8 Recommended Oden You Should Try in Japan!

8 Recommended Oden You Should Try in Japan!

Oden is a Japanese hotpot perfect for the wintry months. Oden is a traditional snack which is basically cooked by simmering fish cakes, tofu and veggies in a dashi stock. Oden can be found all over Japan- in convenience stores, in specialty restaurants and in Yatais or outdoor stalls. Den is from Dengaku – a word that referred to tofu on skewers. The “o” honors the dish, thus Oden.Here are some of popular and favorite oden ingredients.



 

8 Recommended Oden You Should Try in Japan!

 

1. Daikon(Radish)

Daikon or White Radish which are usually cut in circles. A slight crisscross cut is made on one surface of the vegetable. Daikon radish absorbs the flavors of the Oden broth. And the longer the radish stays on the Oden broth, the more it becomes tasty and flavorful. Oden will not be complete without Karashi or Japanese mustard.

 

2. Tamago(Egg)

Eggs in Oden are usually hard boiled to keep their shape and firmness. Eggs make the Oden dish filling, and as these soak on the broth, the color changes and tastes better. Aside from chicken eggs, quail eggs are also Oden tane.

 

3. Konnyaku(Konjac)

Konnyaku is a jelly like cake made from root vegetable konjac. On its own it taste bland but when cooked with other Oden tane, this also soaks in the flavors.

 

4. Atsuage(deep-fried tofu)

Tofu can be added to the Oden in two ways, deep fried with or without vegetable fillings and as is. But the deep fried tofu is prefered because it retains the shape and doesn’t break up whilst simmering. Fried fish cakes made from cod or other white fish are also favorite Oden tane.

 

5. Gyuusuji(Beef gristle)

Beef gristle is the connective tissue, elastin which can be found around the ligaments and surrounding muscle groups. It’s tough and stretchy but can still be cooked tender and is a favorite Oden tane. Oden is served variously depending on the region of its origin. Pork based and having tebichi (pig’s feet) is popular in Okinawa.

 

6. Mochikinchaku(Rice cake purse)

Rice cake purse or Mochiiri kinchaku are made from deep fried tofu that are cut open and filled with sticky mochi rice cake or with minced meat and vegetables then added to the Oden at almost the end of cooking. The Oden tane are tied or the open end skewered with toothpicks.

 

7. Chikuwabu(Wheat gluten sausage)

Kanto style Oden uses chikuwabu as an ingredient. This is made from wheat gluten and shaped like chikuwa. Chikuwabu goes well with mustard.

 

8. Tamagoyaki(Japanese omelet)

A new Oden tane is the Japanese omelet or Tamagoyaki. This new ingredient adds a new twist to the Oden dish as the Tamagoyaki absorbs the broth and eaten with karashi. Tamagoyaki often has green onions adding to the flavor omelet. This novelty Oden tane gives the dish light, subtle but with the right flavors.

 

Conclusion

Depending on the region of origin, Oden tane may vary even the broth. The classic dashi is made from broth of bonito flakes and kombu. Other variations of Oden broth are the combination Kombu and shiitake mushrooms, and miso based broth. Nagoya prefers light colored sweet miso broth while the Shizuoka oden uses dark beef based broth. Oden is a hearty, filling and flavorful dish to warm up to on cold winter nights. Oden is best enjoyed with beer or sake.

 

8 Recommended Oden You Should Try in Japan!

1. Daikon(Radish)
2. Tamago(Egg)
3. Konnyaku(Konjac)
4. Atsuage(deep-fried tofu)
5. Gyuusuji(Beef gristle)
6. Mochikinchaku(Rice cake purse)
7. Chikuwabu(Wheat gluten sausage)
8. Tamagoyaki(Japanese omelet)