From the hot and humid days, we have finally stepped into a cooler season.
It’s not just cool anymore; the colder days are also increasing.
The perfect dish to savor during this cold season is Japan’s traditional ‘Oden’.
This warming dish is especially recommended for foreign tourists wanting to experience the essence of Japanese cuisine.
1. What is Oden?
Oden is a traditional Japanese hot pot dish.
Various ingredients such as daikon radish, eggs, konnyaku (konjac), and fishcakes are slowly simmered in a flavorful broth. The broth is typically made from bonito flakes and kelp.
Oden is particularly popular in the cold season and can be enjoyed at home, in izakayas, and convenience stores.
2. The History of Oden
The history of Oden dates back to the Edo period. Initially called ‘miso oden’, it was a dish simmered in miso.
As time progressed, it evolved from a miso base to a soy sauce-based broth, resulting in the Oden we know today.
Oden, with its simplicity and deliciousness, is loved nationwide in Japan.
3. Regional Variations of Oden
Across Japan, Oden features different ingredients and flavors depending on the region.
For example, oysters are a unique ingredient in Hiroshima’s Oden, while udon noodles and konnyaku are popular in the Kansai region.
In Kyushu, spicy mustard lotus root is a characteristic ingredient. These regional variations add to the charm of Oden.
4. Characteristics and Typical Ingredients of Tokyo’s Oden
Tokyo’s Oden is known for its rich broth and diverse ingredients.
Typical items include daikon radish, eggs, konnyaku, beef tendon, fishcakes, and various processed fish products like chikuwa and hanpen.
Additionally, numerous Oden-specialty stores in Tokyo allow you to savor various types of Oden. These ingredients soak up the umami-rich broth, offering a profound taste experience.
5. Enjoying Oden at Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
In Japan, you can easily enjoy Oden at supermarkets and convenience stores.
Particularly, convenience store Oden is available 24/7, allowing for impromptu purchases.
The variety of ingredients and affordable prices make it extremely popular among foreign tourists.
Oden from convenience stores provides an excellent opportunity to relish Japanese flavors conveniently amidst a busy sightseeing schedule.
Exploring Tokyo in the cold seasons is best enjoyed by warming up with some delightful Oden.
By experiencing the different variations of Oden, you can gain a deeper understanding of Japan’s traditional food culture.
On your next trip to Japan, make sure to savor the local Oden!