Japanese Traditional New Year Dish - Ebi no Onigara Yaki

December 06, 2018

As part of our Chefs focus feature we bring you a traditional recipe for Ebi no Onigara YakiThis recipe comes from Naoko, our friend, Japanese food artist and teacher over at Naoko's Kitchen is in Truro Cornwall, where she teaches authentic Japanese home style cooking and children’s baking.

Ebi no Onigara Yaki

Ebi no Onigara Yaki

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. Its 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.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 8 Large prawns (with head)
  • 4 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 10 Tbsp Sake
  • 1 pinch Sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 200 ml Dashi (Kelp and dried bonito)*
  • *You can substitute 200ml of water and 1 heap tbsp Hondashi (Dashi powder)


  1. Clean the prawns

Remove the gut tube on prawn's back inserting a skewer like picture.

 Ebi no Onigara Yaki Ebi no Onigara Yaki


Trim the sting in tail and the top of head as they are too pointy to eat.

  Trim the sting in tail and the top of head as they are too pointy to eat.


   2. Simmer 

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.


     3. Marinate 

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

Also in Japanese Recipes

Japanese canapé recipes for parties

November 29, 2019 0 Comments

Christmas is in a month now! Fancy trying something new for parties? Here are some Japanese canapé recipes! (You can also check another canapé recipe here)....

View full article →

Salmon, Sweet potato with Yuzu Pepper Creamy Mushroom Sauce

November 01, 2019 0 Comments

As part of our Chefs focus feature we bring you a tasty recipe for Salmon, Sweet potato with Yuzu Pepper Creamy...

View full article →

Autumn: Japan's Most Bountiful Season!

September 16, 2019 0 Comments

Autumn is here! We call it Shokuyoku no aki (食欲の秋) means autumn is a season for appetite. Autumn is a harvest season for potatoes and mushrooms, so dishes...

View full article →