At new year in Japan, some people eat a dish called Osechi-ryori. This is a traditional dish that has history and a deep meaning behind it. It is to be eaten during the first three days of January. It’s an assortment of small dishes. Each dish has meaning and is part of celebrating the New Year and helps usher in good health and prosperity for the family for the year.
In this series of recipes, each week we will look at the three dishes, how to prepare and cook them and also share the meanings behind them. The first dish is called Ebi no Onigara-Yaki. This is one of most important and most well-known dishes in Osechi Ryo-ri.
To make Osechi Ryo-ri, simply simmer prawns with soy sauce, Sake and honey. The curled prawn's shape looks like the posture of an older person, so this dish represent a wish for longevity.
Also, their colours change to red when they are cooked. It is believed that red wards against evil spirits.
Remove the gut tube on prawn's back inserting a skewer like picture.
Trim the sting in tail and the top of head as they are too pointy to eat.
Meanwhile make a broth for simmering. Add soy sauce, sake, sea salt, honey and Dashi in a sauce pan and bring to boil.
Add the prawns and keep gently their figure bending using chopsticks or tong.
Simmer for 5 minutes until all prawns heated.
Remove from the heat and let it aside until the prawns are cool.Spread a cling film over a container and wrap the prawns and marinade up tightly. Keep it in a fridge.
Tips for plate presentation for Osechi-ryori
#1. Limit portion sizes
Only fill about two thirds of each plate with food. The rest of the plate should be left empty. If the plate is loaded with food, the food itself won’t look as visually pleasing. Dividing each food into a small bowl or ramekin looks more neat. Start plating each food in the centre of the dish and work outward from there, so that the food is centred in the middle of the plate.
#2. Layer foods to add height
Adding height to a dish can take it from ordinary to stunning and more professional. Start placing the firm food first makes your layer easier.
#3. Bring out vegetables’ bright colour
The way you make your Osechi-ryori appetising is adding various vivid colours on the plate. Avoid overcooking of vegetables and combine different colours together