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This was taken by Michael Tanouye of Santa Monica, CA, and submitted for Discover Nikkei’s Nima-kai 2020-2021 Oshogatsu Traditions photo activity.


When I was a child, my mom made clear ozoni with mochi. I uphold the tradition somewhat, making a miso-based vegetarian ozoni. I disliked how the mochi became gooey in the soup. Therefore, I bake the mochi in a toaster-oven at 400o F for 15 minutes. The mochi expands and becomes crisp. The resulting puff floats and stays crisp; it even makes crackling sounds when hitting the soup. I prefer brown rice mochi, which is hard to find. Some stores carry it frozen. Best results are obtained by thawing, moistening slightly, microwaving for 15 seconds to soften, then toasting. The photo shows such a puff.

See ozoni here.

editor — Last modified Feb 16 2021 12:12 a.m.

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