Mmmm, oden


oden.jpgMy appetite for Japanese food, maybe food in general, gears up when the weather cools. Last week we had our first oden nabe of the season.

Oden is a soup made of protein-rich foods and root vegetables stewed in a salty clear broth. Most of the nuggets in our pot, which is sitting on a portable gas burner on the dining room table, are made of fish paste.

Fish paste sounds a little weird, but it's delicious. It's made of scraps of white fish, ground together and mixed with flavorings. It's economical and definitely peasant food. Of course, we buy ours at the grocery store just like most everyone in Tokyo.

One of my favorite items in oden is chikuwa. Fish paste is wrapped around a bamboo pole and toasted. Then the pole is removed, so you end up with something that looks a little bit like a hollow marshmallow.

This oden included all sorts of things wrapped in fish paste--quail eggs, shrimp, burdock root--and plenty of flavored fish pastes, too--crab, liver, burdock. Sometimes people add hot dogs, fried tofu or eggs to the pot. Daikon often makes an appearance along with strips of wakame seaweed tied in knots.

Oden nabe is one of my favorite wintertime dinners.


For more info on Oden...

(sorry for the shameless self promotion ;-)

Oden is one of my favorites too. I need the weather to drop about 20 degrees (F) here in Austin tho to enjoy it to it's fullest! :)

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  • Barron: Oden is one of my favorites too. I need the read more
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