Oshogatsu Osechi, Part I: Shopping

The other day I loaded up the car with ingredients for our upcoming Oshogatsu feast. These photos only show a portion of the bounty, which includes Japanese root vegetables such as daikon, sato imo, renkon (lotus root) and gobo (burdock), as well as dry ingredients such as kuromame (black soybean) and tazukuri (dried sardines). In the front, you see golden kazunoko (herring roe), one of the most important New Year’s foods.

Clockwise: sato-imo, gobo, renkon, kuromame, kazunoko, tazukuri, daikon.
Clockwise: sato-imo, gobo, renkon, kuromame, kazunoko, tazukuri, daikon.
Clockwise: Sweet potatoes, datemaki, kamaboko, candied chestnuts, kombumaki
Clockwise: Sweet potatoes, datemaki, kamaboko, candied chestnuts, kombumaki

Some traditional osechi dishes are too difficult or time-comsuming to make from scratch, so I purchased the following frozen ingredients: Pictured in the front are red (actually pink) and white kamaboko, a type of nerimono (fish cake), and datemaki, fluffy golden spirals of egg and fish.

Tomorrow, New Year’s eve day, will be spent chopping, slicing, simmering, and tasting. It’ll be hard to get all the cooking done in one day, but so it goes. It would really be alot easier if I didn’t insist on cooking all the components for iridori separately, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to take this shortcut. Why? Well, more on this tomorrow. I’ve got to get to bed early for a long day.