Ingredients for 4 Servings

Lotus root (れんこん / Renkon) 180 g (A relatively slim one is best.)
Cream cheese (クリームチーズ / kurīhmu chīzu) 100 g
Cod roe (明太子 / Mentaiko) 50 g
Vinegar (酢/ Su) To taste
Green shiso (大葉 / Ōba) 4 leaves

How to Make
1. Let the cream cheese warm up to room temperature. Remove the membrane from the cod roe and release the eggs. Make a paste out of the cream cheese. Add the cod roe and mix well.
2. Skin the lotus root and cut it into eight 2-㎝ rounds. Make lotus root flowers and place these in 1 liter of water with 2 tbsp of vinegar for about 5 minutes.
3. Add enough water to a pot to submerge the lotus root rounds. Bring the water to a boil and add 1 tsp of vinegar. Add the lotus root rounds and boil for 2 minutes. Drain off the water and let the lotus root rounds cool.
4. Stuff the lotus root holes with the cream cheese mixture. Cut the rounds in half.
5. Cut the green shiso leaves in half lengthwise. Place these on serving plates and put the lotus root halves on top.

How to Make Lotus Root Flowers





Cut the lotus root into rounds 3-5 mm thick.
Make a cut about 5 mm deep into the space between each hole.
Remove a wedge of material from both sides of each hole to give the lotus root an external shape that follows the curves of the holes.


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.


Recipe Developed by Chef Machiko Tateno