Ozoni (Traditional Mochi Soup)
Ozoni is a traditional soup that Japanese families have on New Years day. Although there may be a few regional or family variations, the very basic zoni soup includes dashi (seafood or fish stock), greens of some type (usually mizuna or spinach), and a plop of white mochi dumpling. Sometimes, there are added seasonings like shoyu and sake while others add a bit of miso paste. Some add a few slices of colorful kamaboko (fish cake), carrot and shiitake mushroom slices or even chicken, although beef is not traditional at all.
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup dried shrimps and/or 1 cup bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
1 2" strip konbu
1 bunch of mizuna (japanese greens or substitute spinach), washed and chopped into
6 pieces mochi
Kamaboko, fresh fish, udon noodles, miso, Aloha shoyu, sake, vegetables etc...
Over low heat, bring shrimps, konbu and water to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Strained, reserving stock. Add water for make 3 ½ cups of broth. If using katsuobushi, add flakes after the water comes to a boil (do not let katsuobushi boil.)
Add chopped mizuna and simmer for a few minutes until vegetables are wilted and cooked. Toast mochi over open flame or under a broiler until puffy. Place one mochi into each chawan soup bowl. Arrange kamaboko slices on top. Pour on soup with mizuna.
Note: you can use a packaged dashi instead of making soup base yourself