Today’s Japanese food is “Kamaboko”.
Kamaboko, boiled fish paste, is made by fish with white flesh. The flesh is minced and made into paste. Then it is mixed with sugar, salt, sweet sake, and egg whites. This paste is shaped into half-cylinder shape and placed onto a rectangular board made from cedar. Lastly, braise the paste.
There are different colors in Kamaboko such as red, white, and brown. We use red Kamaboko and white Kamaboko for “Osechi” (New Year dishes). Japanese call it “Ko Haku Kamaboko” (Red and white boiled fish paste). Red is the color of celebration, white is sacredness.
Also, the shape of Kamaboko lets one imagine of rising sun. Therefore, this is a very important dish to start the New Year.
When presenting the “Ko-Haku-Kamaboko”, it is a must to place the red on right side, white on left side. About Japanese decoration for celebration, steamed bread, and “Ohina-sama” (Japanese doll), the red are all placed on the right side.
“Osechi” is presented in some box with different layers. There are “Ichi-no-Ju” (first layer), “Ni-no-Ju” (second layer). Kamaboko is presented in the first layer with black beans and herring roe.