Simple, delicious and satisfying New Year's soup from Nagoya. This traditional ozone is filled with the same serenity and goodness found in this southern cosmopolitan town of commerce and temples.
3 cups water
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp. sake (rice wine)
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of hondashi (instant - reconstituted - dashi)
2 small packets of smaller flakes of katsuobushi (dried bonito fish flakes)
Komatsuna (of the rape, potherb mustard family) Note: Fresh spinach - cleaned of course - is a fine substitute.
Square mochi (pounded rice cakes)
Bring the water to a boil. After little bubbles appear, turn off the heat. Add the 2 small packets of katsuobushi. Let stand for approximately 3 to 4 minutes off the heat. Do not stir. Simply wait for the small fish flakes to sink to the bottom of the pan. (Don’t worry if they don’t all sink. You do not want to let the soup stand too long or it will produce a bitter taste.)
Strain katsuobushi in a strainer lined with a paper towel. (Strain twice for the purest soup.) Sprinkle in hondashi (instant - reconstituted - dashi/Japanese soup stock.) Pour in the soy sauce and sake. Stir over medium heat.