Japanese traditions: Osechi

This past week was a very tough and grueling one for me.  Because of it, I'm sleep-deprived and I feel like poop.  I can't wait for this month to be over because I'll be visiting Juvy in Kyoto again! I can't wait~ It's been like more than 3 months since we've last met so you can bet on a lot of pictures. :D

So, I'm slowly going down the list of things to blog about and I've finally reached this topic!

Osechi-ryouri (お節料理) is a traditional Japanese dish(or I mean, dishes) that is eaten during the New Years "season". Back in the day, it was considered taboo to cook meals during the first three days of the year.  Thus, osechi was made to last during that time period although it only consisted of boiled veggies since poultry would spoil.

On new years eve, everyone eats toshi-koshi soba  (年越し蕎麦).  This symbolizes longevity (long noodles?) and is actually a great meal to have because everyone is usually busy during the end of the year cleaning (oosouji-大掃除) to make something extravagant.  

I've only tried the legitimate osechi once in my life.  Rakuten's ranking at the time was basically osechi ryouri so of course I picked the #1 listing that was 9,000yen (to feed two people).  It really sounds pricey but the time and hard work they put into making these is well worth it. 

When it came it, it looked like this: 

How cuteeee.

Unravel the handkerchief to see the osechi prepared in the jubako (重箱) which are usually three levels of lacquer boxes.  Once I opened the lid, my eyes sparkled *___*

Osechi has always fascinated me because it's so colorful and majority of the food in there, I rarely eat throughout the year because they only make it for this day.  Each symbolizes something but I can't really remember. lol

There are too many to explain but I'll just explain my favorites :D

Datemaki (伊達巻 or 伊達巻き. located in the middle behind the walnuts), are sweet rolled eggs that are mixed with fish paste.  I suppose these are really difficult to make as I never see anyone actually cook them.  I usually buy them D: 

Kuro-mame (黒豆. located in front of the yellow kuri dessert), are sweetened black soybeans. I LOVE THESE.  I just realized I like a lot of sweetened dishes. 

Konbu maki (昆布巻. top middle in black.), is seaweed wrapped in fish (sardines?).  Actually, this was pretty sweet too. lol

Isei ebi (伊勢海老. located . . .YOU SEE IT) is probably the big daddy of them all.  I've never really looked into it but I'm guessing that it's from Ise prefecture.  I'm not a very big fan of shellfish since I'm allergic to some but this was orgasmic.  Never have I had shrimp (or should I say prawn because prawn sounds more sophisticated) marinated as such.  I think there was miso and something--YUP. Sweet.

If you ever have a chance to celebrate new years in Japan, I definitely recommend what I did: eat osechi and go to Tokyo Tower. Except I forgot to go to hatsumoude this year which will hopefully not result in a dreadful year.

And Happy belated Chinese New Year! Can't believe the CNY for next year will be in Feb. D: 

Thus, with the entry, I claim it the last entry of 2011. :)  Now moving on to much more awesome stuff so stay tuned!


Blogs coming up:

- Japanese new years: Osechi
- Pair rings
- Eyeliner review
- REVLON foundation review
- My birthday!
- Oedo Onsen
- Date with Tricia 
- Cosplaying in Shibuya

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