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Zoni Japanese New Year Mochi Soup

Zoni is a traditional New Year’s dish. Zoni varies by region, from shape of the mochi to variations in soup and ingredients. This recipe is from Japan’s eastern Kanto region.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 chicken tenderloins
  • Salt
  • 3 stalks of komatsuna Japanese mustard spinach or spinach
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • Yellow yuzu citrus
  • 960 ml / 4 C dashi stock
  • 1 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 mochi glutinous rice cakes*1
  • 4 boiled shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 4 pieces kamaboko fish cake, cut in 8 mm- / 1/3 in.-thick slices
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    To prepare the chicken, slice diagonally 1.3 cm / 1/2 in. thick; sprinkle both sides lightly with salt. Place chicken slices in a colander and gently pour boiling water over them briefly.*2 Wash komatsuna and boil in salted water until the stems are cooked through.*3 Place in a bowl of cold water, remove, and squeeze out water. Cut off the roots, and cut into pieces 4 cm / 1.5 in. long.

  2. 2

    Remove stems from the shiitake mushrooms; using a knife, cut cross-shapes into the mushroom caps. Cut the yellow yuzu zest into slivers for garnish.

  3. 3

    Place the ingredients for the soup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add chicken and shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to low and keep warm.

  4. 4

    Grill mochi on a grill or in a toaster oven until puffed and both sides are slightly browned (see photo).

  5. 5

    In four individual bowls, evenly divide and arrange mochi, chicken, komatsuna, shiitake mushrooms, shrimp and kamaboko. Pour in soup and garnish each bowl with yuzu zest.

  1. *1Any shape of mochi can be used.
  2. *2This will remove chicken smell and avoid a cloudy soup broth.
  3. *31/ 2 t salt per 2 L / 8 C water

Recipe by Kikkoman Corporation

Vol. 37

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