"You're not going to make me eat ozoni again, are you....'cause your ozoni sucks..."
So sayeth the Missus, when I told Her of my plans for New Years breakfast. And I wouldn't blame Her for feeling that way, my previous attempts at Ozoni did indeed "suck". Though I did have ozoni every New Years breakfast growing up, it was one of those things that I never really tried making until I moved to the mainland. My previous attempts at what I thought my Mom made were pathetic, and after searching out recipes, became even more confused and pathetic over the years. For it seems, there as many different ways for making ozoni as there are stars in the heaven....chicken stock, dashi, ginger, no chicken stock, no dashi, no ginger, bamboo shoots, kamaboko, shoyu(soy sauce), no bamboo shoots, no kamaboko, no shoyu....the only common thread is mochi! So after being spun around, and confused, I stopped making it all together. Until I received an email from a FOY(friend of yoso), AlanN who inquired as to why I've never posted on Ozoni...it being such an important New Year's dish....to which I had to reply, tail between my legs, "because, ahem, my Ozoni sucks...."
At which time I became obsessed with making ozoni "that only kinda sucks." Driving my 2 existing braincells into overdrive, I worked trying to remember the flavors of Mom's. The only thing I really remembered was chicken broth, well at least I thought it was chicken broth.....but I also remembered the broth being very clear.....which the canned stuff is surely not. So a few days before New Years, I made a nice clear chicken stock from some carcasses I had in the freezer.....and I was off. While putting everything together, it hit me...this wasn't one of those Chicken stock OR dashi versions....it was a chicken stock AND dashi version. Which is what I made. When the Missus tasted the Ozoni She told me, "not bad, this only kinda sucks......." After so many really terrible versions, I'll take what I can get!
Ozoni(That only kinda sucks...)
8 Cups Clear Chicken Stock
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Dashi no Moto
Slices of Kamaboko (fish cake)
Mizuna, Shungiku, or Horenso(spinach)
Thinly Sliced Daikon and Carrots (optional)
1-Combine first 3 ingredients and bring to a boil, remove from heat, add dashi no moto, combine well, and strain.If you really want to be like my Mom strain through a coffee filter - I didn't do this.
2-Bring broth back to a simmer and add daikon and carrots(do not boil).
4-Place mochi in a bowl, and poke holes into mochi to allow for saturation.
5-Add kamaboko, and greens to bowl, and pour soup over ingredients.
This past New Years eve was a bit different for us, for the first time in eons, we actually went to a party. And after stuffing ourselves silly, we decided to keep our New Years days meal, "light(er)".
So for once, nothing fried, and no rice on New Years...that's a first!