RecipeTokyo-style zoni

Soup with rice cake in Tokyo style


4 cups (27 fl oz/800 ml) of Japanese soup stock (dashi)

4 1/2 cups (30.4 fl oz/900 ml) water

8 cm (3 inch) piece of kelp (kombu)

20 g (0.1 lb) shaved dried bonito (katsuobushi)

1 teaspoon light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu)

2 teaspoons sake

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 piece of chicken thigh

3-4 cm (1-1.5 inch) white steamed fish paste (kamaboko)

3-4 cm (1-1.5 inch) red steamed fish paste (kamaboko)

2 stalks of komatsuna (or, 8 stalks of mitsuba)

1 yuzu citrus fruit

4-8 square rice cakes (mochi)

Small quantity of sake and salt


1Making Japanese soup stock (dashi): In a pot, soak the kelp in 4 1/2 cups (30.4 fl oz/900 ml) of water for 1 hour. Place the pot over a low heat and cook without bringing it to the boil. Remove the kelp and set aside.

2Put the shaved dried bonito in the pot, bring to the boil, and then remove from the heat.

3Leave the liquid until the dried bonito pieces sink to the bottom of the pot. Before the liquid cools down, drain it with a paper towel or clean cloth in a strainer.

4Directions: Shave the chicken thinly into 8 to 12 pieces. Sprinkle the pieces with sake and salt.

5Cut the komatsuna into 3 cm (1 inch) pieces and boil them lightly. When you use mitsuba, cut it into 3 cm (1 inch) pieces or make knots by tying the stalks.

6Slice the steamed fish paste (kamaboko) into 8 mm (5/16 inch) thick pieces. Halve the pieces if they are too large to be eaten with one bite.

7In a pot, put 4 cups of Japanese soup stock and the chicken. Cook these over a high heat until they boil. When the mixture comes to the boil, switch to a low heat and continue to simmer. When the chicken is cooked, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons sake, and 1 teaspoon light soy sauce. Remove from the heat.

8Toast the rice cakes in a toaster oven. When the rice cakes toast and puff up, turn them over and toast the other side. Griddles or non-stick pans (without cooking oil) can be used instead of a toaster oven. (See the movie.)

9In a soup bowl, place the toasted rice cake, chicken, fish paste, and komatsuna or mitsuba. Pour the soup into the bowl. Place the shaved yuzu zest on the top of the dish.

10Zoni, soup containing rice cakes, is an essential treat for New Year's Holidays in Japan. The recipe varies from region to region, so explore and find your favorites!


Zoni ingredients vary from family to family. Taros, shiitake mushrooms, and shrimps are other options. Tokyo-style zoni is characterized by the toasted square rice cake and avors of salt and soy sauce.
Liquid Measures:
1 cup = 200ml = 6.76 fl oz
1 tablespoon = 15ml = 0.5 fl oz
1 teaspoon = 5ml = 0.16 fl oz

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