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vegan osechi 2024

My wife and I prepare osechi (お節), japanese new year food some vegan, others non-veg. Some homemade, others store-bought. This year, we tried to stick to vegan, and documented the process. This is mostly for our own reference, but we hope it might help others out there.

toshikoshi soba (年越し蕎麦)


For good luck, we eat soba noodle at midnight, crossing into new year. I have no idea what the noodle is supposed to symbolize. The goal is to finish up most of the cooking by the end of the year, so you can coast the next day.

ozouni, mochi soup (お雑煮)


We start the day around brunch time with ozouni, mochi soup.

osechi (お節)


After some break, we start eating osechi. Traditionally osechi is kept in jūbako bento box, but we refrigerate everything. Like Thankgiving, osechi can be served with any other items you feel like eating.

December 30 (Day -2)

Given that osechi is actually similar to korean dishes, we first hit H-Mart to grab side dishes like pickled radish, boiled black beans, also sweets, clementines, imported kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms etc. We also stopped by Mitsuwa to get marumochi.

Next I prepared two kinds of vegan dashi (broth), kombu dashi and dried shiitake dashi, which form the foundation of osechi. Recipe is at /recipes/vegan-dashi.html.

December 31 (Day -1)

In the afternoon, my wife made kimpira gobo (spicy burdock). Recipe is at /recipes/kimpira-gobo.html. She also made lotus roots, cooked similarly. Then I started cutting carrots into plum blossom shape. Recipe is at /recipes/nejiriume-plum-blossom-carrots.html.


I should note that making nejiriume is a non-essential, optional part of osechi. It’s something I do for fun while eating sweets. Save 4 or 5 of best-looking small ones for ozouni in a ziplock bag, and refrigerate.

While I am at it, wife starts prepping for chikuzen’ni, and carrots joins other vegetable. Recipe is at /recipes/vegan-chikuzenni.html. Once it’s cooked, let it cool in the pot with a lid, and store vegetables in separate tupperware.

Eat light dinner, because you’ll be eating soba later on.

Start soba prepration around 23:20 or 23:30 by boiling the water for cooking soba, but also to prep the toppings, which require boiling water. Recipe is at /recipes/vegan-soba.html.

January 1

Prep ozouni, mochi soup. Recipe is at /recipes/vegan-kyoto-style-ozouni.html. If you want to eat osechi immediately afterwards, start cooking rice too.

January 2

On day 2 of New Year (お正月), we were both back to work, but for dinner wife attempted gimbap (김밥), korean roll with lots of crunchy pickles inside! unlike sushi, the cooked rice is seasoned with some salt and sesame oil. This came out great. I think she made a bunch of rolls, but there are only a couple of end pieces in the picture because we started eating them as we cut them: