Add the water, shiro-dashi, and dashi stock granules to a pot and bring to a boil, and then boil the finely cut chicken. Remove the scum, and add in the sake.
Add in the drained aburaage, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and kamaboko into the pot after cutting each one up. Cook thoroughly over medium heat, and season to taste with soy sauce and salt.
Add the cut spinach stems and then the leaves into the pot, and cover with a lid.
The broth is done once the spinach cooks through Place the mochi into a soup bowl, cover with the ingredients and broth, and enjoy~ . Eat it together with mitsuba if you like.
If you start baking the mochi during Step 2, then it will turn out just right. If you bake until it ruptures, then the flavor will soak in and make it taste really good.
The cooking and boiling time will vary according to the amount of ingredients used, overall thickness proportions of the ingredients, and amount of water used. Adjust the broth to suit your family's taste. I adjusted the amount of water.
Cut the kamaboko into a 7 mm bow shape, and cut notches like shown in the photo. Poke a hole in the front end of one of the two, and poke a hole in the back end of the other one.
Please feel free to use this as a reference for the carrots. It's a decorative way to cut carrots "This isn't a plum blossom - Recipe ID: 2072570".
"Made Easy with a Mug and Mochi! Hot Milk Adzuki Bean Zenzai - Recipe ID: 2072538" is also nice, so check it out.
Story Behind this Recipe
In the Kansai region of Japan, it's common to use soy sauce as a flavor base, but I don't like jet black broths... I made clearer broth with shiro-dashi. It's rather rich, so I recommend filling it up 1/3 of the way with the broth. I bake the mochi in a toaster oven so it doesn't stick to the pot. This has become my family's general seasoning.
Wash the chicken lightly in sake or water, drain, and then add it in if you are using chicken cut specifically cut for zouni in order to get rid of the odor. My family eats lots of zouni around New Year's, so I cook double portions. Cut just the spinach and then store it in the fridge, and add more as needed.