Oden, a Traditional Winter Japanese Dish


Oden is one of Japan’s most popular dishes for the winter months. Japan is a country of seasonal changes to nature and cuisine and the most traditional and heart warming meal is oden. Oden is a kind of hot pot filled with different items in a savory broth. Oden recipes differ based on region in Japan, but one of the main ingredients for them all is Kamaboko. Oden can be found at stores all over the country in the cold seasons, but is especially delicious when prepared and enjoyed at home. We would like to introduce some delicious ways to cook and enjoy this traditional Japanese dish below.

Delicious ways to Enjoy Oden

Oden, is a Japanese culinary tradition for autumn and winter. On a cold day, I go home and quickly make oden. It’s a moment of relaxation. The “Oden Kit” from Suzuhiro gives you all the main necessities for making delicious oden. Included is a broth concentrate  made of kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (smoked bonito) to make a dashi broth to simmer various kamaboko in.

The artisans make 15 different kinds of Kamaboko for oden, including kamaboko with vegetables such as lotus root and burdock root, and seafood such as squid and scallop. Even if eaten as-is, you can enjoy the flavor and texture of the various ingredients.

Today, There are many different ways to enjoy oden, today I’d like to share some recipes that the Suzuhiro staff have enjoyed in their daily lives.

Simmer, rather than boil, for delicious Oden

How to prepare it

Put an appropriate amount of Suzuhiro’s oden broth concentrate in a pot and pour hot water into the pot to dilute it 15 times. Suzuhiro’s oden broth is made with only natural ingredients, such as kelp and dried bonito flakes. This gives you a wonderful umami experience.  When the oden soup comes to a boil, start cooking the vegetables. Boil thickly sliced daikon and other vegetables first. If there is no time, you can use bok choy and other greens or thinly shaved daikon radish with a peeler. Add Suzuhro’s oden kamaboko and warm it up quickly. The trick is not to overcook Suzuhro’s oden kamaboko as the texture changes if you overcook them.

The chef of Chowaro, a restaurant in the Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village, shows you how to make this delicious oden in this video.

Oden Arrangement Recipe – Seared Oden Kamaboko

After enjoying oden, we have some leftover oden. When this happens, our favorite way to eat them is to slightly roast them. Roasting makes the texture of the ground fish fluffy and gives it a fragrant aroma. The kamaboko is especially delicious because it has absorbed the oden broth. It goes well with Hakone beer.

Oden Arrangement Recipe: Oden Kamaboko  with Mizore Ankake Sauce

Especially on cold days, I enjoy this dish with grated radish sauce. By heating up Suzuhiro’s oden broth and adding katakuriko (potato starch) with water solution, you can easily make Japanese style thickened sauce (ankanke). Pour the sauce over your favorite oden ingredients and you have an a la carte dish. Garnish with grated daikon that can also be spiced if preferred.

How to Make it

Lightly warm your favorite ingredients

Bring 200 CC of water to a boil, add the oden broth concentrate and make dashi (water to oden soup stock should be made at a ratio of 15:1)

Add katakuriko (potato starch) and water to the oden soup to thicken it into a sauce.

Add grated daikon to your favorite ingredients and pour the sauce over the top.

A set of 15 different types of kamaboko and natural oden soup are included in the Oden Pack.

Suzuhiro’s artisan-crafted oden sets come with a total of 15 varieties of kamaboko so you can enjoy a variety of flavors and textures such as Odawara Ganmo with soft conger eel and burdock, Crab-hanpen (white fluffy surumi),  corn with kamaboko, crispy fried lotus root and more. It is a special dish that can be served as is or as an oden arrangement at the table. Oden is a dish that can be enjoyed alone or with friends and family.

In addition, because it uses plenty of natural white fish surimi, it is an oden dish rich in high quality protein. We hope you will be healthy in both body and mind this winter.