Osechi, Japanese Traditional New Year’s Food

Hello all, happy 1st Friday in 2022! How is your 2022 going so far? I hope you’re not breaking your new year’s resolution just yet:P

 

I wonder if you have any specific, traditional food to eat on New Year’s Day. As I spent 15 years here in the US, people eat whatever food they fancy, unlike roasted turkey on Thanksgiving or roasted chicken on Christmas(well I’m sure turkey on thanksgiving but Christmas…is my understanding correct?) 

 

We Japanese have specific food to eat on New Year’s Day, and unlike toshikoshi-soba(welcoming new year soba noodles) they appear only on New Year’s Day. As we’ve made it to the 1st week, I’d like to talk about our traditional New Year’s Day food.

 

Since I don’t have easy access to Asian market where I live, this was the best I could do. It’s only the tip of the iceberg on whole Japanese traditional New Year’s food, so if you’re interested please visit Japanese market or Japan when everything is cleared. 

 

Ready to check? Here we go! 

 

<Today’s Menu>

Osechi(Japanese Traditional New Year’s Day Food)

osechi

<Tanooki’s Japanese Culture Lesson>

*from the left to right

*May contain Amazon Associate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Konbu

Simmered kelp. The traditional one is thick and rolled as a ribbon shape, but I could only get thinly shredded dried type like this. It’s cooked with soy sauce, a little vinegar and sugar. It’s good for the filling of rice balls! 

 

Why is it in Osechi?

喜ぶ(Happy in Japanese, yorokobu)’s “kobu” sounds very similar to konbu. They are also symbols for immortality, longevity, and descendants’ prosperity. 

 

Daikon and Carrot Pickles

You know Banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich, right? It contains exactly the same one!    

 

Why is it in Osechi?

Their color is important here. Red and white means lucky color to Japanese culture, so they recreated it by using daikon and carrot. Also they’re pickled, so the sugar and vinegar relieves tiredness from the-end-of-new-year-cleaning. 

 

Kuro-mame(black beans)

Simmered sweet black beans with a touch of soy sauce. Usually we eat extra large black beans on New Year’s Day, but again, this was all I could get…

 

Why is it in Osechi?

“Mame” pronunciation is the same as “beans” and “diligently”, so we swear we will work hard by eating kuro-mame. 

 

osechi

Aaaaand! I have to admit…These foods are symbolic to eat on New Year’s Day by hoping luck will be coming to you, but a lot of people don’t like their taste TBH…I remember my mom used to say”just one bit!” again and again, but I preferred different food. 

 

And it’s January 7th already? People start missing spicy, energetic, yummy food…yes, Japanese people start cooking curry rice! It’s also getting tradition to eat curry rice around a week passed from Jan 1st.

Japanese Style Curry Rice

I think I’ll cook Japanese curry for tonight’s dinner too!

 

Today’s post is a little different from my usual style, but I hope you enjoyed it! Happy 1st Friday of 2022, here comes the weekend!!

 

<Other Traditional Japanese Food>

I prefer eating this one instead of Osechi TBH…Simmered Root Veggies

simmered root veggies

Wishing you luck! Osekihan(Azuki Red Bean Sticky Rice)

azuki red bean rice

Mellow and yummy! Simmered Kabocha

simmered kabocha

Enjoy home cooking and your own creation of homemade food:)

32 Comments Add yours

  1. I would love to see your Japanese curry recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Yay thank you! The pic has a link for the recipe page so hope you’ll enjoy it👍💕🍛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You had me at soba noodles…yum. I could almost taste it 🙂 Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you dear my friend! Happy New Year, wishing you the best in 2022🥳🎉💕✨❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We never had traditional food for New Year’s Day but did have a tradition of eating and drinking whatever treats we wanted on New Year’s Eve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Haha~~absolutely!!😂 We gotta instinct of saving more foods than we think we can consume in just 2 days😂 And eventually the victims of fridge/shelf/pantry avalanche complain we have too much food so asking us all for help👍💕

      Like

  4. johnrieber says:

    I always appreciate all of the cultural information behind the food…we had soba noodles with grated ginger and mushrooms for New Years Day, along with a tradition “Hoppin’ John”, which is a good luck dish as well…let’s see if they do the trick!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Haha~~~right! But I’m sure you’ll have the best year because the sky you saw on the new year day is telling us all😂☀️💕✨

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you dear! Happy New Year, wishing you the best in 2022!🎉💕✨

      Like

  5. Ju-Lyn says:

    Thank you for sharing the meaning of these foods! All for a good year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Hi J-lyn! Of course, I’m gonna talk more about food with Japanese culture this year. Have a wonderful day❤️

      Like

  6. It’s always interesting to read about traditional foods and their meaning.
    Happy New Year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Hi Ronit! Happy New Year to you too! Hope your 2022 will be the best year ever🤗💕✨🎉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sowmya says:

    Interesting menu for New year Tanooki. Definitely to cherish on New year .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you Sowmya!🤗💕✨ I appreciate your sweet comment as always❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. anne leueen says:

    I do not have any New Years resolutions to break and I would never make any regarding food anyway. I enjoyed seeing your traditional Japanese foods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Hi Anne! That’s great, strong will is always taking you to the happy year😆👍💕 And thank you, my effort to make these food is now relieved🤣

      Like

  9. A few years ago we enjoyed Osechi Ryoiri at the Yamazato restaurant in Amsterdam. Sweet memories! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Happy New Year dear! Wow enjoying Osechi Ryori at a good restaurant is always great to learn about the culture and how important the logistics and cooking is to make people smile! I’m glad to hear you got positive image experiencing Japanese culture. I hope another one to come soon😊

      Wishing you the best in 2022🙌💕✨

      Like

  10. Livia says:

    Happy New Year, Tanooki, and all the best in 2022! 🍀🍀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you Livia, same goes to you! Happy New Year and wishing you the best in 2022🎉💕✨

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think it’s nice to have different culinary New Year’s traditions, and I hope all the wishes that are culturally linked to these foods will come true for you this year.
    Best wishes for 2022.
    Tanja

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Hi Tanja! Exactly, it’s such a great learning experience no matter how old they are, where they come from, etc…

      Happy New Year to you too, wishing you the best in 2022🎉✨🌸

      Liked by 1 person

  12. And I too will try you Japanese curry! My Japanese cooking is far from perfect but my guests normally like it. And what I like most is the way it is served. Pure esthetic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Oh hey dear Zettl, mine is far from what Japanese chef calls it “perfect” too🤣 I’m sure your Japanese cooking is fantastic. I can imagine your guests left your house with a big grin and a full stomach with all the yumminess😋💕✨

      Like

  13. Nice. wishing you all the best for 2022, Tanooki san.

    ✨🙏🕉☀🌙⚖🪔🕊♾🈚☯🌍🐲🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you dear Graham!😊🙏💕 The same goes to you, may 2022 come the best year ever to you😍🙌🎉🥂🎵

      Liked by 1 person

  14. In Scotland the traditional New Year’s Day dinner is steak pie. The supermarkets were full of them! Much more calorific than your Japanese traditional dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Hi there! Wow steak pie!? That sounds so good, I’d have a cheat day next year to celebrate my new year in Scottish way🤩🎉💕✨

      Like

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