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BellaOnline's Japanese Food Editor

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Kaiseki-ryori Holiday and Festival Foods

Spectacularly prepared and presented ceremonial and holiday food is a time-honored tradition in Japan.

Bento Japanese Box Lunch star
Bento, or boxed lunches, began out of necessity for field laborers and travelers. Today, there is an art to compiling a good bento.

Cinnamon Kanten Recipe star
Kanten is Japanese gelatin. It is much denser than the gelatins of Western cuisine and made from agar-agar sticks.

Hinachirashi Girls Day Sushi Recipe star
Hina-matsuri, or Girls Day, celebrates daughters with special foods like this colorful sushi bowl. Read more about Girls Day which also is known as Japanese Doll Festival.

Japanese Christmas Cake Recipe star
A light sponge cake, filled and frosted with sweet whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit, is the dessert of choice on Christmas Day in Japan.

Mochitsuki Memories star
Mochi-making once was a communal effort similar to a barn-raising. Folks gathered to help pound and form the mochi, each sharing the results.

Osechi Ryori Japanese New Year Foods star
Foods symbolic of good health, wealth and luck help usher in the New Year with delicious tradition in Japan.

Ozoni New Year Good Luck Soup Recipe star
A true Japanese person will not usher in the New Year without eating a bowl of ozoni, if he can help it. One’s entire year of luck hinges on this auspicious mochi soup.

Spring Equinox Bota Mochi Recipe star
A seasonal sweet traditionally eaten on the Equinoxes, bota mochi is steamed glutinous rice wrapped in sweet red bean paste.

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