From sashimi to mochi, families get ready to ring in the new year

New Year’s Eve in Hawaii is all about family, friends, fireworks and — of course — food.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 5:26 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2021 at 5:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New Year’s Eve in Hawaii is all about family, friends, fireworks and — of course — food.

Sashimi is a big seller this time of year, and residents are willing to pay up for the delicacy.

Fresh fish is a New Year’s Eve tradition for so many families in Hawaii, representing health and prosperity in the coming year.

Fishermen say you can expect to pay about $20 to more than $40 for a pound of fresh ahi.

Customers at Tamashiro Market say the price is more than worth it.

“We already prepared ourselves for what it will cost, but that’s okay because this is a special occasion,” said Leilani Kahoano, a Honolulu resident.

New Year’s Eve is always a busy day for Tamashiro Market. The line outside starts early — and, while it was long at times, shoppers say the wait wasn’t too bad.

“The line looks long, but goes by real fast,” said Duncan Asari, a Honolulu resident.

Inside the market, fresh seafood filled the display cases.

“You have a lot of people buying hamachi, and they’re looking for the red fish like onaga ehu and things like that for good luck to start the year,” said Guy Tamashiro, whose family runs the market.

Tamashiro says one of the most popular picks for New Year’s Eve is otoro — the fatty underbelly of the blue fin tuna. A pound goes for $42.95.

“People want to pay and are willing to pay. They want the best,” he added.

Meanwhile, over in Moiliili, people are lining up for another New Year’s necessity — mochi.

The popular Japanese rice cakes symbolize good fortune, gratitude and longevity.

“Every new year, I need to eat mochi,” said Michiko Tachibana, a Waikiki resident.

The production crew at Fujiya Hawaii was working hard Friday, cutting, filling and shaping the mochi, completing orders as fast as they were coming in.

“We wanted to get chi chi dango, and some strawberry mochi and we’re getting some peanut butter mochi,” Tachibana said.

While these foods have a special significance for New Year’s celebrations, those HNN spoke to say it’s about bringing together those we love.

“To be able to share it with others at this time before we move into the new year — I think that’s the beauty,” Kahoano said.

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