Happy New Year from Shiros!
We start the year off with several Japanese traditions that will hopefully bring you good luck and prosperity in 2017, a special soup containing mochi rice cakes and an auspicious sake to get rid of bad vibes.
New Year Specials + Traditions
Kagami Mochi – A traditional New Year decoration placed in the household with two different sized mochi stacked and a Daidai (bitter Japanese Orange) placed on top. This will bring us good luck and prosperity in the new year.
O-zōni – A Japanese soup containing mochi rice cakes. This dish is strongly associated with the Japanese New Year and its tradition of Osechi ceremonial foods. It is in fact, considered one of the most auspicious of the dishes eaten on New Years Day. During the month of January, we serve O-zoni with in-season matsatake mushrooms in a clear, miso or sake-kasu (sake lees) broth. Please ask your server which flavor is served on the night of your visit.
Osechi – Enjoyed as part of the New Year celebration, Osechi means “add happy occasion in layer” which is why the food is placed in beautiful two, three, four or even five-layered lacquered bento boxes. All cooking is finished before New Years Eve and placed in the center of the table for the 3 days into the new year, creating a welcoming home for friends, family and visitors to share these meaningful foods.
Many items in the Osechi have symbolic meanings. Here are some examples.
- Kazunoko (Herring-roe) – posterity and prosperity
- Black Beans – diligent work and health
- Tazukuri (candied Sardine) – rich harvest
- Lotus Root – able to see the good future
- Prawn – longevity
- Burdock Root – solid foundation
Otoso – This sake is traditionally drunk on New Years to get rid of bad vibes that cause illness and bad fortune in the New Year, and to bring hope and longevity. Symbolic in nature, a simple small cup will do or if you’re not a drinker, you can wet your lips with the sake.
Miyabi-Maguro (Super Premium Tuna Farmed in Japan) – Once you take a bite of this premium tuna, you will notice the very firm flesh and texture. Raised in the vast open sea in Nagasaki, it is fed specially formulated food and live-mackerel to attain its signature flavor.
Miyabi-Maguro (Super Premium Tuna farmed in Japan)
Kan-Buri (Cold Season Yellowtail) – While we have already introduced Kan-Buri in the previous newsletter, it is too good not to mention twice! This is the very best season for it and the taste is heavenly.
Kan-Buri (Cold Season Yellowtail)
Happy Valentine’s Day
Peach Obsession (Valentine’s Day Special Cocktail) – We have created a specialty cocktail for Valentine’s week, offering it Feb 7-Feb 14. It includes champagne, peach puree and a garnish of fresh raspberries.
We’ve collected a few of our favorite events coming up! Whether you live in Seattle or are traveling here soon, be sure to check out some of the local happenings.
January 24 – February 3 Broadway at the Paramount presents “The King & I”
January 27 – February 4 Seattle Boat Show
January 29 – Chinese New Year Celebration