Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oden – a Japanese winter stew

Oden is a classic winters dish in Japan – simmered over a low heat for hours its a wonderful warming dish that is also really good for you.

Its easy to make, all it needs is a bit of forethought so that you have time to really bring out the flavours of the ingredients.  Quite simply, put some dashi soup stock in a large pot with water and then add sake, soy sauce and sugar.  Pop your ingredients in, bring to the boil and then leave on a low heat for several hours – in Japan its not uncommon to make this the day before and leave it on a really low heat.

This dish was therefore a perfect experiment for the Cook Japan rice cooker; all the ingredients went in, it was brought to the boil then simply left on “keep warm” until we were ready to eat.


Yesterday was a simple oden, we didn’t have time to get to the specialist shops that would have other ingredients, so we just used tofu, daikon (Japanese radish), potato, boiled eggs and shin beef.  Each mouthful was then dipped in a little plate of karashi (hot mustard) for extra taste…

With time to shop, or if we were back in Japan, we’d have tried to buy and use some of these common Oden ingredients as well:
  • Tsuji – beef tendons
  • Chikuwa – tubes of mixed processed fish meat (sounds weird, but tastes divine)
  • Konnyaku
  • Deep fried tofu, or fried tofu pouches (Atusage and Aburaage)
  • Tsukune – fish or meat balls
  • Pumpkin, and other Japanese regional twists on this classic stew
Ultimate Oden…


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