Osechi cuisine

English edition

What kind of food do you eat during the New Year?

I would like to introduce Japanese New Year’s cuisine which is called “Osechi cuisine”.






What are New Year dishes?

“Sechi” represents various seasons.”Osechi” refers to some holidays held in the Japanese court.

The most important of the holidays is the New Year.

For that reason, the food we eat during the New Year is called “Osechi Cuisine”.


What does ”Osechi Cuisine” mean?

Many Osechi dishes last for a long time. 

They do not spoil easily.

They are  either boiled, dried, soaked in vinegar, and strongly seasoned.

There is a belief that you should avoid cooking that uses fire during the New Year because I thought of fire as a god.

It is also to free women from housework.

In the old days, the stores were closed on New Year’s Day so it was necessary to make it.

Right now, there are convenience stores that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


What are the kinds of Osechi cuisine ?

・黒豆 Black beans -one of the soybean varieties, softly boiled in sugar and soy sauce

・ 数の子Kazunoko -a dish of herring roe desalted and soaked in soup stock 






・田作り Tazukuri -dried anchovy boiled down with sugar and soy sauce

・ 伊達巻きDatemaki -fried egg with white fish added to the egg

・ 栗きんとんKurikinton -sweet potato with candied chestnut

・ 鰤の照焼きTeriyaki yellowtail -yellowtail tuna soaked in soy sauce 

・ エビの焼き物Grilled shrimp -shrimp baked and seasoned with soy sauce

・紅白なます Red and white Namasu -radish and carrot pickle

・ 酢レンコンPickled lotus root-thinly sliced ​​lotus root pickle

・ 昆布巻きKonbu maki -fish such as herring wrapped in kelp and boiled

・ 紅白かまぼこRed and white kamaboko -white fish paste product






What is the significance (sig-nifi-kans) of Osechi dishes?

・ Being healthy without getting sick 無病息災

Strong family ties 子孫繁栄

・ Good harvest 五穀豊穣

・ Wishing for good luck 幸運 

Living forever and long life 不老長寿


What is the container for Osechi cuisine?

It is packed in a lacquer box.

It means continuous celebration.

Officially it is five-tiered, but three-tiered is common.






How to serve Osechi cuisine?

The first tier is for side dishes such as black beans and tazukuri, the second tier is for grilled and pickled dishes, and the third tier is for simmered dishes.






What are the rules for serving?

There are rules such as Ichimatsu, Tazuna,Dandori, Shippo,Masukake,Kumatori.


Cooking at home according to these rules is difficult.

Many people buy Osechi cuisine at department stores and shops.

Recently, due to the coronavirus, large numbers of people have been stopped from eating out.

People were discouraged from going to their hometowns last New Year because old people have high risk for Covid 19.

It seems that  single servings of Osechi were popular this year.


How was your new year?


Cooking connects the world!!

Take a big bite and crack a wide smile!

See you in the kitchen!


Thank you for reading.