Ah, oden. It's the classic Japanese winter dish that you really can't live without! It's now available almost year-round in convenience stores, but no oden is as good as homemade oden.
Photographed by Seiichi Suzuki
Calorie count is per serving.
Excludes time needed to set aside overnight.
Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
- 200 g beef tendons
- 4 chicken wings
- 400 g daikon radish
- 4 potatoes
- 1 konnyaku
- 4 satsuma-age
- 2 chikuwa
- 4 boiled eggs
- 1 piece konbu kelp (6 cm x 15 cm)
- Yuzukosho, as desired
- Scallions (chopped), as desired
- Usukuchi soy sauce
[Chicken wings] Separate the wing tips from the wing flats by cutting through the joint. Make an incision at the base of the two bones closer to the joint to allow the flavors to seep in more easily.
[Konnyaku] Rub with salt and rinse under water. Place on a cutting board and pound lightly with your fist. Boil for 2-3 minutes, drain, then allow to cool in the strainer. Cut into triangles and make crisscross incisions on each piece.
[Satsuma-age] Place on a strainer and pour boiling water over to remove excess oil.
[Potatoes] Wash and place on a heat-resistant plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave (600W) for 2-3 minutes. Rub briskly with a dry towel while they are still hot to peel the skin.
[Chikuwa] Cut diagonally in half.
[Konbu kelp] For Direction 7, remove from the pot and cut lengthwise into 8 equal pieces. Make several incisions in the center of each piece, leaving 4 cm on both ends. Tie into a knot. If necessary, secure the center with a toothpick to keep from coming undone.
Cut the beef tendons into chunks. Place in a pot full of water and bring to a boil at high heat. Drain and return the tendons to the pot. Cover with 2 L of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, occasionally removing the surface scum.
Have the beef tendons in the pot when you start boiling as they tend to shrink when placed in boiling water. Drain to get rid of the impurities and scum. When boiling the second time around, make sure to remove the surface scum well, as the contents of the pot will be the broth.
Place a strainer over a bowl to drain and separate the beef tendons and broth. Cut the tendons into easy-to-eat pieces, and make skewers by threading 4 to 5 pieces onto each skewer.
Thread the tendons with the tough side facing outwards to keep them intact on the skewer.
Lay the chicken wings in a non-stick frying pan and place over medium heat. Sear both sides until light brown. Remove and plunge in cold water. Lightly rinse the surface.
Cut the daikon into 2.5 cm rounds and peel. Round off the sharp edges. Make a crisscross incision on one side to allow the daikon to absorb more flavor.
Shaving the edges (called "mentori") prevents the daikon from falling apart while simmering, and also helps to absorb more flavor.
Firmly wrap the chicken wing tips, daikon peel and shaved off pieces in a non-woven paper towel to use as dashi.
The daikon scraps and wing tips make a great stock. Wrapping them up in a paper towel makes it easier to remove later.
In a large pot (about 6 L), place the konbu, beef broth, 2 L of water, beef tendon skewers, chicken wing flats, daikon and the wrapped up remnants. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.
Simmer the konbu, beef tendons and wing flats first, as they contain the most umami. Also simmer the daikon at this point, as it requires time to cook through and become tender.
Add 6 tbsp of usukuchi soy sauce, 1 rounded tsp of salt, and 7 tbsp of mirin. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 10 minutes. Remove the konbu and tie into knots (refer to Preparation), then return to the pot.
The ingredients themselves add plenty of umami, so don't over-season at this stage. You can always adjust the taste later on.
Once the daikon is tender, add the remaining ingredients. Cover with a drop lid and simmer at low heat for 40-50 minutes. Remove the wrapped up remnants used for dashi. Add usukuchi soy sauce, salt and mirin to taste.
Turn off the heat and set aside overnight in a cool area. Reheat before eating, and serve with the [Condiments].
Set aside overnight to allow the ingredients to absorb the flavorful broth.