What is Osechi?
Osechi is Japanese food made to celebrate the coming new year. Anyone who has spent any time with me, especially towards the end of December knows that I celebrate Japanese New Year’s and Osechi very seriously! I don’t like New Year’s Eve, but New Year’s Day, enjoying Osechi is my type of holiday celebration!
No matter where I am, whether in Japan, or the States, you will find me at the best local Japanese market with a long shopping list in the last few days of December, ready to shop. My love of mochi (pounded rice cakes), an integral ingredient, is perhaps only equaled to my obsession with Matcha!
I had wanted for a long time to do a special book on this style of Japanese cooking and if you’re on my e-mail list then you already know IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED!
Now before I share with you any further, I do want to note that the links below are affiliate links and I may receive a commission should you click through to make a purchase. Obviously this in no way impacts my opinion on the product because…well, it’s my very first e-book!!
The Wonderful World of Osechi: Japanese New Year’s Recipes
The Wonderful World of Osechi is a selection of my favorite Osechi recipes. I love all these recipes and love making them every year, but perhaps my favorite section is on Zoni; a regional soup with pounded rice cakes (mochi), chicken or fish, and vegetables. I love the regional versatility of it, and deciding which one to make each year is fun! I’m still pondering which one to make this year, but this Hokkaido version is always a winner in my house.
For me, Japanese New Year’s always starts on December 31st, when I make a big bowl of Toshikoshi Soba (year’s-passing soba), which is supposed to be the last food to touch your lips on New Year’s Eve, and to promote good health and luck in the coming year. I usually use dried soba, but last year I was fortunate enough to find fresh soba at a shop in San Francisco’s Japantown.
The one New Year’s tradition called Omisoka that I will admit I miss very much every year since I live in the States is opening any window at midnight to enjoy hearing all the Buddhist temples in Japan, when 108 bells are rung. This is to symbolize the expulsion of human hardship, a sort of purification so to speak, and is called Joya-nokane. I just love the sound, and to me it also symbolizes the passing of the old year into the new year.
By then, all my shopping is done, and most of my cooking and preparations have been completed, so that when January 1st dawns, all I have to do is to make whatever regional Zoni soup (rice cake soup) I chose to enjoy, and embrace the tradition of consuming delicious food and being with family for the next day or two. It really doesn’t matter what your nationality is, we can all learn from these Japanese traditions in that if we take the time to plan ahead a bit, we’ll have all the more time later to spend the holiday as one should – enjoying the company of friends and family!
To those who have already pre-ordered my book, I so appreciate you and look forward to reading your reviews! If you haven’t yet picked up your copy, you can click here to do so now.
And if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get the ebook on almost any device with the Free Kindle Reading App.
Recent Interview About the New Cookbook
If you want to learn more about the journey that was creating this wonderful book, please check out this video interview I did with my blogging mentor, Amber Temerity:
Have you celebrated the new year with osechi before?
I’d love to hear about in the comments below!