A donabe containing fish cakes and fish balls simmered in soy sauce-based dashi broth.


Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: fish cake soup, nabe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 6

A classic winter comfort dish in Japan, Oden is a one-pot dish with an assortment of fish balls, fish cakes, deep-fried tofu, hard-boiled eggs, konnyaku and some vegetables simmered in soy sauce-based dashi broth.



Dashi Stock:


Oden Ingredients:


  1. In a donabe (earthenware pot), make dashi (Japanese soup stock) and add Seasonings.

    Oden 2
  2. Slice daikon into 1-inch pieces and remove the skin (you can peel first with a peeler too).

    Oden 3
  3. Remove the corners (Mentori technique) so that there are no sharp edges. This will prevent daikon from breaking into pieces.
    Oden 4
  4. If you prepare rice to serve with Oden, preserve the white water from cleaning rice. Put daikon and the white water in a small pot and start cooking until a skewer goes through (do not cover the lid). In Japan, we say the rice water will get rid of bitterness and bad smell from daikon and the water also makes daikon beautiful white color. Make sure to cook daikon from cold water so the center of daikon gets cooked slowly before boiling and that will help cook daikon evenly.

    Oden 5
  5. Boil eggs (cook egg from the water, after boiling set timer for 12 minutes, run cold water and peel off shell).

  6. Cut Nishime Kombu into short pieces and quickly rinse the coating in running water. Make a knot like below.
    Oden 6
  7. Cut and skewer the octopus.
    Oden 7
  8. Cut konnyaku into smaller pieces. Typically triangle shape like below.
    Oden 8
  9. Add the konnyaku in water and bring it to a boil. After boiling, cook for 1 minute and drain. Set aside.
    Oden 9
  10. Put water in a big pot and bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add Nerimono (Japanese fish cakes and fish balls) in boiling water to get rid of excess oil from them – just for 15-30 seconds. Drain and set aside. Cut big pieces into halves. Do the second batch if Nerimono didn’t fit in a pot.

    Oden 10
  11. Make mochi-filled tofu bags. Quickly run aburaage (fried bean curd) in boiling water to remove excess oil. Drain and cut in half. Cut mochi into half. Open one side of Aburaage so you can put mochi in it. Use a toothpick or kombu to tie the aburaage so the mochi won't fall out during the cooking process.

    Oden 11
  12. Put everything except for Nerimono and mochi bag in the donabe and cook covered over low heat for 2-3 hours minimum. Skim off the scum and fat along the way.

    Oden 12
  13. Add Nerimono and mochi bag and cook for 30 minutes (or longer) over low heat.

    Oden 13
  14. Cover and reheat when you are ready to serve. I usually let them soak for overnight (after cool down, keep in the fridge) and eat the next day. Oden is often served with Karashi (hot mustard).

    Oden 14

Recipe Notes

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.