Kohaku-namasu (White & Red Salad) – A Traditional Japanese New Year’s Dish


I’ve been writing a lot about traditional Japanese dishes for the New Year.  Here’s another installment!

My friend Ayako wrote from Japan about the food she made for New Year’s Day:


Happy New Year !

This year I didn’t have a lot of time, so I made just two dishes of New Year foods.

The first is 紅白なます (Kohaku-namasu – literally, red-and-white salad), which is made of Japanese radishes and carrots.  It’s one of our traditional New Year’s foods.  紅白 means red and white which symbolizes celebration.  It tastes sour because it’s soaked in vinegar.

Recipe for Kohaku-namasu (White and Red Salad)__1231-3

1. Shred Japanese radishes and carrots and put salt over them and let sit for 30 minutes.

2.   Squeeze the water out of the mixture.

3. Add rice vinegar, sugar, salt and a little juice of Yuzu fruits. [Note: Yuzu fruit is a citrus fruit like grapefruit with a hint of Mandarin orange and Meyer lemon. In the US, a little bit of juice from a lemon and lime is used as a substitution.  Meyer lemon would be better than a normal lemon.]

4. Put it in refrigerator for half a day.

5. Add little slices of Yuzu fruit and a little Ikura (salmon roe) to it.

This dish looks colorful so it’s nice as one of our New Year cuisines.

The second dish is のし鶏 – that is the dish I learned at cooking class last year.  It looks like your meatloaf maybe, but it is made of ground chicken.  The other dishes I bought and they’re also some of our traditional New Year foods (see the pic above).  They all symbolize good fortune for the New Year.

We say あけましておめでとうございます。

今年もよろしくお願いします。 as our New year greetings !

Please say Happy new year to your family, too.

Best regards,


Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with us Ayako!  Happy New Year to you and your family too! -Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, January 1st, 2015 at 7:03 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Cuisine, Holiday Recipes, Holidays Around the World, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Cuisine, Kohaku-namasu (Red & White Salad), Languages, New Years, New Years Recipes, Recipes of the World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Kohaku-namasu (White & Red Salad) – A Traditional Japanese New Year’s Dish”

  1. Diana Says:

    My mother made our family (living in the deep South of America) Red bean & rice cake soup for New Years….tasty!

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