Ozoni or お雑煮 is a special Japanese New Year’s soup made with a light miso or kombu dashi based broth, vegetables and mochi (rice cakes). The perfect hearty, nourishing and satisfying soup to kick off the new year! Vegan + Gluten Free.
Happy New Years everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I have so many things planned for this year and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has stopped by, made my recipes and shared them with me. It truly fills my heart with happiness every time I get sent a photo of your recreations! I hope you stick around for more delicious recipes in 2020 ❤️
Growing up, on new years day my family and I would make Ozoni in the morning for breakfast. It was the perfect thing to wake up to on a chilly winter morning.
What is Ozoni?
Ozoni is traditional Japanese soup that is enjoyed around the New Years. It features a light and nourishing broth, mochi and vegetables. Every family has their own recipe but typically carrots and daikon are also included.
Kanto vs. Kansai Ozoni / Japanese Mochi Soup
Ozoni soup varies depending on where you are in Japan and the household. Typically, you will find a clear dashi based broth in the Kanto region (Eastern/Tokyo) and a miso based broth around the Kansai region (western/Oksaka).
Even though my family is from Tokyo, both my mom and I grew up enjoying the miso based ozoni more often. Both are incredibly delicious and easy to make though do defiantly try out both to see which one enjoy!
Ingredients to Make Japanese Mochi Soup
As mentioned, the main difference between Kanto style and Kansai style ozoni is the soup broth. Traditionally, fish based dashi is used in the broth but because we’re making a vegan version, I used Kombu Dashi granules. As well, in the Kanto style Ozoni chicken is usually cooked into the soup to make chicken broth but I have kept that out and increased the flavour with the remaining ingredients.
For Kanto Ozoni soup broth you will need:
- Kombu (seaweed) dashi OR a piece of dried kombu
- Sake or mirin
- Soy sauce
For Kansai Ozoni soup broth you will need:
- Kombu dashi or a piece of dried kombu
- White miso paste
Every family has their own way of making it with different ingredients but these are the most typical ingredients most people use in Japan:
- Mochi: you can buy the pre-made ones that are sold at Japanese markets that can be grilled (more typical) OR make shiratama mochi for a homemade version. To make your own mochi, you will be shiratamako (sweet rice flour) and silken tofu.
- Carrots: choose thicker carrots to make pretty cut outs.
- Daikon radish: NOT regular radishes. It’s thick, long and white with mild flavour.
- Aburaage (fried tofu skins)
How to Make Ozoni
How to Make Mochi / Japanese Rice Cakes:
You can skip this step if you are using the pre-made rice cakes. Note that this version of rice cakes should not be grilled.
- Combine shiratamako and silken tofu into a bowl. Use your hands to squish the tofu into shiratamako until a dough form. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll them into balls. Then use your pointer fingers knuckle and make an indent in the middle. This helps the mochi cook evenly all the way through.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and then place mochi in. Once they rise to the top, they are cooked. Using a straining ladle take them out.
- Place them into a bowl with ice cold water.
How to Make Ozoni Soup Broth:
- Cut carrots and daijon into shapes or slices.
- Into a medium pot over medium heat add in the water, kombu dashi, carrots, daikon and shiitake mushrooms. If making Kanto version, add in the soy sauce, sake and salt now.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until carrots and daikon are tender.
- For Kansai version, dissolve miso paste into the soup using a small fine-mesh sieve until no more clumps.
To serve, place a piece of mochi into a bowl. Scoop out some carrots, daikon and a shiitake mushroom into the bowl. Ladle soup over and then garnish with scallions!
Can You Make This Japanese Mochi Soup Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can- but it really is best served fresh because the mochi gets hard after a day and if you’re making the miso based one, you lose the nutrients and flavour as time passes.
If you do want to make this in advance, I suggest making the Kanto/soy sauce version as it keeps longer without losing flavour. As well, buying the pre-made mochi to save time (plus you can grill them which IMO is much more fun to eat if you have access to it).
For Leftovers: once the soup is completely cooled, transfer it into a air tight container and then place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Or you can also portion it and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Be sure to remove tofu if using before freezing.
To Reheat: Pour the soup into a medium pot over medium low heat. Reheat just before it starts to simmer, until warmed through.
Tips to Making Perfect Ozoni Japanese Mochi Soup
- Use Mesh Sieve to Dissolve Miso: this helps ensure there are no clumps.
- DO NOT simmer/boil Soup Once Miso Has Been Added: you will lose the flavour and nutrients in the miso.
- Re-cook the Mochi: If more than 20 minutes has passed since making the mochi, add the mochi to the soup and let it re-heat for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Helpful Equipment to Make This Recipe
If you recreate Ozoni or this New Years Japanese Mochi Soup recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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