Ozoni (Zoni) : Naoko-sensei’s Japanese Recipe No. 27【なおこ先生の日本料理 27】お雑煮|英語レシピ

In Japan, one of the essential dishes for the New Year’s celebration is zoni or ozoni (rice cake soup). The ingredients and broth for ozoni differ from region to region, but Naoko-sensei will be introducing a chicken-based ozoni from her hometown, Nagasaki City. Sometimes she replaces chicken with yellowtail or conger eel. Spinach can be replaced with Katsuona leaves, etc. But this time we’ll use ingredients that are easily available both inside and outside Japan. In that way, you will be able to cook it after you go back to your country.



□ 4 cm(1.5 in) daikon radish
□ 4 cm(1.5 in) carrot
□ 160 g chicken thigh.
□ 20 g bonito flakes (katsuo-bushi)
□ 1 bundle of spinach leaves

bonito flakes

□ 10 cm × 15 cm(≒4 in × 6 in) square of dried kelp (konbu)

Dried kelp (konbu)

□ 4 dried shiitake mushrooms

Dried shiitake mushrooms are called donko (どんこ)

□ 4 small rice cakes (mochi)

rice cakes (mochi)

□ 8 sliced kamaboko or fish cake (sliced into 5 mm). We use red and white kamaboko for New Year’s dishes for good luck.

□ 1.5 to 2.5 tbsp shiro-dashi
*Shiro-dashi is a liquid dashi soup base made with shiro shoyu or usukuchi shoyu, dashi, salt, mirin sweet sake, , etc.

Shiro-dashi (白だし)


1. Pour 1 litter of water into a pot. Soak dried shitake mushrooms and a dried kelp (konbu) sheet in the water for 2 hours.

2.Boil spinach leaves in water, drain them, and cut them into bite-size chunks.

3.Cut daikon radish into half-moons and carrot into rounds, 4 to 5 mm thin. Put the radish and carrot into boiled water and boil them for 5 minutes over middle heat (until softened).

4.Sprinkle salt a little bit over the chicken thigh and cut it into 4 cm width chunks. Fry up the skin sides only without using oil. After the skins turn golden, set them aside on the plate.

The savory aroma of the burned skin makes the ozoni delicious! Please don’t move the chicken while frying up. 焼き目の香ばしさが美味しさのポイント!焼くときは鶏を動かさないで。

【How to Make|作り方】

1. Take out the kelp and remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Boil the broth and cap parts of the shiitake mushrooms.

We take out the kelp before boiling to prevent it from producing an unpleasant taste. 昆布は煮ると雑味が出るので、取り出します。

2.Add dried bonito flakes and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 seconds. And take out the bonito flakes using a strainer.

Only 30 seconds over low heat! That’s an important tip. 弱火で30秒がポイント!

3.Add the pan-fried chicken chunks in the broth and simmer them for 10 minutes over low heat.

4. Add a preferred amount of shiro-dashi (1.5 to 2.5 tbsp) to adjust the taste.

Shiro-dashi (白だし)

5.Toast rice cakes for 4 minutes at 220℃ in the toaster oven until they puff up and turn golden brown. (please be careful not to burn them.)

6. Place a baked rice cake, 2 slices of fish cakes (kamaboko), carrot, daikon radish, and spinach in each bowl. Reheat the soup and pour it in the bowl.

More recipes for winter

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