Ingredients for 4 Servings
Smoked salmon (スモークサーモン / Sumōku sāhmon) 6 slices
Cucumber (きゅうり / Kyūri) 1/2
Mitsuba (三つ葉 / Mitsuba) 12 stems
Lotus root (れんこん / Renkon) 100 g (root should be about 3-5 cm long)
Amazake Sweet Vinegar (甘酢/ Amazu)
Vinegar (酢/ Su) 2 tbsp
Amazake (甘酒 / Amazake) 100 ml
Shiokōji (塩麹 / Shiokōji) 1 tsp
How to Make
1. Cut the lotus root into flower shapes about 2 mm thick (See the directions below.) and place these into a bowl of water. Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a dash of vinegar and then parboil the lotus root flowers (Place them in the boiling water for about 10-20 seconds) and place them into a bowl. Do the same for the mitsuba stems, but put them into a bowl of cold water immediately after boiling. This will preserve the color of the mitsuba stems.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the amazake sweet vinegar. Add the lotus root flowers while they are still warm and mix well.
3. Julienne the cucumber. Cut the smoked salmon slices in half to create shorter pieces and then use them to rollup portions of the julienned cucumber. Now take a lotus root flower and wrap it around the smoked salmon roll. Tie a mitsuba stem around each roll to keep it together.
How to Make Lotus Root Flowers
Significance of Hōsho Maki as an Osechi Dish
Hōsho (奉書) is high-quality paper traditionally used for ceremonial purposes. “Hōsho maki” (奉書巻き) refers to a food made by wrapping a white material around other ingredients, in the fashion of a scroll. The scroll shape symbolizes study, or learning, and ultimately a wish for success at school and in one’s adult life.
Significance of Renkon as an Osechi Ingredient
Renkon is full of holes that one can clearly see through. It, therefore, symbolizes conditions that could be described as “mitoshi ga kiku” (見通しがきく) in Japanese. “Mitoshi” (見通し) refers to an outlook or future, while “kiku” (きく) means that something works or is effective. “Mitoshi ga kiku,” then, means an outlook for success.