How to Make Ozouni

Please check with your classroom teachers to see if they have any special requests.

Ingredients for Ozouni

(approximately 24 servings)

  • 3lbs of washed & soaked Mochigome* (sweet rice)
  • 1 Daikon (Japanese white radish) (big one, ~3 inches in diameter — the goal is to have at least 2 slices per child; please check that it is fresh, not squishy)
  • 3-4 Carrots (big ones — the goal is to have at least 2 slices per child)
  • Spinach (optional)
  • 1 bag of Katakuriko (potato starch)
  • 1 block of Kamaboko** (fish paste cake)
  • Broth — choose either the Original Brothor the Easy Broth
* Purchase at Asian or Japanese market
** Purchase at Japanese market
Click here for more suggestions on where to buy these items.


Please ask your classroom teachers for

  • Trays
  • Stoves
  • 1-2 big cooking pots
  • Wax paper for lining the trays (Some teachers just put chart papers on the tables instead of trays and wax papers — please check with your classroom teacher their preference)

Please ask your classroom teachers to contact Yuka-sensei for

  • Mochi makers
  • Vegetable cutters
  • Owan bowls — set of 60 owan available at the Japanese Office

Other equipment parents can bring

  • Ladles
  • Plastic spoons
  • Chopsticks

At Home Preparation

Preparing Mochigome, Japanese sweet rice (one day before)

Figure out how many machines (available at the Japanese Office) you will be using, and measure* the rice needed for each machine. Please note that some classes make mochi balls with soy powder/red bean paste/soy sauce in addition to ozouni. Please check with your teacher how much sweet rice you will need.

* Measure the rice and mark the amount before distributing and soaking the rice. You won’t be able to measure the rice accurately once it has been soaked!

To wash the rice, please do the following:

  1. Put the sweet rice into a bowl. Run water over the rice (don’t let it over flow) and stir rice with your hands, adding adequate pressure.
  2. Pour out the water, being careful not to let the grains spill.
  3. Repeat the process 4, 5 times.
  4. Drain the water out then soak the washed rice in clear water for 8 hours.
  5. Next morning, drain the water out using a strainer/colander and shake once to remove excess water. Let it drain for 15 minutes before putting in a plastic bag and bring it to school.

Preparing the Vegetables (one day before)

  • Daikon (Japanese white radish) — peeled & sliced into approximately 1/3 inch slices
  • Carrots — peeled & sliced into approximately 1/4 inch slices
    Cook both the Daikon and carrots until soft enough to cut out with cookie cutters. (Please do not over-cook.)
  • Kamaboko (fish paste cake) — cut it into approximately 5mm slices then halve them into the shape of a fan (needs to be refrigerated at all times)

On the Day of Ozouni Making

The overall flow should follow:

  1. Choose from either Original or Easy recipe and start making broth; broth instructions listed just below. (Needs to get started first thing in the morning since it will take a while to heat/cook with an electric stove).
  2. Set the Mochi-making machines (please follow the instructions on the operation manual and be sure to factor in the appropriate amount of time if prepping for centers — the mochi machines at Clarendon take approximately 40-45 minutes)
  3. Set up mochi-making stations
  4. Set up vegetable cutting stations
  5. Have students cut out the vegetables
  6. When mochi is done, have students roll mochi into small balls at the stations
  7. As soon as mochi balls are made, collect them and put 2-3 balls into each owan bowls and pour a little broth over them (to keep them soft and moist)
  8. Add 2 piece of daikon, 2 pieces of carrot, spinach (optional), 1 piece of kamaboko into owan bowls
  9. Pour hot broth right before serving

Cooking the Broth

Ozouni varies from region to region, and actually from household to household. Here is one example of an ozouni broth recipe (Tokyo style).

Original Broth

  • 1 pack (of 100g) Hanakatsuo (shaved bonito flakes)
  • 4 pieces (of 10cm x 10cm) Kombu (dried seaweed)
  • 6 Tbs Cooking Sake
  • 5 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup (120cc)Soy Sauce
  1. Measure water and put in the pot; add Kombu to soak
  2. Start heating the water and take out Kombu right before it starts boiling
  3. Add Hanakatsuo and keep heating for 10 minutes
  4. Scoop all the Hanakatsuo out of broth with strainer and add sake, soy sauce and salt
  5. Adjust the seasoning to taste

Easy Broth

  • 48gs or approximately 3Tbs of Katsuo Dashi or Hondashi(powdered bonito soup stock - Nijiya market carries ones that says no MSG)
  • 6 Tbs Cooking Sake
  • 5 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup (120cc) Soy Sauce
  1. Measure water and put into the pot, then start heating up.
  2. Once water is hot enough, add powdered bonito stock. (Hondashi) and sake, soy sauce and salt. Season to taste.
  3. Mix well and keep it warm all the time.

Making Mochi

Please follow the operation manuals of the machines. Please note that there are differences in how the machine operates.

  1. Make sure that the mochi has cooled down a little so that children will not burn their hands. (But be careful: mochi left to cool too long will get hard!)
  2. After the mochi is pounded, place them on a tray that are powdered with potato starch (katakuriko)
  3. Put potato starch around the clump of mochi
  4. Wait until mochi is cool enough to touch (it will get hard if you leave them too long)
  5. Then have the children make 2-3 small balls (a little over an inch in diameter)
  6. As soon as the mochi balls are done, put into bowls and pour a small amount of hot broth over them so that they will remain moist and soft


  • While we make ozouni with small mochi to avoid any choking risks, please make sure children chew mochi, and only eat one mochi at a time.
  • Please clean up the owan and the mochi machines carefully (removing the small arm inside the machine) for the next class.


Japanese phrase used at the start of a meal meaning, “I will gratefully accept.”

Where to Buy the Ingredients

  • Asian Supermarkets
  1. Sunset Supermarket (Irving between 25th & 26th)
  2. Richmond New May Wah Supermarket (Clement & San Francisco Bicycle Route 330 – between 7th & 9th)
  • Japanese Supermarket
  1. Nijiya Japanese Market (in Japantown, Post & Webster)

Downloadable Instructions

Ozouni Manual - English.pdf265.02 KB
Ozouni Manual - Japanese.pdf82.81 KB
Carrots (example)534.94 KB
Daikon (example)2.25 MB