Experiment: Oden (おでん)
The very first time I had oden was in a convenience store, Lawson, in Tokyo a few years ago. I really liked the oden back then… probably because I was really hungry at that time… 😛 A few months when I went to Osaka, I was looking for oden in convenience stores. I thought ALL convenience stores have Oden… but it turned out that, only Lawson carries oden. So when I saw Lawson at Kyoto station, I went in immediately to get oden.
I always thought that you can’t make oden at home (uhh… not sure why but I have the notion that you can’t make food that are sold in convenience store), so I didn’t even bother looking for recipes. Until recently, my co-worker and I were talking about oden. She thinks that we can make oden at home. So I went to cookpad to look for oden recipes.
It turns out that… it can easily be made at home.
(Soup base that I made today)
Dashi stock 5 cups
Soy sauce 1.5 tbs
Mirin 1.5 tbs
Sake 1.5 tbs
Brown sugar 1 tbs
Yuzu powder 1/2 tbs
Japanese mustard to taste
Various kinds of konnyaku
Various kinds of fish cake
(Pretty much whatever you like)
1) Peel the daikon skin. Cut into big pieces, rougly 3 cm thick. Boil a pot of rice water, and boil the daikon for 15 minutes. (I saw in a few recipes that you need to boil daikon with rice water. Not sure why. I did put in like a tbs of rice in the pot)
2) For the big black piece of konnyaku, put in boiling water for about a minute or two. Then cut in quater. (I cut into triangles)
3) Boil eggs, then peel the shell off.
4) Put all the soup base ingredients (except for Japanese mustard) into a big pot. Bring to boil, taste the soup, and see if the flavour is good enough for your taste. If it’s not strong enough, add more soy sauce, mirin and sake.
5) Put the daikon, konnyaku and eggs into the pot to boil first, as these 3 items require longer time for the flavor to get in. Let it cook for 30 minutes (at least).
6) Put the remaining food items in the pot. When they’re ready, then your oden is ready!
1) I find that 30 minutes isn’t quite enough for the daikon. So I’m leaving more daikon in the soup overnight. I’ll try it again tomorrow. I think it should taste better.
2) I thought I have bought Japanese mustard… but it turned out that it was actually ginger paste!!! I didn’t know that it was ginger paste until I squeezed it out. Sigh… (well both mustard and ginger paste packages are yellow… next time I know I should READ instead of just picking a yellow box)
3) I really like the yuzu taste in the soup! I think it’s like the “secret ingredient” for oden. Of course if you have fresh yuzu it’ll even taste better! (I forgot where I read about the Yuzu… I tasted the soup before and after I added the Yuzu. The soup with the yuzu powder tastes definitely more like those in restaurants.)