Every year, when Fall arrives and the air gets crisp and the weather cools down, I look forward to hearty stews and nourishing soups.
One of my favorite fall and winter recipes is Oden, a Japanese stew or “hot pot” made of dashi stock and an assortment of Japanese fish balls and fish cakes.
Oden is my must-order item at my favorite izakaya; it’s a seasonal dish available during the fall and winter months.
How to Make Oden?
There are many variations of oden, but my favorite is the ones with hard-boiled eggs, konnyaku (a chewy plant-based gelatin), daikon, kombu (seaweed), and various types of Japanese fried fish balls and fish cakes.
I especially love the hard-boiled eggs, which has the subtle taste of the oden broth.
Traditionally, oden is made with dashi, or Japanese cooking stock.
While you can make home-made dashi stock, many home cooks, including those in Japan, are turning to premium quality soup base for convenience because there is dashi in the soup base.
I made my oden with Mizkan (Bonito Flavored) Soup Base and the taste doesn’t pale in comparison to the oden I had in Japanese izakaya. Instant soup base is a good substitute for dashi without sacrificing the taste and authenticity.
Homemade Japanese oden is delicious, comforting and utterly satisfying. This Fall and Winter season, make oden stew for your family. It’s a perfect dish to bring everyone around the table, sharing good food and making great conversations.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
This recipe is only 154 calories per serving.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
Serve this dish with steamed rice. For a healthy meal and easy Japanese weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
Pairs well with:
Oden is a Japanese hot pot with fish balls and fish cakes in a dashi broth. Easy oden recipe made with a store-bought soup base.
- 12 oz assorted Japanese fish cakes and fish balls
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup Mizkan, Bonito Flavored Soup Base (or other instant soup base or dashi broth)
- 3 pieces kombu, Japanese seaweed, cut into 1-in x 1.5-in pieces
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 6 oz daikon, cut into wedges
- 4 oz konnyaku, cut into pieces or wedges
1Rinse the fish cakes and fish balls (which are mostly fried) with running water, remove the excess oil from the fish cakes and fish balls. Drained and set aside.
In a pot, bring the water to boil and add the Mizkan (Bonito Flavored) Soup Base and the kombu, about 5 minutes.
3Add the eggs, daikon, and konnyaku into the pot and boil for another 10 minutes. Add the fish balls and fish cakes into the soup and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes and serve immediately with Japanese mustard (karashi) or shichimi togarashi.
- There are many kinds of Japanese fish cakes and fish balls. Find those pre-packed for Oden.
- Some fish cakes and fish balls are saltier and might make the soup a tad salty. Please add some water and bring the soup to boil if the oden is salty.
- Traditionally, oden is simmered for 1-2 hours. My version is the quick and easy version.