- Oden is the staple dish of the cold winter
- The ingredients that can be used in oden are unlimited and they vary according to area and preferences
- You can enjoy piping hot oden at convenience stores
Oden is the staple dish of the cold winter
Autumn is now getting deeper in Japan, and the winter season is just around the corner.
“Oden” could be said to be a representative dish of the kind of foods that we want to eat when the cold season comes around.
It is a dish consisting of radish, eggs, and nerimono (paste products) such as chikuwa (a tubular roll of boiled fish paste) stewed in a soy sauce flavored soup.
Oden is such a staple dish during the winter that one would think that there are no Japanese people who do not like it.
The ingredients that can be used in oden are unlimited and they vary according to area and preferences
The ingredients used in oden are called “tane,” and their characteristics vary according to area and preferences. The most representative are radish, eggs, chikuwa, kelp, hanpen (fish cake,) and konjak.
For example, in the Kanto area, including Tokyo, people like a type of wheat gluten cake in the shape of chikuwa called “chikuwabu.” In Osaka and the Kansai area in general, they also add beef sinew.
Fukuoka is famous for its “Fukuoka oden,” in which the broth is pitch black. All the ingredients are pricked with a bamboo skewer and eaten with “dashiko” (dried sardine shavings,) flaked bonito, and “aonori” (green laver.)
There are many distinguishing characteristics to different types of oden all over Japan: there is “miso oden” from Aichi, in Nagano prefecture they add soba noodles to it, the one from Kagawa prefecture has a white miso base, and so on.
You can enjoy piping hot oden at convenience stores
Oden is generally known as a comfort food that is cooked at home. Its main characteristic is that many different ingredients are added to a big pot and stewed, but this is not easy to do when one lives alone.
However, these days oden has become a regular in the menu of convenience stores. All you have to do is pick your favorite ingredients, place as many of them as you want in a container, and then take it to the cashier!
Don’t think that having food from a convenience store is kind of sad! Instead, how about you give it a shot and casually enjoy their piping hot oden?