Oshogatsu 2016 and Osechi Ryori


Happy New Year, everyone! 2015 came and went in a flash. It was truly a year of so many ups and downs, but there was so much to learn and so much to grow from through all those experiences. I am so grateful to have my amazing friends and family who have supported each other and helped us all stay afloat, even when we were in some deep water. I truly believe in the power of community, support, friendship and family and knowing that someone has your back, no matter what, is something that is so fundamentally important. We are not alone, stay connected!

Osechi Ryori Collage 2016

I am honestly not a resolution type of person and I believe that with each breath we have a chance to start over again. We don’t have to wait till a new year to get a new perspective or to do things differently, we can begin again at any time. It seems challenging, but the more we do it, like anything, the easier it is. New Year’s Day is always filled with food and family. 2016 was no  different and I am glad that I can show five years of osechi ryori on Unrivaledkitch  2015, 2014, 2013. 2012, 2011 and this entry is my 6th.

As much as I have let go of blogging, it is still such a big part of me to share my food, especially these special dishes that I learned to make as a child and some that I have revised or are family favorites. A lot of the the Osechi dishes are things that are particularly important to my Bachan, who has influenced so much of my life and my cooking. And although she’ll always ask me not to do it, it is my pleasure and privilege to cook this food for her and my family every year.

Osechi Ryori 2016

So here is the 2016 Oshogatsu Japanese New Year Osechi Ryori dishes and other Japanese food that we had for New Year’s Day.

Oshogatsu 2016

Oshogatsu 2016 Collage with Bachan




California Roll

Spam Musubi

Beef Korokke  

Miso Shrimp

Chicken Katsu

Sesame Chicken


Tuna Sashimi

Roasted Japanese Mushrooms

Char Siu-Style Sliced Pork

Sweet Asian Fried Chicken Wings



Pork Wontons

Bachan Jello

Kinpira (sato shoyu gobo and carrots)

Sesame Gobo

Tazukri (candied, dried sardines)

Kamaboko (pink and white Japanese pressed fish cake)

Shishito Peppers

Namasu (pickled carrots and daikon)

Nishime 5-Sided Carrot, 5-Sided Daikon, Kombu (rolled seaweed), Shiitake Mushrooms, Satoimo(taro root), Renkon (lotus root), Takenoko (bamboo shoots), Gobo


Ozoni (New Year’s Japanese Soup) (Kombu, Carrot, Kamaboko, Daikon, Imo [taro root], Renkon [lotus root], and Mochi in Seasoned Homemade Dashi)

Ozoni Unrivaledkitch


Oshogatsu 2016

May you and your loved ones have an amazing 2016 and beyond filled with luck, love and your heart’s deepest desires.


Happy New Year!





Japanese Sweets in Little Tokyo

Growing up I would venture down to Little Tokyo with my Bachan or if we were picking up my sister from her internship with my mom and dad, we would look in the little shops and I always fancied all the little Japanese confections, knickknacks and trinkets. But most of all I loved to look at the Japanese serving ware. The stores are lined with all different styles of trays, bowls, platters, and every other kind of serving utensil and apparatuses that you could put food on, serve it, cut, or scoop it. It really is so interesting to me. My dream came true seeing all these things when I visited Tokyo in summer of 2009. I would love to go back as soon as I can. I have a whole world I want to explore.

Some of the most memorable Japanese sweets I enjoy are Mochi and Imagawayaki.

Imagawayaki is like a pancake type sweet batter that is made on a special pan that’s kind of like a waffle iron they fill the sides with the batter then press in the middle a sweet red bean paste then fill the other side with a small poker they loosen the batter then flip on side on to the other then continue to let them cook flipping them finally one last time to finish and the end result is a lovely fluffy and little chewy batter that is filled with warm sweet red beans and when you eat them warm you really get the full effect. I bought the imagawayaki that I’m showing here at Mitsura Café in Little Tokyo117 Japanese Village Plz Mall Los Angeles, CA 90012. You can tell these ladies do this day in and day out and their pretty damn good at it. I haven’t had one of these in a really long time. They were so wonderful I had two.


Also when I’m in Little Tokyo I stop at Mikawaya .

This is the birth place of Mochi Ice Cream. It also has wonderful Mochi confections, ice cream, and gelato. But when I go there I mostly go for what my Bachan always called Manju but is known as Wagashi. These wonderfully chewy little confections are made of rice flour and sugar and have a very gluttonous form, sometimes filled with white beans or red beans. Something that my dad grew up on, my mom hates because it always gets stuck in her throat is so sticky and chewy and that I love. I bought Sakura (Cherry Blossom) mochi when I went because two days before had been girls day, they were piling them on the trays with a beautiful array of other mochi items.

My favorite things.

P.S. For those out in Japan or with family in Japan with the earthquakes and tsunami warnings, please be safe! My thoughts are with you all. I wrote this three days ago, posted it, and then my sister called me to watch the news. How terrible I hope every ones okay!

In these moments of tragedy and even in moments of bliss, we must reflect on the process of such natural occurrences having such a devastating impact on our lives and realize how truly blessed and fortunate we are to have our families and friends.

Give as much love as you can out to the universe and show that you really do care.  Its not about possession its not about money, or property its about opening your heart. Give someone an extra smile or a heart felt hug and show the real kindness and gratitude you’re capable of. I love you all, and each and everyone of you is in my thoughts.

Twitter and Foodbuzz


Happy New Year! I can’t believe its almost 5 days in already. Time really does go by fast.

Osechi-Ryori and Kagami mochi

I’ve been taking a break from writing but now it feels like I’m good to go. More focused less tired and have that nice motivation I need.

The new year has a lot in store for me personally, professionally, and all together I feel like lots of awesome things are happening and not just cause its a new year. I don’t really do all the hype that people put on new years, I’ve never been happier and I’m really glad that my food has been coming along so well.

New Years is a huge huge deal for me food wise.

When I was little I used to stay with my Bachan (Bachan is Japanese word for Grandma its my dads mom) from Christmas day till New Years Day. I would get away from my other siblings and mom and dad and just hang out watching Shirley temple movies, japanese tv which i had no idea what was going on, and the sound of music. Along with honing my crafts of sowing, knitting and crocheting. I would eat all kinds of fun Japanese food that was so delicious, home style, and simple. Things i crave all the time. Some of them i explore often cooking them over and over again others I just don’t even want to try, the memory is just good enough for me. But during this time of the year i would wait till new years eve to start getting ready for a big food feast. Mostly watching and remembering i could always smell the wonderful scents of seaweed, dashi, soy sauce, and sweetness of mirin and sake would fill the house. All these strange vegetables would be cut into these strange shapes and marinated and cooked in a wonderful broth. I would peel dikon and carrots and cut them into 5 sided flowers and shave thin strips of this funny looking thin root called gobo to make Kinpira Gobo. We would candie small sardines called tazukri. I would cut small slices of Kamaboko and Bachan would make California roll and chicken Teriyaki. On new years eve Bachan would always hand me a warm bowl of Soba that was in this wonderful broth with Kamaboko and spinach and maybe a little green onion. Toshikoshi soba we would have it before the new year and i would watch the japanese count down on tv. the next morning we would finish preparing the colorful foods together and my family would come to food and to pick me up.

My Bachan will be 88 in July. She is one of the biggest inspiration I have for being a chef and learning whatever i can about food. There is a huge amount of work that goes into making osechi-ryori. Which is the Japanese name for the colorful new years food that is put in jabako tiered containers served for Oshogatsu (new years). So i’ve taken on making most of everything for new years from all the best things i can remember a long with some other items to add my syle to the plate.

I love this tradition it is my very favorite. I worked two days on the food and my Bachan was sick so she couldn’t make it. But my brother sister mom and dad and my brother and sister in law and grandma all came by as well as a couple of my friends to share the day with me. It was a really beautiful time to share with everyone but i missed my Bachan and i was really glad everyone could be together. The next day i packed up the rest of the osechi and took a trip to my Bachans to give her the food i prepared. It was honestly the best feeling I’ve had cooking for anyone in a long time. She was just so proud and happy with what I made and I was really just over joyed to see her smile even though she wasn’t feeling well she seemed so happy.

All the food means something though the meanings are a little blurry to me I know in my heart they bring me closer to my heritage and that’s a wonderful feeling.

This is an extremely sentimental entry for me thank you guys for sharing in it.

Happy New Year again!

toshikoshi soba

Kimpira, Sato shoyu Snow peas, Namasu (pickled carrots and Daikon)

jabako boxes with varying japanese vegetables5 sided carrot, 5 side daikon, kombu (rolled seaweed), takenoko (bamboo shoots), shitake mushrooms, Satoimo(tarro root), Renkon (lotus root) Konnyaku (jellied yam)

Char siu style pork tenderloin, Korokke ground beef and green onion  breaded and fried potato dumplings, and Sweet Soy Ginger New York

Wagashi I didn’t make these they are bought from Mikawaya in Little Tokyo http://www.mikawayausa.com/mochi that is flavored and filled sometimes with red beans or white sweet beans. Some of my favorite Japanese confections.

Zōni  this is a japanese soup that’s made from a seasoned dashi and 7 different ingredients for good luck. This Zoni has Kamaboko (pressed fish cake), Kombu (seaweed), 5 sided carrot, shitake mushroom, mochi(glutenous rice cake that’s toasted), sato imo (taro root), rekon (lotus root)

Salmon and Tuna Sashimi, fried shrimp, and  tazukri (candied dried sardies)

Inari (fried tofu skins stuffed with sushi rice) , jabako boxes with varying japanese vegetables dikon, carrot, kombu, shitake mushrooms, Satoimo(tarro root), Renkon (lotus root) Konnyaku, Kimpira, Sato shoyu Snow peas, Namasu (pickled carrots and Daikon)

My mom made dessert

we all had a really good time.

If New Years day is an example for the rest of the year. I’m having a really amazing year to come, I hope you all are as well.

Happy 2011