This is a traditional ozoni (a mochi rice cake soup) from Kyoto. It features sweet and fragrant Saikyo miso, "Kashira-imo" (literally "head potato") so that the children will grow up smart, and round mochi rice cakes so that our lives will run smoothly. This recipe has been handed down 3 generations in my family.
Kintoki carrots (a type of deep reddish colored carrot)
Kashira-imo (or use satoimo instead)
Chicken breast meat
Mitsuba (or green onion)
a small amount
Shaved bonito flakes (to taste)
a small amount
These are the vegetables used. The daikon radish is a thin type for ozouni. I used satoimo instead of kashira-imo. In our family, we use konbu seaweed based dashi stock, but use whatever you like.
Slice the daikon radish and carrot thinly, either whole or cut in half lengthwise first. Slice the burdock root or diagonally, and soak in water for a while to get rid of the bitterness. Cook both in boiling water until crisp-tender.
Boil the satoimo and sprinkle with water to get rid of the surface slime. Thinly shave sharp edges. Slice the chicken diagonally into bite sized pieces. Do all of this on New Year's Eve.
Bring dashi stock to a boil in an ozouni pot, and put in the chicken. Add the daikon radish, carrot and burdock root. Add the white miso just before the soup is done and briefly bring to a boil.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the mochi cakes and mitsuba. Put the round mochi cakes on a plate, sprinkle a little water and microwave. The mochi cakes should still be on the firm side.
Blanch the mitsuba briefly in boiling water. Gather 2 to 3 stems together and tie the stems into a knot. If using green onions, chop finely.
Put a mochi cake and satoimo in a miso soup bowl, and pour the hot zouni soup over. Add the mitsuba or green onion, optionally spring on some bonito flakes, and serve while piping hot!
In our house we have this white miso ozouni on the 1st and 2nd, and Osaka style clear soup ozouni with mizuna greens on the 3rd.
Story Behind this Recipe
Even if we called this Kyoto-style ozouni, every family has their own version. I grew up with this ozouni. In the top photo, the burdock root is sliced diagonally.
To make the ozouni in the morning quickly and easily, I parboil the ingredients. The amount of miso listed will make a light soup, but the soup will be delicious with a little more miso. You could just use regular daikon radish, regular carrot, green onion instead of mitsuba and square mochi instead. You could heat the satoimo in the soup.