My 2013 started like every year, four markets, two days of cooking and 18 dishes later – I could finally welcome in the New Year!

Oshogatsu, Japanese New Year’s Day is a huge undertaking but since most people don’t do it anymore on a grand scale, people always appreciate the work put into it.

Like 2010, 2011 and 2012 this year had a very big menu that included traditonal good luck food, hawaiian food and most importantly, my share of the 200 pounds of mochi we made just days before…

Guava Jelly Chicken Wings
Brown Sugar Meatballs
Root Beer Pulled Pork on King’s Hawaiian rolls
Tamale Pie
Mac Salad
Sushi from Sakae
Spam Musubi
Somen Salad (noodles – for a long life)
Layered Shrimp Salad
Tazukuri (teriyaki fish – for a prosperous year)
kuromame (black beans – for health and success)
kurikinton (sweet potato w/chestnuts – for wealth)
Gobo (burdock root – for a strong family)
Ozoni (traditional new year’s day soup)
Mochi (longevity)
Kamaboko (joy, happiness)
Broken Glass Jell-o Bundt
Pink An (azuki bean) Mochi
Chocolate Mochi Brownies
Neapolitan Mochi Bundt Cake
Oranges (long, happy life)


Guava Jelly Chicken Wings
Over the years I’ve changed up my chicken wings recipe but the Hawaiian Sun flavor of these make them a favorite.


Brown Sugar Meatballs
Another party fave but I love them because it’s just four ingredients, turn on the crock pot and I don’t have to worry about a thing.


Root Beer Pulled Pork on King’s Hawaiian rolls
Every year people ask me to make this – the combination of the pork, spices and root beer is so good and outstanding on King’s Hawaiian sweet bread rolls.


Tamale Pie
This was a last minute addition since O.G.’s Flank Steak didn’t make it to the table this year. The reason this fits right in though, is that every Los Angeles Japanese-American party always has Mexican food, be it enchiladas or tamales!


Mac Salad
Yet another Hawaii standard! Considering 80% of the people who come to my New Year’s Day party are from Hawaii, this is always a welcome and expected side dish!


Sushi from Sakae
Generations upon generations have ordered Gardena’s Sakae Sushi for their New Year’s Day Oshogatsu. So much so that you have to call one month in advance to reserve your box – that is if you’re lucky enough to get through on the phone!


Spam Musubi
If this wasn’t on the party table, rioting might occur. Always a favorite, it’s the first empty plate at every party.


Somen Salad
This has been at every one of our family parties for as long as I can remember. O.G. taught me this recipe years ago and it’s even in our O.G. Favorite Recipes cookbook.


Layered Shrimp Salad
Every year I change up the shrimp dish and this year the layered salad was a beautiful addition to the table.


Tazukuri
Little teriyaki fish, a little disturbing and kinda ew, these supposedly bring wealth in the new year.


Kuromame
Black Beans are a tradition in many cultures and these kuromame supposedly will bring you good health and success when eaten.


Kurikinton
Tradition states that anything ‘golden’ yellow will bring you wealth, like gold. Therefore the yellow Japanese sweet potato and the golden sweet chestnuts should double your luck!


Gobo
Burdock root makes your family ties strong in the new year.


Ozoni**
This is supposed to be the first thing you eat in the new year to make SURE you have a great year every day to follow. There are many variations form the simple konbu stock to the Hawaiian tradition of adding abalone. Mine is not at all tradition but it sure is delicious and the best ingredient is always fresh mochi!


Kamaboko
This flavorless fish cake is said to bring joy and happiness due to the bright and inviting colors that it comes in. I always like to buy the fancy ones for New Year’s which always seem to cost 5 times the regular price. Hm. I guess I need to eat more ‘gold’ food to gain wealth to pay for my fancy kamaboko.


Oranges
Symbolic of a long, happy life – satsuma oranges are sweet winter fruit but nowadays my kids eat Cuties by the handful.

Finally, the dessert table! In addition to an array of candy and cookies I had to have a dessert table! I filled these with family favorites and a whole lot of mochi themed desserts!


Broken Glass Jell-o Bundt
Jell-o is standard fare at parties but since the FoodLibrarian was coming I had to have her make a bundt! Traditional Broken Glass Jell-o formed in a bundt pan makes for a stunning presentation. People admired it, took pictures, then dug right in and it was gone just as quickly as it was set out!


Pink An Mochi**
Pink mochi is my absolute favorite thing but I only have enough energy to make it from scratch once a year. All other times I defer to the experts and buy my mochi from the store!


Chocolate Mochi Brownies**
Yet another dish that gets requests every year. (Hey, my party guests are demanding!) This was my recipe that made the finals of the Ghirardelli Bake Off.


Neapolitan Mochi Bundt cake
Another table stunner. If you ever want to impress your guests make something that looks difficult but is actually easy to make. Always a crowd pleaser!

And there you have it, the 18 dishes I had for New Year’s Day. That’s two less than last year so I must be slowing down. After all this cooking, I think I deserve a nap. But first I need to eat some good luck food to ensure that 2013 is the best ever!

**These dessert recipes can be found in my cookbook, Mochi: recipes from savory to sweet! available on amazon.com