In the United States, New Year’s Eve is full of partying, drinking and full-on celebrating until midnight (and beyond!). Then it seems, many people spend the first day of the new year nursing a hangover and recovering from a long night out. In Japan, however, the celebration really kicks off on New Year’s Day and goes on for a few days after. New Year’s Eve is a bit more quiet. Toshikoshi soba, or “end-of-year soba,” is a lovely traditional meal for the last day of the year. Warming and simple, I’ve heard that the long soba noodles signify longevity.
I used this great recipe found at Just Hungry: Toshikoshi Soba, or Year-End Soba. I garnished it with baby arugula (instead of spinach, since we had arugula on hand), narutomaki kamaboko, green onion, nanami togarashi, and a raw egg. It was my first time trying this dish, and I loved it! In fact, I mixed traditions a bit, as I enjoyed it before heading out to a party that went until early morning. I even exercised a little self-control, and what do you know, no hangover! Now that’s a good way to start the new year! ^_^
Do you have any traditional foods you enjoy on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?