New Year’s Eve and soba

Though I’m from southern California, Japan is my home now.

Since this blog starts just after the New Year I’ve been thinking to show you what a year in the life is like here through food.

This is toshikoshi soba. Soba, a noodle made from buckwheat, is rolled very long and eaten in a simple soup just before midnight on new year’s eve to symbolise long life, luck and prosperity. There are lots of add-ins. (I like thinly sliced leeks and tempura.) This year we went with jumbo shrimp. Personally, I prefer to make everything from scratch but soba requires too much time and energy. Though it’s only made from soba flour and water, the kneading goes on for hours by hand.

I served it with green tea.

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Before midnight half of Japan is watching a yearly TV show called Kohaku in which celebrity singers, divided into two groups, red or white, compete to be this years winner.

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It ends at 11:45pm, so my household skips over to Johnnies Countdown which is boy band after boy band after boy band in musical melodies till the ball drops — Happy New Year! — and another hours of pretty faces

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