There is a vast variety of dishes that Japanese cuisine offers. There are also many regional specialties. Having lived in Japan for many years taught me which dishes are best for summer and which are best for winter. I remember the apartment that I rented when I first came to Japan. It was just below the mountain and just beside a stream. The view was awesome but it was terribly cold in winter. The apartment lacked proper insulation unlike the apartments that we got at home. To help me survive the cold winter nights, I had to dress up like an Santa Clause and eat lots of oden.
So what is oden? Oden is a popular Japanese pot dish in which is simmered slowly in dashi (flavoring) or in a sauce based in soy sauce. It is usually prepared in a big ceramic pot called “donabe” or a big aluminum pot called “onabe”. Oden ranks high and is a favorite of many Japanese families. There are many numbers of oden recipes and here is one.
Looking for the right ingredients is not easy if you do not have access to a Japanese grocery or store nearby. I was able to find some ingredients being sold online. Most of the ingredients are difficult to make from scratch and can be time consuming to prepare so I just buy them at a nearby Japanese grocery or buy them online.
Oden Recipe (for four)
– One big radish
– Three carrots
– Three medium size potatoes
– Five boiled eggs (peeled or egg shell removed)
– Two blocks of “konyaku”
– Five fish cake blocks or “chikuwa”
– Three block of soft tofu
– Five slices of “atsuage” (deep fried tofu)
– Your choice of dashi flavoring (flavor broths) or soy sauce
– Three tablespoons of Japanese rice wine or “sake”
-Two tablespoons of sugar or “mirin”
– Peel the radish and slice it into thick rounds
– Peel potatoes and cut in half
– Peel and cut carrots into big pieces
– In a big pot, add all the ingredients listed above.
– Add fish cake and atsuage inside the pot.
– Add the dashi or flavoring, Japanese rice wine and sugar
– Add the eggs and the soft tofu
– Bring the pot to boil and add a bit of water and “dashi” when the level of the soup goes down.
– Reduce heat and its done
I hope this delicious oden recipe will keep you warm in winter somehow.