Oden is one of the traditional foods in Japan, people would usually have it once a month. While in cold winter, they would have it more frequently. Oden is kind of like hot pot/ Shabu-Shabu, the only difference is oden do not have meat, mostly the ingredients are vegetables, eggs, and fish ball.
It seems like really simple to cook oden, but the boiling time and the soup base will make a strong different of it. In Japan, there are oden restaurants and oden vendor stores. Especially in winter, Japanese like to have oden and with Japanese sake or beer. This is one of the traditional cultures in Japan. Except the original sauce of oden, mustard is another sauce that people will serve with the oden. In the past, using mustard is to kill the bacteria, but now it becomes a habit.
Due to different habit and characteristics in different cities, some cities have their own style of oden. But the ingredients are mostly the same.
Chinese/Japanese Carrot (JAP: Diakon) — Unlike having the Chinese/Japanese Carrot in hot pot and/or Shabu Shabu, the carrot in oden are not cut in slide but thick.
Chikuwa – This taste like Chinese fish ball.
Hanben – In Chinese, it means “half”. Most Japanese will serve this with hot pot.
Ganmo – this is fried tofu dumpling that included vegetables, egg white, and sesame.
Satsuma age – This is fried fish cake. Used the fish meats and then fried with fish starch.
Oden in Japanese convenience stores — Oden is really popular in Japanese convenience stores too. But the choices of foods are not as many as restaurants and vendors.
CM of Oden in Japanese convenience store:
Oden can – This is a popular can product in Akihabara which sell in vending machine.
Oden sauce – The sauce is made by kombu and dried fish. With this oden sauce, people are able to cook oden at home.
Kuroyuri Oden restaurant – 1/F Ajiwai-kan, Kanazawa-byakubon Street, 1-1 Ki-no-shinbauchou, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. TEL: 076-260-3722; Business Hour: AM 10:00 – PM 10:00
Oden street @ Aoba (in Aomori City)