Ozoni is a rice cake(mochi)and vegetable soup and it is one of the special dishes served during the New Year. Flavour and ingredients, including meat or fish and all kinds of vegetables, differ according to the region or family. In general, Ozoni with square-shaped rice cakes in clear soup(left) is preferred in eastern Japan, while Ozoni with round-shaped rice cakes in white miso soup(right) is preferred in western Japan.
As my husband and I are both from Tokyo, we eat clear soup Ozoni on the New Year’s Day and on Jan.2nd, I cook white miso Ozoni as we lived in western Japan for almost 30 years.
Originally, Ozoni was offered to Toshigami-sama, the god fo the year. It is said that eating Ozoni in the New Year is a kind of naorai, a feast after Shinto rituals where people eat and drink what was offered to God. t
If you are spending New Year holiday in Japan, I hope you will have a chance to taste Ozoni!