Friday, August 19, 2011

Oden Recipe おでん

Winter in Japan is cold.  It feels so good walking into a warm heated building.  One of the most convenient warm places is the convenience stores you see almost on every corner.  They sell all sorts of useful things, including hot food.  The most traditional of these is probably Oden
You choose your selection of various fish cakes, tofu, egg, daikon etc, and pay 60c~$1 for each piece, which is served to you in a cup with some warm broth.  Then you walk out of the 7-Eleven, into the cold again, but this time you have something warm in your hands, which is going to feel sooo nice and warm in your stomach.  mmm.  It's winter now in Australia, so that's why I had a craving for oden recently.
Believe it or not, it's incredibly quick and easy to prepare (if you don't count cooking time)
This is what it looks like in a convenience store:
(This was Family Mart at Shin-Imamiya, Osaka.)
Instructions for Oden:  Take a cup from the left and use the spoon or tongs (on the right) to pick which items you'd like, and take a little broth with it.

And here's what it looked like in my kitchen:
So here's how I made it:  (Serves 4)
1/4 cup soy sauce (Japanese)
2 Tbsp sake (can be made without if you can't get it)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp dashi no moto (Japanese Fish stock powder)
4 cups water

Things to put into Oden: (whichever you can get)
  • About half (400g) a Daikon (Japanese long white radish) cut into 2cm/ 3/4in rounds
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled (or 2 medium potatoes cut in half or 4ths)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 4 pieces knotted konbu (strips of kelp tied in a knot)

100-150g (4oz) of any of the following items:
  • Atsuage (Thick deep fried tofu), cut into triangles
  • Chikuwa (Japanese tube-shaped fish cake) and/or other Japanese fish cake
  • Konnyaku or ito-konnyaku, 
  • Hampen,  
  • Beef Tendon, skewered
  • Squid, skewered

Boil the soup, add the goodies (put daikon at the bottom so they cook well), boil, then simmer for 30-40 min until daikon is softened.

Oden is usually served on its own if eating outside, but when eating it as a meal at home, serve with a separate bowl of steamed rice for each person.  
The pot is served on the table and each person has a small bowl which they eat from, picking out the pieces they want to eat and refilling their bowl.

Ingredients from the asian grocery store:
(The big white thing is the daikon.  The chikuwa and tofu were chinese brands because they're much cheaper here.  Yes, in Australia our eggs have brown shells.  The box on the left is a box of dashi powder sachets.)

Dashi-no-moto (or Hon-dashi) is an essential ingredient in most Japanese dishes. Here are a few more packages (with links to Amazon): 
Dashi-No-Moto (Soup Stock Base) - 5.25 oz.Ajinomoto - Hon Dashi (Soup Stock) 5.28 Oz.Hon-Dashi (Bonito Fish Soup Stock) - 2.29 oz.

My mum's old My donabe (clay pot) on gas is the best: (but a saucepan will do)

Here's the other way to make the soup (packet mix):
S & B Oden No Moto, 2.8-Ounce Units (Pack of 10)


  1. It is cold in Australia!!!
    Oden sounds yummy... will ask my mummy if she will make it for me!

    How's the little boy going? :) Hope he is okay~

    Anne-Marie (the person who you met @ YW camp)

  2. Anne-Marie> nice to meet you! yes, oden is yummy~ but the flavour is very Japanese-ish... I think if your mum's not used to Japanese food, then something like Okonomiyaki might be a good starting point. Okonomiyaki is liked by every Australian I've made it for so far, so it's very safe! I'll post that recipe within the next week or so! ♡

  3. It is very delicious food. I like it very much royal1688

  4. I am making oden tonight, was very happy to find this recipe! I have to be quick as I need to get up early in the morning, but I am craving oden so I am using oden no moto and my pressure cooker. I don't have all of the ingredients, but will be using atsuage, taro, lotus root, hard boiled eggs, konnyaku, shrimp, and maybe some rice cake because I just love it, lol! I do have a question about fish cake. So far I have not liked the few that I've tried, but I figure there must be a way to know which fish cakes are good and was wondering if you could offer any insight? I know this post is old, so it's a shot in the dark! Anyway, I have several markets in my neighborhood, and there are so many different kinds and brands of fish cake it makes my head spin! So any pointers would be very welcomed as far as choosing quality good-tasting ones. I really enjoy your recipes! Thank you for posting! :)

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