Toshikoshi soba, New Year’s Eve soba noodles

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 in Hiroko's Blog

Today, December 31, is Omisoka, New Year’s Eve. I am going to include a soba noodle dish as part of our end-of-the year meal tonight as……

my mother always did at our home in Tokyo. My family’s New Year’s Eve dinner was one of the most elaborate and enjoyable meals of the year. Sukiyaki (thinly sliced marabled beef cooked in the iron skillet with winter vegetables in shoyu, sake and sugar broth cooked at the table) was the regular center piece of the evening. My father who never showed any interest in cooking or in washing dishes was in charge of cooking the sukiyaki at the table. In addition to sukiyaki my mother prepared more than eight delicious side dishes using a huge variety of ingredients – raw, dried or bottled. Most of these treasures were delivered to us over the previous week as gifts from my father’s patients. Yes, in Japan patients gave elaborate year-end gifts to their doctors, and often the gifts are in the form of the highest quality foods. Today this custom has changed.

One particular patient began sending us gorgeous, large, live raw shrimp to us as an expression of deep thanks to my father. The patient’s family did not stop sending this wonderful gift even many years after his complete recovery. My mother made crisp, yet juicy shrimp tempura and served it with our end-of-the-meal soba noodles. Now I am long-gone from my family home and far from Japan. There is no free shrimp gift delivered to our door, nor is there any access to such gorgeous shrimp. I am still thinking what I will serve with our soba noodles tonight. I will go out to do my search. I will post later our soba noodle dish. Dozo Yoi Otoshi O!