ARARÉ Rice Snacks

Jan 6, 2022 | Recipes, Winter

あられ・霰・ARARÉ
Crisp-and-Crunchy Rice Snacks

When listening to the weather report araré means “hailstones” but in the kitchen (or other culinary setting) it means “small cubes” or fine-diced omochi (sticky rice) that has been fried or baked.

No doubt the origin of this snack is linked to the Japanese no-waste philosophy of mottanai, that compels frugal folks to make good use of leftovers. Kagami Mochi (ceremonial sticky rice cakes; above, left) are on display at New Year’s time in family and community settings. After a week or so has passed, the once soft-and-gooey omochi typically dries out. On January 11th the now cracked-and-crusty omochi is shattered into small bits and pieces with a wooden mallet in a ceremony known as Kagami-Biraki (literally “Opening the Mirror”).

The word biraki, based on the verb hiraku (to open), is a more auspicious way to describe the smashing of stiffened rice cakes than the violent verbs waru (to split), tataku (to pound, smash or thwack) and kiru (to cut up, to kill).

The shards of smashed rice are repurposed is a variety of ways. My favorite is araré the addictively delicious, crisp-and-crunchy rice snack. Download a recipe to make your own ARARÉ

For further informatiion and inspiration check out the Kitchen Culture Cooking Club post.

Yuzu Yu

Yuzu Yu

ゆず湯・Yuzu Yu Food customs in Japan often involve word-play. The winter solstice​ that occurs on or about December 22 is called tōji 『冬至』, literally "winter arrives." But the word tōji can also be written as 『湯治』meaning "hot-spring cure" or "taking the baths​." One of...

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

食用菊 Shokuyō Kiku Edible chrysanthemums are one Japan's autumnal culinary delights. Commercially cultivated in various parts of Japan today (including Okinawa!) they were traditionally enjoyed in the Tohoku (Akita, Yamagata) and Hokuriku (Niigata) regions. Though...

Kabocha

Kabocha

かぼちゃ・南瓜KABOCHA Written with calligraphy for “southern gourd,” but pronounced kabocha, the name tells the curious history of this gourd in Japan. Kabocha arrived in Oita (on the southern island of Kyushu) in 1541 on a Portuguese ship. The previous port of call along...

Project Kabocha

Project Kabocha

Kabocha, a pumpkin-like squash with sweet, orangey-gold flesh and dark green, edible skin, frequently appears on the menu in Japan. The classic way to prepare kabocha is to simmer it in a slightly sweet soy-tinged stock. Soy-simmered kabocha is delicious on its own…...

Explore

Archives