By Food E Fare

Zōni is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of broth, vegetables, and mochi (rice cakes). It's typically served during the New Year's celebration in Japan, but it can be enjoyed throughout the year. Here's a detailed recipe to make Zōni:


  • 4 cups dashi stock (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4 small mochi (rice cakes)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup spinach or other leafy greens, washed
  • 2-3 slices of kamaboko (fish cake)
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Thinly sliced green onions, yuzu peel, or shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice blend)


  • Prepare the dashi stock: If using dashi granules or powder, follow the instructions on the package to make 4 cups of dashi. If using homemade dashi, strain it to remove any solids and set aside.
  • Soak the mochi: Place the mochi in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes until they soften slightly.
  • Prepare the vegetables: Slice the shiitake mushrooms, carrot, and kamaboko (fish cake). Wash the spinach or other leafy greens thoroughly.
  • In a large pot, bring the dashi stock to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Once the dashi is simmering, add the sliced shiitake mushrooms and carrot to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, drain the softened mochi from the warm water.
  • Add the drained mochi to the simmering broth and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the mochi are heated through and become soft and chewy.
  • Season the soup: Add soy sauce and salt to taste, adjusting the seasoning according to your preference. Be careful not to oversalt as the kamaboko and mochi also add some saltiness to the soup.
  • Add the spinach or other leafy greens to the pot and cook for an additional minute until wilted.
  • Once all the ingredients are cooked and seasoned to your liking, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Ladle the Zōni into serving bowls, making sure to distribute the vegetables, mochi, and broth evenly.
  • Garnish each bowl with a slice of kamaboko and any optional toppings such as thinly sliced green onions, yuzu peel, or shichimi togarashi for added flavor and color.
  • Serve the Zōni hot as a comforting and nourishing meal, especially during the New Year's celebration in Japan.

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