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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year's Day ozoni soup alternative

This year I didn't have any vegetable stock on hand or enough vegetables to make some from scratch. So, instead of making a traditional Japanese Ozoni soup I improvised. I did have on hand brown rice, salt pickled beet greens, fresh English garden peas, and brown rice mochi so that's what I used to make a delicious meal.

I also added a small piece of canned Alaskan Salmon because I'm still needing to eat a bit of fish twice a week due to malnourishment issues I encountered (causing my failure to thrive) while on a vegetarian diet. I am hoping in 2013 to work on my diet (as in what I eat, not to lose weight) so that I can eat less or no fish by the end of the year.

The beet greens I'd picked up at the famers' market two days ago. After rinsing and chopping them I put them in a metal bowl and sprinkled salt liberally over the leaves. I tossed them a few times, placed a second bowl of the same size on top of them and set a heavy jar in the bowl to weigh down the leaves, forcing the liquid from them. After the first day I poured off the water and moved them to a smaller bowl and repeated the same process. Before eating them I rinse them off with cold water and allow them to drain in a strainer before pressing as much water out of them as possible. They make a great side dish accompaniment with steamed rice or in bowls of rice porridge.

The rice was cooked as normal table rice the day before. I placed some in a small pot, added water, and allowed the pot to simmer for 30 minutes adding more water as needed to maintain a thick but soupy consistency.

The garden peas were fresh, not frozen. I blanched them in boiling water and allowed them to drain.

Mochi before baking

The small cubes of mochi were cut with a knife before toasting them on a metal cookie sheet in my toaster oven for around 10 minutes at 350º until they began to puff out. The mochi explodes from one side of the cube as it heats up. I tucked those ends into the soup itself so that the appearance was more neat once the soup was assembled.

Next year I'll plan ahead and make sure I have some broth on hand and make a more traditional ozone recipe like the one I made in 2012 using white rice mochi and napa cabbage.

Whatever you eat today I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year's Day!

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