Zouni is soup with mochi that is traditionally eaten throughout Japan on New Year’s Day. The seasoning and ingredients of zouni varies by region. In Osaka and neighboring Kyoto the traditional zouni is made with shiro miso, a slightly sweet white miso, round mochi, daikon, carrots, and taro root. The daikon and carrots are cut round like the mochi. The soft edges of the round mochi and vegetables symbolizes good luck. Square mochi with the sharp edges are said to be offensive. During the New Year’s period local supermarkets sell daikon and carrots that are smaller than usual for making zouni.
Part of Osaka’s food education female farmers teach students how to make miso and zouni. Elementary students are also taught to make shiro miso zouni. The dashi for shiro miso zouni is traditionally kombu dashi. The umami from the kombu supports the more delicate white miso.RECIPE_HEADEND