Chinese-Style Ozouni (Mochi Cake Soup) Flavored With Pure Sesame Oil
Why not try this zouni or ozouni (mochi rice cake soup) with a difference for New Years? The pure sesame oil really wakes up your appetite. It's also quick and easy to make, and it's ready in 15 minutes.
Cut the carrot into strips. Wash the bamboo shoot well, soak in water to remove the bitterness, and slice thinly. Cut the stems off the shiitake mushrooms and slice thinly.
Cut the chicken breast meat into small bite sized pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of pure sesame oil and mix.
Put the Japanese dashi stock plus the ingredients from Steps 1 and 2 into a pan, and bring to a boil. Remove any scum, and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add salt, soy sauce and sake to season the soup, plus 1 tablespoon of pure sesame oil.
Cook the mochi cakes in a oven until puffy and browned. Put them in serving bowls, pour the Step 4 soup over, add some roughly chopped mitsuba as garnish and serve.
Story Behind this Recipe
I love the flavor of our family's standard ozouni that we have every year, but this recipe is in response to requests for something different! Even without adding any special ingredients, the fragrance of pure sesame oil adds a Chinese-style flavor. The sesame oil combined with the umami of vegetables and chicken tastes very rich. This is a hearty ozouni that children love too!
By adding pure sesame oil during the preparation stages as well as to finish, the fragrance and the umami of the oil are evident in a well balanced way in the finished soup. Slice the vegetables into thin julienne to make an elegant version of ozouni that can be served to guests. This is delicious with grilled onigiri rice balls instead of the mochi cakes.