Hot Pot with Nerimono: Oden

Autumn weather means hot food is once again inviting. My daughter and I went shopping for ingredients to make a Japanese hot pot on the evening before she returned to California. The hot-pot dish is called “oden” in which an assortment of fish-cakes and dumplings are cooked in dashi, kombu stock, or chicken stock, with other ingredients including daikon, konyaku, and potatoes. It was great fun to see the variety of fish and seafood cakes or dumplings; we couldn’t resist buying too many because they looked so interesting.Oden restaurants, which apparently are arranged somewhat like buffets in the U.S., keep pots of many kinds of fish cakes and dumplings simmering and ready for customers to choose their favorites. Making oden at home is very simple. The difficult part is limiting yourself to only a few of the many kinds of fish-cakes that are available. Unless you are cooking for a large group, the most convenient way to make oden at home is to buy a refrigerated or frozen package with a nice variety. But the daughter and I had so much fun selecting more than we could eat in one meal!It’s good that oden is just as delicious reheated a few times…

I’ll note that because the ingredients simmer with stock and shoyu, they all become rather brown, almost unidentifiable except for shapes, and unphotogenic.

Hot Stew with Assorted Fish Cakes
4 to 6 servings

page 127

  • 1 pound daikon,
    peeled, halved lenthwise, then cut cross-wise into 1-inch thick half moons
  • 3/4 pound small ptoatoes
  • 1 konnyaku (taro or yam gelatin) cake
  • 8 to 10 satsuma-age
  • (fried fish cakes) the size of ping-pong balls
  • 2 hanpen (simmered fish cakes),
    quartered into triangular shapes
  • 1 kamaaboku (steamed fish cake),
    cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • 7 cups kombu dashi
  • 1/4 cup usukochi shoyu (light colored soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, shelled

To Serve:

  • Hot Japanese mustard paste
  • hot plain rice

•• Put the daikon into a medium pot, and add water to cover the daikon by 2 inches. Place the pot over moderate heat, bring the water to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Drain the daikon and set it aside.
•• Put the potatoes into a medium pot, cover them with cold water, and cook them until they are done but still firm. Drain and cut them into halves.
•• Put the taro gelatin into a medium pot of boiling water, and boil the gellatin for 1 minite. Drain it and cut into eight triangels.
•• To remove the excess oil from the fried fish cakes, put them in a colander and rinse them with boiling water.
•• In a large stew pot, bring the kelp stock, usukuchi and shoyu, mirin, and sugar to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and add all the fish cakes and the par-boiled ingredients including the eggs.
•• Cook, partially covered for 3 hours. Add water as necessary to keep the broth from reducing to less than half of its original quantity. Taste the broth and add a little more shoyu, mirin, or sugar to your taste.
•• Bring the hot pot to the table. If possible, keep the stew hot on a portable stove. Let the diners help themselves, choosing the ingredients they prefer and transferring them to individual bowls along with some broth and mustard paste.

konyaku-bundles_9032konyaku-bundles_8960konnyaku_4593Japanese Fish CakeHanpenHanpenkamaboko_9007chikuwa_8978squid-fish-cakes_9014fish-vegetable-cakes_8995octopus-fishcake_8948Satsuma Ageshrimp-balls_9017
oden-fish-cakes_9041Oden Japanese Hot Pot Ingredients
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Nerimono for Oden Hot Pot Arirang: Korean Restaurant

10 thoughts on “Hot Pot with Nerimono: Oden

  1. I think that your site is really good.
    I have not eaten Oden since I came to USA from Japan and I miss it so much.
    I remember that I added Gyu-suji in it and it makes more flavor… sometimes Geso(squid or Octopus), it also makes good flavor.
    If it is possible, you can make “Bakudan” which put vegetables or Mochi in fried bean curd. Many people like it!

  2. I recently purchased a frozen Oden kit, unfortunately, no instructions at all.

    There’s a little packet of liquid and of course all the ingredients. Do you have any idea how much water I’m to mix with it, or…?

    I’ve had such a difficult time finding instructions for the kit online – there are none!

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Does your package indicate how many people it’s meant to serve? I’d say to plan on having 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of broth per person. I’d start with the smaller amount. You want the fish cakes and so on to be just covered with liquid.

      As you can see in my top picture, the nerimono expands when it’s hot. But also I did add a lot of fish cakes! Maybe could have had a bit more liquid?

      The idea is to simmer them in the broth long enough for them to absorb the flavor. You will have to add water anyway as it simmers away.

      So taste it as you go along. If it’s too salty or strong, add more water.

      By the way, the hard-boiled eggs are excellent and you may want to add them to your kit…

  3. Pingback: Nerimono for Oden Hot Pot « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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