Oden is a Japanese dish that is very popular during winter. It is a one-pot dish that usually contains Japanese radish, boiled eggs, fish cakes, seaweed and other ingredients cooked in a light but flavourful soup.
There are generally two different ways to make this dish. It is divided between Kantou and Kansai style. Kantou style simmers all the ingredients together over low heat for a long period of time, whereas Kansai style prepares all the ingredients separately before simmering them together.
You can find both kinds in the streets of Japan and to me, both taste similar, although the Kantou style is supposedly a bit stronger in flavour. Karashi (or Japanese mustard) is usually used as a condiment for this dish.
Once in a while, especially when the weather is cooler, I like to make oden for dinner. It is a simple, fuss-free and delicious one-dish kind of dinner.
The only 2 requirements for making a delicious oden is seasoning and time.
It is important to cook the broth with the right ingredients. I usually cook the broth with a good konbu and then "cheat" by adding some oden seasoning which can be purchased in most Japanese supermarket.
Then, I'd add in thick slices of daikon (radish), tofu (I prefer seaweed tofu), seaweed, Japanese fish cakes and any other suitable ingredients I can get my hands on. And then I'd just leave the ingredients to simmer in the claypot over a small fire for about 60 to 90 minutes. During that time, I'd just keep adding more stock to prevent the dish from drying out.