Shiro Miso Ozouni is one of the many variations on ozouni made for Japanese New Year. This particular recipe is from the Kyoto region, and is the ozouni that my friend Noriko’s father grew up eating. It is much stronger in flavor than the clear broth ozouni I am accustomed to. White miso paste is blended into the stock and then simmered until it reduces to create a thick creamy white broth that clings to the vegetables and chicken.
This particular recipe also includes satoimo, or taro root, a wonderful starchy companion to the carrot and daikon slices.
Ozouni is usually served in special lidded owan (traditional Japanese bowls), like this one that belongs to Noriko:
If you want to taste a bit of how Kyoto celebrates the New Year, then try this delicious shiro miso ozouni!
Shiro Miso Ozouni (White Miso Ozouni)
Recipe as shared by my friend Noriko
Makes 4 servings
4-inch piece dried kombu
4 cups water
4 satoimo (taro root), peeled and cut in half
2.5 inch piece daikon, cut into thin planks
2.5 inch piece carrot, cut into thin planks
4 circle mochi cakes (or rectangle cakes)
3 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into small bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup shiro miso (white miso paste)
Mitsuba (Japanese parsley), to garnish (substitute parsley if mitsuba is unavailable)
1. Make the kombu dashi: The best way to make this stock is to soak the kombu in the water overnight, covered, in the refrigerator, then discard the kombu and use the stock. Quick method: Allow the kombu to soak in the water in a saucepan for 30 minutes. Then place the saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as bubbles start to appear, remove the kombu from the water and remove the saucepan from the heat. Do not let the liquid come to a boil, as the kombu will then give the stock a bitter flavor.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Cook the daikon and carrot pieces in a pot of boiling water until tender, then set aside.
4. Cook the satoimo halves in a pot of boiling water until tender, then set aside.
5. Bake the pieces of mochi in the preheated oven until they puff up slightly. Don’t worry if they lightly brown on top.
6. Bring the kombu dashi to a boil and add the chicken. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. (Cooking time will vary depending on how big the pieces of chicken are.)
7. Place the miso in a small cup/bowl. Remove about 1/2 cup of the hot dashi from the pot and add it a little at a time to the miso, mixing it until it is thoroughly mixed. Then add the mixture back into the soup. (This prevents miso lumps.) Simmer on low for about 10 minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced. Never let the soup boil, as it will ruin the flavor and smell of the miso broth.
8. Add the daikon and carrot, then taste the soup. If it is too sweet, adda splash of usukuchi (light color) soy sauce. If it is too salty, add a splash of mirin. Then add the mochi and simmer for a couple of minutes until the mochi is soft.
9. To serve: Pour a bit of soup into each bowl, to prevent the mochi from sticking to the bowl, then add the mochi, then the satoimo, chicken, daikon, and carrot. Finish by adding the broth and garnishing with a sprig of mitsuba. Serve immediately.