Ozoni

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Food blogger Marc Matusmoto shares his family recipe for Ozoni, a central dish for Japan's Oshogatsu holiday that is celebrated on the first day of the new year. Marc shares the story behind the holiday in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup water + 4 cups water
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 slices carrot, carved into the shape of a cherry blossom
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 small bunch spinach, lightly boiled and drained
  • 4 mochi
  • 1 yuzu

Directions

  1. About an hour before you prepare your Ozoni, put 1 cup of water in a bowl along with the dried shiitake mushrooms.
  2. Put the chicken in a colander. Boil a kettle of water and pour it over the chicken, letting the water go down the drain. This removes blood and impurities from the meat, giving you a clear soup.
  3. Put the chicken in a pot along with the remaining 4 cups of water, the carrots, sake, and salt, and then simmer for 20 minutes, skimming to remove any scum that rises to the top. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  4. Add the soy sauce, along with the soaking liquid from the shiitake mushrooms to the soup and then adjust salt to taste. Slice up the shiitake mushrooms and add them to the soup.
  5. Lay down a sheet of aluminum foil in a toaster oven then toast the mochi until it inflates and turns golden brown along the top. You can also just microwave it until it inflates.
  6. To serve, place piece of grilled mochi at the bottom of the bowl, then add a few slices of chicken. Gather a few strands of spinach and tie them in loop and place in the bowl. Add the soup along with two slices of carrot and some shiitake mushrooms. Garnish with some yuzu zest and serve.

Tips/Techniques

If you can't find yuzu, you can substitute Meyer orange peel
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