Happy New Year 2021! Osechi Ryori in Hilo

I hope your 2021 is starting off well! One of the benefits of being/staying home for the holidays this year is it gave me the chance to try and practice making osechi ryori or traditional Japanese new year foods. My mom had a jubako or special containers for holding these foods that I had never ever used so I thought this was a good year to try. I’ve never really felt like I had the time to make this since I felt like we were always so busy going here and there. This COVID year when we are staying home was the perfect time to attempt this project.

Over the course of a few days, I made several dishes. I used Just One Cookbooks recipes to help me. I made some things that I’ve never made before like tazukuri or candied iriko/sardines, kikka kabu (pickled chrysanthemum turnips), sekihan, and a daikon/carrot namasu. Some other things, I have made before like nishime (chikuzenni), warabi salad, and kimpira gobo. Some things, I got prepared already to make things easy like the kamaboko and kuromame.

Since I am an early riser, when I woke up on this New Year’s morning, I got everything out of the fridge and started putting the box together. I think most jubako have three levels, but my mother’s box had five so I made it work. I followed Nami’s suggestion of putting like as many of the like items together as possible. The simmered dishes in one box, the pickled dishes in another, and cooked items in another. I tried to be aware of colors as I put it together. I was happy to include some things from my garden like the bittermelon namasu, the radish for the chrysanthemum turnips, and the garnishes (mizuna, fern, shiso). I enjoyed this project and using my mother’s pretty Japanese boxes made me really happy. But if any of you want to make this and sell it next year, please put me at the top of your customer list! Living Hilo Style!

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