How To Make Oden (Japanese Fishcake Stew)

How To Make Oden (Japanese Fishcake Stew)

by Megumi Moriya

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Here's another Japanese hot pot dish to keep you warm during chilly seasons – Oden!

Although Oden seems simple, it involves more preparation than you might expect. But fear not, as we'll guide you through the process in this recipe.

The magic of Oden lies in the flavors that emerge from its various ingredients and Dashi-based soup, creating a delightful harmony in every bite.

Oden is highly versatile and varies between regions and households. We've previously shared a Kyoto-style oden recipe, but this time we'd like to share a more standard style of oden. While common ingredients include daikon, boiled eggs, and various fish cakes, some add sausage, cabbage rolls, beef tendon, octopus, and more! This versatility adds to Oden's charm.

Here are some tips for first-time Oden makers:

  1. Use a variety of ingredients to enrich the flavor. In addition to common choices, experiment with your favorites like sausage, seafood, and Mochi Kinchaku (rice cake wrapped in deep-fried tofu).

  2. Lightly score the surface of Daikon and Konnyaku to help them absorb flavor more easily.

  3. Follow a specific order when adding ingredients. Start with items that require more time to infuse flavor, such as Daikon, Konnyaku, and boiled eggs.

  4. Maintain a low heat to prevent boiling over when simmering ingredients for an extended period.

  5. Add Hanpen, a soft and fluffy fish cake, towards the end to preserve its texture.

  6. Allow enough time for the flavors to develop by cooling and letting the Oden sit for half a day or overnight.

Enhance your Oden experience with condiments like karashi (hot mustard) and Yuzu Kosho. We hope you enjoy making and savoring this comforting Japanese dish at home!


Prep time: 40 mins

Cook time: 60 mins

Total time: 1hr 40mins

Total servings: 2

Difficulty: Easy

  • 10 g Kombu Seaweed
  • 30 g Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito Flakes)
  • 1.5L Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • Daikon (2cm-3cm thick), 4 pieces
  • 200 g Konnyaku (Konjac)
  • Soft Fishcake (Hanpen), 4 pieces
  • Deep-Fried Fish Paste (Satsuma-age), 4 pieces
  • Deep-fried Vegetable Tofu (Ganmodoki), 4 pieces
  • Piece of Mochi (Dried Rice Cake), 1 piece
  • Deep-Fried Thinly Sliced Tofu (Abura-age), 1 piece
  • 45 ml Soy Sauce
  • 45 ml Mirin
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Karashi Mustard Paste, for serving
  • Yuzu Kosho (Optional)

Expert's Tip

How To Make Oden (Japanese Fishcake Stew)

Want to make Oden at home but don’t have enough time? Then try this Nabe Cube for Oden! With this product, all you need to do is prepare Oden ingredients and water, then simply simmer them for a while. This straightforward step will surely lighten the load of preparing everyday meals and allow you to effortlessly enjoy the taste of Japan at home!


1) Gathering the Ingredients and Recipe Preparations

Gather the ingredients together. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes to make boiled eggs.

2) Making the Dashi Soup Stock

Prepare dashi soup stock using our recipe. After adding the dried bonito flakes, simmer the dashi for about 5-6 minutes to enhance its taste and flavor.

3) Preparing the Daikon for Oden

Peel the skin off the daikon and make a cross-cut mark on the surface, as shown in the pictures. This helps the radish absorb the dashi flavor and seasoning more easily.

Next, boil them in a pot with of water with a pinch of rice or leftover rice water, starting from cold temperature. Boil for about 15 minutes until soft.

Then drain the water, rinse them with water, and set aside on paper towels.

4) Preparing the Rest of the Oden Ingredients

For preparing the Konnyaku:

Carefully score the surface as shown in the picture, then cut it into 4 triangle shapes.

For preparing the Mochi and Deep-fried Thin-sliced Tofu:

To make Mochi Kinchaku, cut both the mochi and deep-fried tofu pouch in half. Open the cut side of the deep-fried tofu without tearing, and place half of the mochi inside. Secure the cut side with a toothpick.

5) Making the Oden Soup

Add the oden soup stock seasonings to the prepared dashi broth from earlier into another pot. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and add a bit of salt if necessary.

6) Adding the Oden Ingredients in Order

Add the ingredients into the Oden soup in order. First, add boiled eggs, daikon, and konnyaku. Once boiling, simmer for 30 minutes over low heat. 

Then add Satsuma-age, Ganmodoki, and Mochi Kinchaku, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Finally, add Hanpen and simmer for 1 minute.

Tip: If you have time, allow the Oden to cool and let it sit for half a day or one day to enhance the flavor.

7) Dishing Out the Oden to Each Plate

Fish out the Oden ingredients you like from the pot and enjoy a flavorful Oden with karashi mustard and/or yuzu kosho. Enjoy!

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