Oden, 2 Ways (Instant and Homemade)

Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Blog, Japanese Cuisine Favorites | 22 comments

 

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful extended 4th of July weekend! We had a fun-filled weekend, but a busy one!  Bebe E’s friend celebrated her 1st birthday, we went to two BBQ’s on the 4th, we finally rented and watched The Blind Side, and I went out with a few girlfriends to see Eclipse on Saturday night (a rare night out past 9 PM without my family) and I’m still hurting from getting home much too late. Does that date me?!?

Some of you might be disappointed to discover that I have read ALL the books in the Twilight series. Let’s blame this on the fact that I was on bed rest for several months and had nothing better to do and was curious to find out what all the hype was about. Unfortunately, I am very critical of the author’s writing, and I am even more critical of the first two movies of the series and the talent of the actors but I’m addicted in some sick way. I rented the first two movies through Redbox for only $1.00 each, and I wouldn’t have wanted to pay any more than that! Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed watching Eclipse and I didn’t feel like I wasted my money! I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I am looking forward to seeing the next movie in the series!

Let’s change the subject!

One of my latest projects is cleaning out our freezer by cooking everything that’s in there (and I should mention that I’m refraining from buying more until it’s mostly all gone). Unfortunately, Bebe Dada will attest to the fact that I probably have at least 7 – 8 different “projects” going on at once, all of which I officially announce to him with a psuedo level of urgency. Most all of my projects revolve around organization and cleaning which is likely an unfortunate result of my neat-freak-gene.

Anyway, one of the items I came across in our freezer was an assorted fish cake pack that I bought a while back when I had a craving for oden, but I never got around to making it. For some reason, my dad’s been making oden pretty regularly (he cooks quite a bit now that he’s retired), and it just so happened that the few times I thought about making oden, we happened to visit my parents and my dad ended up making it so I never used the fish cake pack that I had at home! While my mom was visiting recently, I was evaluating our frozen assets (as I do most every day), and I asked my mom if she’d be interested in eating oden and surprisingly she said, OK”. I was certain she would be tired of having eaten it so much while my dad was on his oden-kick, but I was thankful that she wasn’t. One less item in our freezer!

I’ve never thought of oden as a hot-pot dish, perhaps because my mom always cooks this in a large stew pot and not in the nabe, but according to About.com, it is indeed considered a Japanese hot-pot dish commonly served in the cold winter months. I’m not sure what’s going on with our Southern California weather, but it’s July, and it still feels very much like June Gloom. It’s actually DRIZZLING this morning! It turns out that my post for winter oden isn’t so ridiculous on this cold, drizzly morning.

My mom’s oden consists of an assortment of simmered fish cakes, daikon, boiled eggs, konnyaku, potatoes, carrots, and chicken. Oden is yet another Japanese dish that we ate regularly when we were growing up (even in the summer) and it’s definitely comfort food. Long ago when I asked my mom how she makes her oden broth, I was very surprised to learn that she doesn’t make it from scratch. She said in Japanese, “It’s SO easy! Just buy the packaged oden seasoning at Mitsuwa or Marukai.” Hmmm, for so many years I thought my mom made the oden broth from scratch. I never knew they even sold packaged oden broth, but that is what I used the night I prepared our oden. For anyone who is interested, I have also included a homemade recipe for oden broth from a cookbook I borrowed from my BFF, Practical Japanese Cooking by Tsuji and Hata.

Mom’s Oden

  • 4 – 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 pink kamaboko (fish cake)
  • 1 block konnyaku (yam cake)
  • 1 package assorted fish cake
  • 1/2 Japanese daikon (radish)
  • 3 carrots, rough chopped
  • 1 potato
  • 3 – 4 skinless, boneless chicken legs or breast meat
  • 10 – 12 cups of water, or just enough to cover all of the ingredients
  • Splash of mirin
  • 1 package oden seasoning

for homemade oden broth if you are not going to use the oden seasoning package:

  • 2 quarts chicken stock (the stock replaces the water in the above recipe)
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 7 tablespoons sake
  • 7 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

1)  In a medium pot, bring water to boil and hard boil eggs. I usually boil 1 – 2 eggs per person. Let the eggs cool, then peel the shell off.  Cut chicken into large pieces. Next, Slice konnyaku into large triangular pieces. Then slice triangles in half, once more.

2) Slice pink kamaboko (the package actually says red kamaboko but it’s pink) into 3/4-inch thick pieces. Make sure you separate the kamaboko from the wooden board first, by slicing horizontally between the board and the kamaboko to which it’s attached. Next, slice daikon into round 1-inch thick pieces, and finally rough chop carrots and potato.

3) Slice larger pieces of fish cake from the assorted fish cake package in half, or medium size pieces. The two pouches tied with daikon “ribbon” are inari (fried tofu) with mochi (rice cake) inside. You’ll also find a type of fish cake at the bottom called, hanpen. Slice this in half, otherwise you’ll have one huge puffy white square when your oden is done. ;)

4) Add all of the oden ingredients into a large stock pot, including chicken. Add enough water, about 10 – 12 cups, to cover all of the ingredients at least 1-inch above the ingredients. Once the water comes to a boil, skim foam and residue from the chicken. Add 1 oden seasoning pack and pour a splash of mirin.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the eggs absorb the color of the broth and the fish cakes “puff-up” and expand to absorb the broth, the oden is ready to serve.

Oden is best served with ample broth and karashi, or Japanese hot mustard. I didn’t add much broth in my bowl pictured below, but the karashi mixed into the broth tastes really yummy.

Clockwise from top: hard-boiled egg, kamaboko, inari-mochi pouch, chicken, konnyaku, carrot, and assorted fish cakes.

Happy Summer!

Judy | bebe mama

Oden, 2 Ways (Instant and Homemade)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
 
Ingredients
  • 4 - 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 pink kamaboko (fish cake)
  • 1 block konnyaku (yam cake)
  • 1 package assorted fish cake
  • ½ Japanese daikon (radish)
  • 3 carrots, rough chopped
  • 1 potato
  • 3 - 4 skinless, boneless chicken legs or breast meat
  • 10 - 12 cups of water, or just enough to cover all of the ingredients
  • Splash of mirin
  • 1 package oden seasoning
  • FOR HOMEMADE ODEN BROTH USE:
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (the stock replaces the water in the above recipe)
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 7 tablespoons sake
  • 7 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring water to boil and hard boil eggs. I usually boil 1 - 2 eggs per person. Let the eggs cool, then peel the shell off. Cut chicken into large pieces. Next, Slice konnyaku into large triangular pieces. Then slice triangles in half, once more.
  2. Slice pink kamaboko (the package actually says red kamaboko but it's pink) into ¾-inch thick pieces. Make sure you separate the kamaboko from the wooden board first, by slicing horizontally between the board and the kamaboko to which it's attached. Next, slice daikon into round 1-inch thick pieces, and finally rough chop carrots and potato.
  3. Slice larger pieces of fish cake from the assorted fish cake package in half, or medium size pieces. The two pouches tied with daikon "ribbon" are inari (fried tofu) with mochi (rice cake) inside. You'll also find a type of fish cake at the bottom called, hanpen. Slice this in half, otherwise you'll have one huge puffy white square when your oden is done.
  4. Add all of the oden ingredients into a large stock pot, including chicken. FOR INSTANT VERSION: Add enough water, about 10 - 12 cups, to cover all of the ingredients at least 1-inch above the ingredients. Once the water comes to a boil, skim foam and residue from the chicken. Add 1 oden seasoning pack and pour a splash of mirin.
  5. FOR HOMEMADE VERSION: Add all ingredients for homemade oden broth and simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the eggs absorb the color of the broth and the fish cakes "puff-up" and expand to absorb the broth, the oden is ready to serve.

22 Comments

  1. avatar

    Hi Judy! Looks like you had a fun filled and exhausting weekend! This looks great for this gloomy and wet weather we’re having right now. Mmm!

    • avatar

      Hi Roxan, Thanks – but I do hope the weather improves soon! :)

  2. avatar

    PS! I love the new background. I think it goes great with your blog :) Wouldn’t work as well on mine.

    • avatar

      I’m getting mixed reviews on this theme but I’m glad you liked it. I think it’s pretty as well but it looks darker now.

  3. avatar

    yum…my mom makes this for us too…i like your other background better! good to see you and the baby this weekend, although we had to abruptly leave…nolan is fine now ;)

    • avatar

      You’re so lucky your mom still cooks for you guys! Whenever I visit my parents I try to make “special dinner requests”. ;)

      I’m glad Nolan is doing better. Hope you guys had fun at the museum yesterday!

  4. avatar

    Hi Judy,
    I love Oden!! We sell Oden in Taiwan as well but yours looks a lot tastier. lol
    We even sell Oden in 7-11 in Taiwan and it’s a popular snack for Taiwanese people in the winter ;)

    • avatar

      Hi Liv! Wow, I didn’t know 7-11 in Taiwan sold oden! That’s so cool! I’d love it try it someday! :)

  5. avatar

    I like the old background, too! This is not bad. Oden looks real yummy!! Good to talk to you yesterday! It’s been awhile.

    • avatar

      Likewise, nice chat yesterday! I like the intricate artwork in this trial theme but I like the white background in my original theme because it makes it easier to read the post and see the pictures. Thanks for the comment!

  6. avatar

    Look is changed! I quite like it. And love konnyaku!

    • avatar

      Aw, thanks! I loooove konnyaku too! It’s my favorite item in oden.

  7. avatar

    love the makeover Judy! looks so great and so summery :)
    i’m a big fan of twilight! I read all the books too! are you edward’s or jacob’s team? hehe. however, i haven’t watched Eclipse yet. I will def’ have to!

    The oden reminded me of a visit in Japan! I had this from a street vendor and it was so good! Oh, i think we have more in common other than a place mat :D

    • avatar

      Thanks! Yes, I remember you are a fan. :) Bella – cute puppy, cute name! I am team-walking-dead-vampire. LOL.

      Oh, how I wish I could make a trip to Japan soon to eat street vendor food too. :)

  8. avatar

    Hi Judy, your new background was the first thing I noticed when I checked your site, I like it. Although I will be looking forward to another background you will be trying next, as you mentioned.
    I have been doing that too, cleaning up the freezer. Lovely dish. I love fish cakes any way they are prepared. I would really love to make this, as we have foggy days here in Pacifica. Thank you for sharing another Japanese comfort food, I love them.

    • avatar

      Hi Madin, Thanks, glad you like the background. After I try out a few I’ll hopefully settle on one with everyone’s help. Isn’t cleaning out the freezer such a chore! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. :)

  9. avatar

    I smiled when you mentioned the Twilight series. I admit to reading the series over the course of a few days upon the suggestion of a colleague. I, too, am very critical of the quality of the writing and here I am expecting to watch Eclipse in the near future.

    This oden looks great and surprisingly, I have all the ingredients to make the stock from scratch. I’m also trying to empty out my freezer and it can’t happen soon enough!

    Thanks for posting this!

    • avatar

      That’s so funny… I’m happy to hear we are in the same boat as far as Twilight is concerned. Perhaps I’m not crazy after all. :) What is it with everyone and their freezers, huh? How does this stuff accumulate so quickly!

  10. avatar

    I like your new design! Pretty!

    Mmm oden. I love it in the winter. We are having a heatwave out here on the east coast though, so I’ve tried to stay away from boiling or roasting anything! Yours looks great though. Didn’t hear from my mom how gloomy it’s been in southern CA…

    • avatar

      Thank you! I’m still getting used to the new design. :)

      I’m actually waiting for our heat wave! It’s like fall or winter over here! It was drizzling AGAIN this morning and the sun didn’t even peek through the clouds today. It’s starting to get a little old. Stay cool!

  11. avatar

    This is very popular in Korean too. We call it eomuk. I like your new background!

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