Once upon a time New Year was considered the most important holiday in Japan but I've heard that Christmas in all it's capitalist KFC glory has overtaken it which seems too bad. I grew up eating osechi (traditional New Year's food). I love any holiday that's all about food. I got prepared osechi foods from the grocery store exactly once after leaving home and realized it's just a huge pain for one person. These days the only thing I try to eat is mochi. I wasn't aware until this year that there was any place to get fresh mochi in Boston and I told myself I was going to have some, but I never got my act together to place an order at Mochi Kitchen or Ebisuya. Instead I just had some packaged mochi from Miso Market (pictured above).
Luckily for me one of my Japanese friends decided to have a New Year's Eve party at the last minute so I got to eat all manner of tasty Japanese food last night. Someone brought what seemed to be stewed kumquats, which I'm told are a traditional New Year's food, although I don't recall having it as a child.
There was datemaki, one of my personal favorites.
There were other things I didn't manage to get pictures of including kuri kinton, umeboshi, annin tofu, and tasty nabe with salmon, pork, tofu, enoki, and Chinese cabbage.
We made temaki with maguro and salmon and had the most delicious buta no kakuni (braised pork belly) that had been cooked with whole eggs and daikon (here's a recipe in English that's similar to the one my friend used, although with the addition of star anise).
|Buta no kakuni|
There was non-Japanese food as well: smoked salmon and cream cheese, dried figs with cream cheese, pumpkin pie, and chocolate cake. Fortunately or unfortunately we were too full to eat everything our hostess could have fed us. We didn't even get to the soba or oshiruko (azuki soup with mochi).
Tomorrow, Ebisuya in Medford is having a hatsuuri (first sale of the New Year) event from 10AM to 8PM that I might check out.
Announcing our HATSU-URI!Akemashite omedetou!
Please visit us on Weds, Jan 2nd. for special sales and delights.
All children will receive a money gift, and all adults in Kimono will too!
This is your chance to wear special outfits. Come enjoy!