Satoshi was off the 30th, 31st and 1st, but had to go to work today.
For New Years Eve dinner, we had a hodge podge of foods, some traditional, some not.
For the non-traditional, there was kim chee gyoza, smoked salmon dip with rosemary bruschetta (toasts), and sweet potato salad (recipe to follow).
For traditional, there was date maki (da-tay ma-key) (yellow-ish roll), tazukuri (tiny fish), kuromame (black beans). I've explained about some of these foods before, please read about them here and here.
Apparently the date maki resembles scrolls and is eaten in hopes of having culture develop and grow. It is made out of a whipped fish cake called hanpen, it is also quite sweet.
There was also a little sake (rice wine).
We were able to see the moon quite clearly and the wind was very blustery! I was hoping for some snow, but none was to be found or seen.
On the first day of 2010, we woke to see the first sunrise, but it was so cloudy that we could only see a haze of pink, so we went back to sleep for another hour.
For breakfast, we had ozoni, which I've written about here.
Then we went out to do some hatsumode (ha-tsu-mo-day), which I've also written about here.
We've been enjoying these teeny mikan (tangerines). Most are seedless and easy to peel. Though it was kind of hit or miss with the sweetness.
Before the New Year, I bought a new tea called Nouvelle Annee (New Year) from La Marina de Bourbon, a white tea flavored with citrus and dried fruit...delicious.
(UPDATE:2011 this restaurant is now closed)
We also tried some shiro-taiyaki (white fish shaped pancake filled with sweet bean paste). Apparently this is all the rage now. We found some mini sized shiro-taiyaki on New Years Eve while picking up some last minute groceries.
These came with custard, chocolate & sweet bean fillings. The outside is made with rice flour and egg whites, so it is more like mochi (rice cake) than pancake. We prefer the original version over this white version.
Since most of the markets and shops were closed on New Years Day, we tried to make sure we had enough food to at least last us until the 2nd.
We've also been enjoying these kotorayaki by Toraya Uiro. Kotora means baby tiger. The batter is a yellow sponge type, it is poured into a mold and flipped while baking.
2010 is the Year of the Tiger, so these were perfect to ring in the New Year.
Here is the recipe for the sweet potato salad. In Japan, you will see a lot of potato salad, more like a "mashed potato" salad. In Hawaii, you will actually see the chunks of potato.
This was just a last minute throw together dish, so I don't have real measurements.
1.5 skinny sweet potatoes
some red bell pepper, diced
some onion, diced
some zucchini, diced
some eringi mushroom, diced
pinch of herbs de provence
1 tablespoon sweet pickle juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (best foods)
Steam 1.5 skinny sweet potatoes until soft
In a non-stick pan, cook the red bell pepper, onion, zucchini & eringi.
When everything has wilted and browned, add the pinch of herbs de provence...cool.
After the sweet potatoes are soft, mash while hot with skins on...cool.
Add cooled veggies to cooled sweet potato and add sweet pickle juice and mayo.
Chill and serve.