Japanese New Year Soup

    3 hours 30 minutes

    This soup is served every new year's in Japan. The mochi cakes, kelp, bonito flakes and naruto can be found in Japanese shops.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 (10cm) piece kombu (dried kelp)
    • 4 cups (1 litre) water
    • 75g bonito shavings (dry tuna flakes)
    • handful chopped spinach
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 dessertspoon light soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sake
    • 4 mochi rice cakes
    • 4 sliced naruto (fish cakes with a red spiral pattern)
    • 4 slices yuzu (citron) peel

    Preparation:3hours  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:3hours30min 

    1. To make stock: Rinse kelp and pat dry. Place kelp in a medium pot along with the water. Steep in the water for 3 hours.
    2. After steeping, bring the water with kelp in it to the boil. Remove and discard the kelp. Remove pot from the heat to cool for 5 minutes.
    3. Place the fish flakes in the pot of water. Bring to the boil. When the shavings have sunk to the bottom of the pot, strain, reserving the liquid. This is the dashi, the basic stock for many Japanese soups and dishes.
    4. While making the dashi, place the spinach in a small pot of water and bring to the boil. When the spinach is cooked, drain well.
    5. Pour salt, soy sauce and sake in the heated dashi. Ladle the soup into bowls. Into each bowl place one piece each of mochi cake, spinach and fish cake. Put a piece of yuzu peel in each bowl.


    If you can't find yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit, use a mandarin or grapefruit. It is said that the flavour of the yuzu resembles both.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    First I believe there is a typo that should be noted. Naruto is a fish "cake" formed as a log either in a plastic warp as a round tube shape or on a wooden stick but not as a "paste". Thank you for your share I finally got it right! I didn't realize sake was used, and that makes the flavor so much better. My mom isn't around to make this any more, but now I finally can make it at home for myself. Now I never have to miss this soup ever again.  -  27 May 2012  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)