcoming year.
This dish is a light sweet omelet mixed with shrimp or Hanpen (fish paste). As its shape resembles that of a scroll rolled up once cut, this omelet is associated with knowledge and success in studies.
These are dried sardines cooked in soy sauce. The name of this dish literally means “rice paddy maker” because, historically, sardines were used to fertilize fields. It is therefore a symbol of good harvests to come.
Konbu seaweed, sometimes also called kobu, is wrapped around salmon to create makis without rice and with an extremely rich taste. As the name kobu recalls the Japanese word yorokobu, it is often associated with joy and happiness.
Tai is the name given to red sea bream in Japanese, which is often grilled. Its name is found in the word medetai which means favorable or also promising and it is therefore the symbol of an auspicious event to come.
You may have heard that word before because it simply means shrimp in Japanese, so it’s often on sushi menus. With their long whiskers and bent backs, these little beasts represent... the elderly! And they are therefore perceived as a symbol of longevity.
These are small shiny black beans that are generally aesthetically pleasing since they create a contrast with the traditional red jūbako boxes in which the Osechi are served. These beans are considered to be very healthy and are therefore a symbol of good health for the year to come.
The lotus root is an ingredient widely used in Japanese cuisine, in the new year, it is cooked marinated in mild vinegar to which mirin and spices are added. The characteristic holes that punctuate the renkon represent the possibility to see the future, and thus the wish of a happy future.
It is a very refreshing salad of shredded carrots and daikon (Japanese radish) which mixture of white and orange colours evokes happiness. The whole is marinated in mild vinegar that adds to the flavor of the dish.
These are white and pink boiled fish cakes. Their appearance is very beautiful and their texture is quite mellty in mouth, a bit like surimi. Their shape recalls the rising sun of Japan and is therefore a festive symbol.
The kazunoko is a dish made of salted herring eggs, the name of which literally means “lot of children” and it is therefore a wish of fertility for the coming year.