明けましておめでとうございます！ Happy New Year! 🙂
After a night of eating and drinking, TBH and I were completely knackered today. Except for breakfast and getting some groceries from the supermarket, we hibernated at home the entire day.
For dinner, we had osechi ryori (お節料理) at Wahiro, a Japanese restaurant located at Roxy Square. I thought that it would be interesting to eat osechi ryori, traditional Japanese New Year food, on New Year’s Day, but wasn’t sure whether Japanese restaurants in Singapore served osechi ryori. I did some Googling on the Internet which told me that Wahiro did, and it was located not too far away from our home.
In Japan, osechi ryori is either prepared at home prior to the new year, or purchased from shops which then comes in elegant lacquer boxes. The food is eaten with family and friends, and is supposed to last for at least the first three days of the new year. Each food item symbolises prosperity, long life, happiness, fertility, good luck. Something like our yusheng.
Back in 1999, I spent Christmas and New Year in Japan, and ate osechi ryori for the first time in the home of a Japanese family whom I was putting up with. I remember how my friend and I got osechi ryori-phobia because we had to eat the same food for three consecutive days over New Year.
I have long forgotten the phobia, and was quite keen to try it again. Afterall, it isn’t food that I get to eat at other times of the year.
Our osechi ryori set dinner comprised:
– O-zoni: rice cake soup
– Renkon No Nitsuke: Lotus root cut like chrysanthemums, then fried and simmered in a sweet soy sauce.
– Gobo Kobumaki: Burdock root wrapped in konbu and simmered in a dashi. Symbolises longevity
– Kazunoko: Herring roe that has been cured in light soy sauce and dashi
– Kurikinton: sweetened and mashed Japanese sweet potatoes with sweet chestnuts. Represents wealth.
– Kuromame: Black soybean. Symbolises good health
– Ikura: Seasoned salmon roe. Represents fertility
– Tazukuri: Roasted dried anchovies coated with sweet caramelized soy sauce and sesame seeds. Symbolizes a bountiful harvest.
– Kohaku Namasu: red and white vinegared daikon
Plus a platter of sashimi, sake, a bowl of zousui (Japanese rice soup) and matcha ice-cream.
We were happily stuffed to the brim.