Japanese New Years Celebration – 2014

Marty CohenFood Photography, Japanese New Years Celebration 20143 Comments

As is our annual tradition, we celebrated New Years in Los Angeles with family and prepared Japanese food for family and friends. Preparation takes several days and the recipes and traditional methods have been learned by her cousins and herself from their grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents. It’s a wonderful family experience and everyone pitches in to shop, clean and cook.

(To see the most detail in this image, click on it to enlarge it!)

Japanese Rice - New Years 2014

Japanese Rice – New Years 2014

The unifying ingredient in sushi is the Japanese sushi rice. Japanese rice is a short grain white rice that gets sticky when it’s cooked.  It is not plain rice but is flavored by other ingredients including rice vinegar, sugar and salt. The rice is cooked in a rice cooker and left to steam for about 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, the rice vinegar, sugar and salt are mixed in a sauce pan and placed on low-medium heat, being stirred constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Then the mixture is cooled. The steamed rice is spread into a large wooden bowl known as a “sushi-oke” and the vinegar mixture is poured over the rice and mixed in thoroughly and gently, using a cutting method with a “shamoji” (rice spatula). The rice is cooled using a fan as the rice and vinegar are mixed. The fanning also gives the a sheen to the rice.

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 6D, EF24-105mm f/4L IS lens, 1/640 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400 captured on a Lexar 400x SDXC UHS-1 memory card.

3 Comments on “Japanese New Years Celebration – 2014”

  1. I like the circularity of the bowl and rice . . . I’ve actually never seen the rice like this, just out of the rice cooker. I had no idea it held this shape! And you got great detail in the individual grains of rice. Now I’m hungry.

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