Osechi – Traditional Japanese New Year’s meal

Today’s article will talk about Osechi a Japanese New Year’s meal. Osechi is not a famous dish in Japanese culinary culture but a meal to start a new year. The original meaning of Osechi is that this meal helps housewives (and their families) still have a delicious meal during the first few days of the new year, when stores across Japan are closed. .

Although the people of the land of cherry blossoms welcome Tet according to the calendar year, their Tet still carries bold traditional culture typical of the land of cherry blossoms. Osechi or (Oshougatsu ryouri) is often simply referred to as Osechi, which is a Tet tray in Japan. In the past, when coming to Tet, Japanese people were busy preparing Osechi dishes to enjoy with their family during Tet, just like in Vietnam preparing to cook banh chung, banh Tet and traditional dishes. different during Tet.

Because Osechi is a meal, not a traditional dish of the Japanese people, there is a variety of styles and ways of making it. If a Vietnamese New Year meal must include dishes such as duck meat braised meat, banh chung, banh cuon, stewed pork rolls, in Japan an Osechi plate must have the following dishes. Wine, soup: stewed soup with many ingredients including Omochi (sticky rice, similar to thick cakes in Vietnam), stewed vegetables, pickled dishes, grilled dishes. Iwai sakana sanshu: this is a set of 3 dishes. In the Kanto region (Tokyo side), these 3 dishes usually include black beans, dried sardines and herring eggs. In the Kansai region (Osaka side), these 3 dishes are burdock root, herring eggs and dried sardines / black beans.

All dishes on the Osechi tray have been cooked & ready for the new year. Partly because people wanted to avoid the use of fire on New Year’s Day, partly because it was also wished for the woman to rest on this day. Custom is like that, but increasingly, Osechi is improved to suit with the times. Now the menu is much richer.

To meet the needs of the “Gods”, all kinds of dishes from Western countries, China … can be used to make Osechi dishes. Because I think this is a dinner tray to reunite at the beginning of the year, our children and family members prepare that dish. The atmosphere is warm, happy, and happy.


Osechi is a Japanese New Year celebration meal. This tradition dates back to the Heian period (794-1185). Osechi is different because it comes in special boxes called jūbako; Similar to bento boxes, jūbako boxes are often folded before and after serving. Initially Osechi consisted of only nimono, vegetables boiled in soy sauce, sugar or mirin. Over the years, the number of dishes in Osechi meals increased gradually. Today, Osechi includes any dish dedicated to Tet and, if Western dishes are added, it is called “Western Osechi” (seiyō-osechi); there is also a “Chinese Osechi” (chūkafū osechi).

If you want to enjoy this new year celebration, the only way is to visit this cherry blossom country at the beginning of the year. Because this meal is not on the menu of Vietnamese restaurants, including Japan.

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