How to make “Ozouni” Japanese New Year Rice Cake soup~お雑煮の作り方~

Posted on Posted in Japanese traditional recipes

Today I will show you how to make  “Ozouoni” Japanese New Year Rice Cake Soup in 2 ways.

The first one is clear soup, the most popular new year soup all over Japan.

The second one is White-miso soup, this is more popular in Kansai region, including Kyoto.

You will learn 2 basic broth using bonito flakes and komb kelp as well.

Let’s get started!


clear soup

Ingredients for 4 to 6

200g daikon radish
100g carrot
100g burdock root   = “Gobo”
200g boneless chicken thighf
1 to 2 rice cake per person ※rectangle shape.  Traditionally we use rectangle shaped rice cake and bake it for clear soup. Of course you can replace it with round shape.
50g “Mitsuba” leaves (Japanese parsely)
3 tablespoons salmon roe = “Ikura”
Yuzu peel

<clear soup>
800ml water
30~35g bonito flakes
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cut burdock root into approximately 1 × 5 cm length rectangle slices. Soak in water to prevent from changing its color.

2. Cut daikon radish in the same size. Use upper part of daikon radish which we used in Osechi New year dishes. And do the same to the carrot.

3. Pre-boil burdock root for 3 minutes. Add daikon radish and carrot and cook another minutes. Drain and keep in a container.

4. Trim the excess fat and skin of the chicken thigh. Cut into chunks. Add a sprinkle of salt and a splash of sake and toss to coat. (Not included in a recipe)

5. Cut mitsuba leaves into 3 cm length. And the ingredients are ready.

6. Bring 800ml water to a boil and add bonito flakes. Cook on medium heat for 8 minutes. I am using a thick-slice of bonito flakes and it requires to be cooked on a rather higher heat. Start baking rice cake in an oven-toaster. It will take 5 to 6 minutes. Keep your eyes on the last minutes, because the rice cake is easy to burn.

7. Strain into another pot and bring it to a boil again. Add prepared chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add prepared vegetable and cook until heated through. Season with soy sauce and salt.

8. Ladle soup into a lacquerware soup bowl, and place baked rice cake. A ladle of soup prevents from rice cake sticking to the bottom. Ladle over more soup with ingredients. Top with Mitsuba-leaves, ikura and shaved Yuzu peal. Put the lid on and serve immediately. The lid keeps the soup piping hot, and holds aroma of Yuzu peel.

Smell so good! This is the smell of new year. The soup is so so flavorful with bonito flakes, the chicken makes it even richer. A slightly burnt outside of rice cake is so so comfortable.




Next, White-Miso version. On the first day of the new year, we eat clear soup, and the second day, we eat White-Miso soup. This is our family tradition.

White-Miso has very gentle taste and the sweetest in all types of Miso. The base broth should be milder than bonito flakes, so we use komb kelp broth enhanced with dried shitake soaking liquid.

If you are a vegetarian, I strongly recommend to use this broth to use any dishes. So flavorful and has complexed umami. And if you want, skip the chicken in this recipe, and make it vegetarian version of Ozouni.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients for 4 to 6

200g daikon radish
100g carrot
5 to 6 dried shitake mushroom
200g boneless chicken thigh
50g Mizuna leaves
50g Yurine lily bulb
1 to 2 Rice cake per person ※round shape.  Traditionally we use round shaped rice cake and boil it for white miso soup. Of course you can replace it with rectangle.  The taste is same!

<White Miso soup>
800ml water+dried shitake soaking liquid
Two pieces of 10×10cm kombu kelps
5 to 6 tablespoons White Miso

1. Soak kombu kelps in water at least one hour preferably overnight. Do the same to dried shitake mushroom. Turn the heat to low and cook until barely simmering. Remove the kombu kelp and bring it to a boil. Add rehydrated shitake and soaking liquid and cook for ten minutes.

2. Meanwhile, slice daikon radish with Japanese Mandolin. Do the same to the carrot.

3. Peel off each layer of the lily bulb and wash thoroughly. Shave the dirty spot.

4. Trim the excess fat and skin from the chicken thigh and cut into chunks. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a splash of sake. Keep in the ziplock bag. It is very convenient to have on hand. It will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

5. Add chicken to the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Add daikon, carrot and lily bulb and cook 3 minutes more.

6. Start boiling rice cake in simmering water for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.

7. Season with White-Miso. Cook until dissolved. Taste and adjust the amount of Miso. And its pretty much done!

8. Ladle soup into a lacquerware bowl, and place boiled rice cake. Again, this will prevent from sticking to the bottom. Ladle over more soup, and topped with Mizuna and yuzu.

Put the lid on and serve immediately.

The texture of lily bulb is like a potato, the taste is sweet and slightly bitter. When it melts in the white miso soup, it is so good.

There is no other meal than new year soup for the very first meal of the new year. So hearty, so nutritious, so delicious. Give it a try!



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