Oden is a heartwarming one-pot Japanese dish and also my kind of comfort food. Some of the typical toppings include fish cakes, daikon, konjac, and boiled eggs. But to be honest, you can add anything you like in the pot because the broth is what matters the most here.
I noticed that there aren’t many options for dashi powder in Vancouver, especially MSG-free or additive-free ones. So I decided to make my broth from scratch. It is actually easier than I expected with 2 simple ingredients – kombu (dried kelp) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). I used the Awase Dashi recipe from Just One Cookbook, and it turns out great.
In terms of ingredients, I used the typical fish cakes, daikon, konjac, as well as chikuwa (??), shiitake mushroom, and seafood mushroom. I also made some fish cake sheet skewers.
And I’ve been using the Always Pan from Our Place for a few months, and I’m in love with it. It is advertised to replace 8 different kitchen accessories. It is also easy to clean and non-stick. For this recipe, I used the stainless steel steamer basket (included with the pan). So I can easily bring out all the toppings all at once! I also made paella in my previous post, in which its non-stick feature is tested even with minimal oil.
Oden (Japanese Fish Cake Stew)
- 2 L water
- 20 g kombu (dried kelp)
- 20 g katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- 2 L awase dashi broth
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 block konjac
- 3-4 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 pack seafood mushroom
- 1 pack konjac komusubi noodles
- 1 pack chikuwa
- 3-5 fish cake sheets
- fish cakes your preferred ones
- 1 daikon
Awase Dashi (recipe from Just One Cookbook)
- In a pot, add kombu and water. Turn on the heat to medium-low and slowly bring to almost boil (approx 10 minutes).
- Just before the dashi starts boiling gently, remove kombu from the pot. If you leave the kombu in the pot, the dashi will become slimy and bitter.
- Add katsuobushi and bring the broth back to a boil.
- Once the dashi is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for just 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
- Let katsuobushi sit and sink to the bottom (approx 10 minutes).
- Strain the dashi through a sieve over a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.
- Add soy sauce, dark sauce, mirin, sugar, and salt into the dashi. Mix until combine.
To prepare other ingredients:
- Peel the daikon and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Trim the corners of each piece so that the edges are not sharp. This will prevent the daikon from breaking apart when cooking.
- In a pot, add cold water, daikon, a handful of rice (approx ¼ cup), and 1 tsp salt. Boil until a skewer can go through the daikon. This will remove the bitterness from the daikon. Remove the daikon from the water. Keep the water.
- Cut konjac blocks into smaller triangular pieces. Put it into the water (from step 2) and bring it to a boil. Remove the konjac and set it aside.
- You can cut the bigger fish cakes in half (optional). Put the chikuwa, fish cakes, and fish cake sheets in the water. Boil for 1 minute to remove excessive oil. Remove and set them aside. You no longer need the water.
- Wash the mushrooms. Set aside.
To prepare oden:
- I recommend using a shallow pot or a large saucepan (with depth and lid). Put all the toppings evenly (nicely) into the saucepan. Pour the dashi into the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes. If you are not in rush to eat, you can even let it soak overnight to allow the ingredients to absorb more flavors.
Reference: Awase Dashi recipe from Just One Cookbook
Disclosure: Always Pan is gifted.