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Kyoto White Miso Ozouni (Mochi Rice Cake Soup for New Years)

Kyoto White Miso Ozouni (Mochi Rice Cake Soup for New Years)

In Kyoto, we have a gently sweet ozouni with white miso. The bright red of the Kintoki carrot really stands out against the white soup.

Ingredients: An easy to make amount

White miso
a bit more than 1/2 a ladle full
Dashi stock
500 ml
Round mochi rice cakes
as many as you like
Daikon radish for zouni (small thin daikon radish)
1 large or 2 small
Kintoki carrots (Kyoto carrots - bright red)
1/2
Satoimo (taro root)
1 bag
Mentsuyu
to taste
Dashi stock granules
a small amount

Steps

1. Wash the carrot and daikon radish and peel. Slice into 5 mm thick rounds, and boil. When cool, cut out into flower shapes.
2. Dilute the mentsuyu according to the directions on the bottle. Add to pan with dashi granules and sataimo. Simmer until satoimo is tender. Let cool, and transfer to a container. In another pan, warm up 500 ml of dashi stock, and dissolve the white miso in it. (It's the same as making miso soup.)
3. Put a small amount of water in a flat heatproof dish. Wet the mochi cakes quickly and line them up on the plate. Warm them in the microwave on both sides. (If warming 3, microwave on one side for 1 minute, and the other side for 30 seconds, at 600W.) After turning over, stop cooking as soon as they start to puff up.
4. Put the mochi cakes in the miso soup from step 2. When they are a bit soft, ladle into soup bowls. Parboil the carrot, daikon radish, and satoimo. Add and serve immediately.
5. If you cook the mochi cakes repeatedly in the white miso soup, they become very rich and sweet, so don't make a lot of soup at one time; just make as much as you are going to eat. It tastes better that way.
6. This is a Kintoki carrot. Its other name is Kyo-ninjin (Kyoto carrot).
7. These are daikon radishes for zouni.
8. About the satoimo used in Step 2: since we always make onishime (a simmer vegetable dish also served at New Years), we often just take out some of the satoimo in the onishime and add it to the ozouni. That kills 2 birds with 1 stone. If you are making ozouni only, follow this recipe.

Story Behind this Recipe

This is our family recipe for Kyoto-style white miso ozouni. I grew up eating this for years with my parents, who are both born and bred in Kyoto, and I love it. We only have this once a year at New Years, but I always comforted when I eat this. It's my mother's flavor.