Friday, January 1, 2010

Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu (Happy New Year)

Happy New Year!

I decided to start a new tradition in our home and commence the eating of toshikoshi soba on New Year's Eve. What's toshikoshi soba? From what I learned from my mother, it is the eating of noodles on New Year's Eve to bridge the old year to the new year. In Japan, eating these noodles on New Year's Eve promises one longevity in the New Year. There are various ways to prepare the noodles. The recipe below shares how I prepared the noodles based on a recipe my mother gave me.

  • Pork ribs
  • Noodles (udon or buckwheat will do)
  • Chicken stock
  • Chicken bouillon cubes (2)
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Hon dashi (Japanese soup base) (or dashi no moto if you can find it)
  • Green onions
  • Red pepper flakes
  1. Place the pork ribs in a large pot filled with water. Place the pot on your stove top and bring it to a boil. Once the water has begun boiling, remove the pork ribs, and pour out the water.
    Making Toshikoshi SobaMaking Toshikoshi Soba 3

  2. Place the pork ribs in a fresh pot of water and begin boiling again. Boil for one hour.

    Making Toshikoshi Soba 4

  3. Once the pork ribs have finished boiling, set them aside. Add chicken stock, a large splash of soy sauce (for color), both chicken bouillon cubes, and a large pinch of hon dashi to taste.
  4. As your soup base simmers, remove the bones and fat from the pork ribs. Cut the meat into large cubes and add them back to the soup stock.

    Making Toshikoshi Soba 6

  5. In a separate pot, boil your noodles. Follow the instructions on the noodles' packaging.
  6. To eat, put the noodles in a bowl and add the soup and pork separately. Sprinkle the top of the noodles with sliced green onion and red pepper flakes.

    Making Toshikoshi Soba 7
When eating your noodles, it is important to remember to maintain the integrity of the noodles. The longer the noodles you eat, the more luck you will have for the New Year. The only catch is, you have to eat these noodles before midnight on New Year's Eve. Luckily, I got home early from work and made them as a late lunch for me and Jason before heading out for New Year's Eve festivities.

If you choose to follow this tradition, I hope you enjoy the recipe. By the way, it's not considered rude in Japan to slurp your noodles, so slurp away!

Happy New Year!

"Worries go down better with soup." - Jewish Proverb


  1. That explains all that slurping noise I heard coming from over there. I hope Jason got it right. You just need a side of blackeye peas to go with it for extra luck! ;)

    Well done instructions also. I feel Like I could do it right now.

  2. I'll remember the blackeye peas for next year.

    The recipe is super easy. Let me know if you need any help finding any of the Asian ingredients.

  3. The recipe is also super yummy! Thank you for sharing. I'll be at your door Dec. 31, 2010 for more. :)

  4. Don't let me forget about Alf, too.



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