The Flavors of Good Fortune

The Flavors of Good Fortune

As a way of warmly welcoming 2023, 53 By The Sea will be celebrating the Japanese New Year tradition by offering our New Year Osechi Box. Osechi Ryouri is a family dish of layered boxes filled with beautiful and delicious delicacies, each food item representing a token of good fortune. 53’s Osechi, which comfortably feeds a party of three, is unique in its incorporation of this culturally celebrated Japanese tradition with the comfortability of familiar Western cuisine. This variety package of 19 food items includes:

First Layer

  • Tako Sunomono

    Octopus, pickled cucumber, wakame, Hawaiian chili pepper
    A symbol of Happiness
    Similar to the pronunciation of the delicious treat, tako, is the Japanese word for happiness, takou. In addition to this play on words, Tako Sunomono is recognized as a symbol of happiness because those who consume it on New Year’s Day will be able to avoid their troubles the way a tako does when shooting ink at its enemies.

  • Kurikinton

    Mashed sweet potato, chestnut compote
    A symbol of Earning Wealth
    Kuri, or chestnut, is historically considered a good luck charm that samurai would bring to battle as a way to ensure their victory. Kinton translates to gold-colored furniture, a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Combining the two gives us Kurikinton, representing victory in earning wealth.

  • Kuromame

    Sweet black beans
    A symbol of Becoming a Hard Worker
    The second half of the dish’s name is ‘mame,’ a word to describe the hard worker who takes initiative and exceeds their expectations in the work environment. This is the worker that everyone strives to be.

  • Kombumaki

    Kombu seaweed, kampyo
    A symbol of Prosperity in Life
    Kombu, which is synonymous with the word Kobu, is short for the Japanese word “Yorokobu.” When broken down, ‘yoro’ means to have a long life and ‘kobu’ translates to mean happy. By extension, Kombumaki symbolizes having a long and happy life.

  • Unagi Crab Cake

    Crab cake, steamed unagi, teri sauce
    A symbol of Success in Life
    Eels are resilient creatures. They can quickly travel against rapid downstreams and across bodies of water. When a fisherman tries to grab one by hand, they use their slippery bodies to escape upwards, climbing towards the sky. For this reason, unagi represents success similar to that of an eel.

  • Kohaku Namasu

    Pickled shredded carrot and radish
    A symbol of Peace in Family
    The thinly sliced vegetables of the Kohaku Namasu resemble mizuhiki, which are the thin paper strings used to secure money envelopes gifted on New Year’s Day and other momentous occasions. These gifts historically bring wealth and therefore peace of mind to the receiving families. For this resemblance, the Kohaku Namasu represents that same effect.

  • Kinkan Kanroni

    Kumquat compote
    A symbol of Wealth
    The first half of the word ‘kinkan,’ which is ‘kin,’ translates to English to mean gold. Therefore, Kinkan Kanroni symbolizes the incoming of wealth.

  • Datemaki

    Steamed egg and fish cake
    A symbol of Intelligence or Academic Success
    Datemaki’s rolled shape is similar to ancient Japanese scrolls that are studied at lengths in schools. Therefore, consuming them on New Year’s Day is expected to ensure academic success.

  • Kazunoko

    Salted herring roe
    A symbol of Perpetuation of Descendants
    Kazunoko’s parents are Nishin, or herrings. Nishins, which lay 30 to 100 thousands of eggs in a single clutch, represent an influx of children and enriched fertility.


Second Layer

  • Hamachi Saikyo Miso Yaki

    Pickled hamachi, Saikyo miso
    A symbol of Success
    When Hamachi grow older, they are renamed Buri. Like so, as a person grows in their career, they also hope to change in their work titles as they are promoted to more advanced positions.

  • Roast Beef

    Beef tenderloin

  • Kouhaku Kamaboko

    Red and white fish cake
    A symbol of Good Luck
    Kamaboko is used in Osechi as a symbol of good luck because the shape of sliced Kamaboko resembles the shape of the first sunrise of the new year, which is culturally considered a moment in which luck is at its peak.

  • Ikura with Calamansi

    Pickled salmon roe, fresh calamansi
    A symbol of Perpetuation of Descendants
    Like the herring, salmon lay eggs in incredible quantities at a time. Therefore, it is believed that Ikura as a dish symbolizes abundance in child bearing for those who desire to elongate their lineage.

  • Yawatamaki

    Rolled pork chop, carrot, burdock, asparagus
    A symbol of Happiness that Lasts Long and Thin
    In this dish, burdock roots are essential. Burdocks, in shape, are long and thin. In Japanese culture, a long and thin life means one that is peaceful and steady for a long period of time, which is valued when compared to a life that is short and thick, or eventful and wild but ultimately ends shortly.

  • Onishime

    Shitake mushroom, carrot, bamboo shoot, snow pea
    A symbol of Family Ties
    Onishime is a combination of very different ingredients that work in harmony to create an elevated dish of delicious flavors. Likewise, it is desired that every individual of a family unit, no matter how different from each other they may be, feels a sense of solidarity and togetherness.

  • Ebi Tsuyani

    Simmered Kaua‘i shrimp
    A symbol of Long Life
    The long whiskers and rounded backs of a shrimp is believed to resemble the characteristics of a person who has lived a long life. Therefore, the Ebi Tsuyani has become a symbol of longevity.

  • Tazuna Konnyaku

    Simmered yam cake
    A symbol of Disciplined Life or Good Relationship
    Tazuna is a Japanese word for the reins that are used to control horses. Konnyaku is phonetically similar to the word konjac, a noodle dish twisted in tight knots. Together, the Tazuna Konnyaku is expected to symbolize a love that is both disciplined like a well-conditioned horse and strong like a twisted noodle knot.

  • Kona Abalone

    Boiled abalone
    A symbol of Long Life
    Abalone have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years long– a considerably lengthy duration of time. Because of its auspiciousness, the shellfish has become a symbol of long-lasting life.

  • Kimpira Renkon

    Simmered lotus root
    A symbol of Good Prospects
    Because the lotus root has an enormous count of holes in its body, it is said to have a good number of prospects. Therefore, it is eaten with the desire for a multitude of opportunities, similar to the multitude of holes in the root.