Each osechi item is named with words representing fortune, luck and happiness. The following are common osechi items, description and how to cook them.
Kazunoko (herring roe)
The origin of Kazunoko is having a lot of children because there are millions of eggs in Kazunoko.
How to cook; the ingredients are herring roe, Dashi (kelp) and soy sauce. First, soak herring roe in water for 2 days to take out salt. You also need to change the water. Then peel the thin skin of herring roe and cut it into small pieces and preserve them in Dashi and leave it for 20 minutes.
Kuromame (black soy beans)
The origin of Kuromame is hardworking and health not being sick or disaster in the year. And also the black color means charm against evil sprits.
How to cook; the ingredients are black soy beans, salt and sugar. First, wash black soy beans and put them in a pot which is filled with water. Give it a good boil until black soy beans get soft. Then wash it with tepid water gently. Prepare another pot to make syrup with boiled water and sugar. And add the syrup to the pot that has black soy beans in and boil it for 3 to 5 minutes. Depending on your liking, put more sugar and salt. At last leave it over night.
Jubako (layers of boxes to put Osechi in)
Jubako was made for a picnic under the cherry blossoms and other amusements not for New Years day. "Jubako is basically made up of four layers because the number three means perfection, and what's more, put one more box on the other". The number of the items in Jubako is odd because it is said that odd number is auspicious. In general, the top of Jubako is called Ichino Ju(first layer). It is filled with Iwaizakana (food which is eaten with alcoholic drinks) to invite people for a drink. The second one is called Kuchitorizakana (foods for people can not drink alcohol). The third one is filled with roasted and toasted foods and marine products. The forth one is filled with boiled and seasoned foods and mountain products.
The basic ways to puck Osechi foods;
Sansyu(threekinds) Dantume(layers) Ichimatu(pane) Tanoji(four kinds)
How to take care of Jubako ;
Jubako is made of lacquerware. Steep Jubako in tepid water and wipe off dirt with soft cloth. If you use hot water, it discolors and warps. Also do not use detergent. Just give the Jubako a rinse. After rinsing, wipe the Jubako with dry cloth. Then leave it for a day to dry. And wipe it again to make it glossy. Do not keep it where you get the direct rays of the sun or dry.
"Kyo no ryori"(today's cooking) ~NHK~
Last updated 6-Dec-2001