february 3rd was setsubun. on this day in japan, people throw soybeans to get rid of oni (demon) and eat uncut maki-zushi. people also dress up as oni by wearing an oni mask. last year, i made my oni debut in a homemade mask. the oni mask i made was quite crappy, but at least i did look like an oni.
this year, i was planning to make a decent oni mask that might scare the hell out of paul. but we went out for lunch with his aunt and did some shopping, and by the time we got home, it was already 8pm. i was almost too tired to make sushi, but i managed to make one roll of maki-zushi. because if you don’t keep your culture, no one will…
luckily i had some leftover dried ingredients from making osechi ryori at new year’s. i used dried shiitake, kanpyo, steamed spinach, and egg omelet for the filling. i’m supposed to eat the whole maki-zushi without cutting, but it’s incredibly hard to eat. so i cut it anyway.
then i had to find some soybeans. but all i’ve been able to find in canada are these oily soybeans that look like they’re roasted then sprayed with oil. they’re tasty, but they give me pimples everytime. so i’ve stopped buying them. the soybeans you see in the photo are uncooked soybeans.
meanwhile, japanese roasted soybeans are not oily or salty at all. they are just roasted and full of natural flavour. yesterday, i received another package from my parents, full of japanese food and maternity clothes. they didn’t forget to include some setsubun soybeans and two paper oni masks as well. unfortunately, the package arrived too late for setsubun this year. but paul and i ate the traditional number of beans (one for every year of our ages) anyway.
this year, we missed our chance to wear oni masks. so next year, we both will put on masks to be oni parents for poko-chan.