Oden Recipe

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  • 2 hrs
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: serves 4 - 6
Ratings (25)

Oden is a Japanese hot pot dish in which ingredients are slowly simmered in a soy sauce-based soup. It's typically considered a winter dish in Japan and usually appears around September or October. Warm, filling and tasty, there are all kinds of oden experiences to be had. The method described in this recipe is just one way of making oden. You can vary certain ingredients, but others like daikon radish, boiled eggs, konnyaku, fish cakes and dashi broth, are common in most versions of the dish, which in Japan varies by region.

Here's a brief explanation of a few of the more esoteric ingredients:

  • Far milder and softer than radishes found in the West, daikon does a wonderful job of soaking up the oden broth and is actually a lot lighter than it looks.
  • Konnyaku may look like a slice of dragon hide, but this is actually made from the root of a plant call the Amorphophallus konjac, sometimes referred to as “devil’s tongue.” Konnyaku features in a number of Japanese dishes in all shapes and sizes and is like a sort of tough, savory jelly. Soaked in the oden's broth, it’s genuinely delicious.
  • Chikuwa are tube-shaped fish-paste cakes, lightly fried–before being added to the broth. Chikuwa’s consistency is somewhere between cooked meat and tofu – it’s soft and spongy, but satisfying to bite into and it won’t fall apart between your chopsticks. 
  • Aburaage is a Japanese food product made from soybeans. It is produced by cutting tofu into thin slices and deep-frying them first at 110-120 C and then again at 180-200 C. Aburaage is often used to wrap inari-zushi and is added to miso soup.
  • Ganmodoki is a fried tofu fritter made with vegetables, such as carrots, lotus roots and burdock. It may also contain egg. Ganmodoki means pseudo-goose as it is said to taste like goose.

 You may use oden seasoning sold at Asian stores instead of using sake, soy sauce and sugar.

What You'll Need

  • 1/3 daikon radish, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch thick rounds
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into halves
  • 4 boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 konnyaku (transparent yam starch cake), cut into large triangles
  • 2 atsuage (deep fried tofu), blanched and cut into large triangles
  • 4 ganmodoki (tofu fritters), blanched
  • 2 or 4 fish paste cakes, such as chikuwa, hanpen, and satsumaage, cut into large chunks
  • 4 musubi-kombu (knotted kelp)
  • 4-5 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of sake
  • 1 tsp. of sugar

How to Make It

  1. Put 4 cups of dashi soup stock in a large pot or donabe pot.
  2. Add sake, soy sauce, and sugar in the soup.
  3. Place ingredients in the pot.
  4. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to low and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes.
  5. Add dashi soup stock and soy sauce as needed.