Japanese Ozoni Soup
One of the dishes most associated with the Japanese New Year. In my family, it is tradition that no food passes your lips until you bring in the New year with Ozoni.
A flavorful dashi broth, traditionally made with Japanese spinach and always made with mochi cakes. I have seen numerous variations of the recipe, some with chicken or pork. My family enjoys the traditional style in a clear broth with greens, toasted mochi and lots and lots of good luck wishes.
12 c. water ½ c. dried ebi (shrimp) 2 each dried whole squid 2 each 6-inch strip dashi kombu 3 c. bonito flakes (katsuobushi) 1 lb. manila clams, rinsed 2 (6.5 oz.) cans whole clams, with liquid 1 large bunch mizuna, rinsed, 2-inch lengths small mochi cakes Garnish: chopped green onion, Korean seasoned nori flakes,; crumbled
In a large saucepot over medium high heat; combine water, ebi, squid, and kombu. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Add bonito flakes; simmer an additional 15 minutes. Strain, return broth to saucepot. Add shiitake mushrooms, fresh clams, canned clams with liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.
For service: Add mizuna stems; simmer 2 minutes. Add mizuna leaves. In a skillet over medium heat; toast mochi cakes until puffy. Place one mochi into each serving bowl. Divide fresh clams among bowls. Ladle soup with mizuna over mochi and clams. Garnish with green onion and nori flakes. Serves 8-10.