Unforgettable hometown Ozoni with Habanori Seaweed

"New Year's weight gain" is a thing because there are so many delicious things to eat during the New Year holidays!

So, when you think of New Year's food, what comes to mind for you?

For myself, it's the traditional New Year's soup called "ozoni". My mother, who is from the Kanto region, makes o-zoni, which is a staple of the New Year. O-zoni is a clear soup with soy sauce base, containing rice cakes, carrots, daikon radish, and chicken. Sometimes we sprinkle some seaweed flakes on top for extra flavor.

It's fascinating how different regions have their own variations of ozoni, with different shapes of rice cakes and ingredients.

The history of ozoni dates back to the Heian period in Japan. People used to eat a dish made of vegetables offered to the deity of the New Year, expressing gratitude for the past year's harvest and praying for a bountiful year ahead and household safety.

Today, I want to shed some light on a regional favorite, "Haba-zoni," which features a special seaweed called "Habanori."


- "Haba-Zoni"


Haba-zoni is a traditional dish in the Chiba Prefecture, particularly in the Kazusa region and Yamabu County, beloved and cherished by the locals. It's a soup featuring "haba nori," a seaweed harvested during the cold months from December to February when the coastal waves are strong.


-What kind of seaweed is Havanori?


Haba nori has a unique crunchy texture and a fresh, green flavor. It's primarily found in certain regions like Chiba, Shizuoka, Mie, and Tokushima. Due to its limited availability, it can be quite expensive, with prices ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 yen per sheet in the market.

Despite its high cost, locals adore haba nori, considering it a delicacy. Some even prefer it over uni (sea urchin) in rice bowls or insist that ozoni isn't complete without it.

Recently, I decided to try haba nori at home, and the experience was unforgettable. Initially, its slightly bitter taste caught me off guard, but with each bite, I found myself craving more. It's true what they say about becoming addicted to it with every bite. Now, whenever I think about which seaweed to add to a dish, my hand instinctively reaches for haba nori. 

- The Ultimate Haba-Zoni proposed by Sea Vegetable


Dry habanori and grilled habanori

If you're intrigued by haba-zoni, here's how you can enjoy it best:

  • Whether you prefer haba nori as is or slightly toasted, generously add it to your ozoni. The key is to pile it on!
  • For those seeking a more luxurious experience, consider topping your ozoni with "Dried Suji-Aonori". Not only does it add color contrast, but the combination of Haba nori and Aonori is simply divine.


Click Here for Detailed recipes


Let's try Haba-Zoni this New Year's

This New Year's, why not give haba-zoni a try?

Whether you're a seasoned ozoni enthusiast or someone who hasn't had it in a while, experimenting with Habanori and creating your own unique ozoni could be a fun culinary adventure.

Here's to a fantastic 2023 for all of us!


Here are the items used in the recipe

Dried Habanori


Dried Habanori