Oxtail Oden (Japanese Fish Cake Stew) being cooked in an Instant Pot

Oxtail Oden (Japanese Fish Cake Stew)

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: oden, oxtail
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4
This is a fancier version of oden - Japanese fish cake stew - with a richer, heartier broth made from a combination of oxtail and dashi.  Once you make this very flavorful Oxtail Oden recipe, it's hard to go back to the simple version anymore!


For Oden Ingredients

For Oden Broth

  • 2 ½ cup dashi (600 ml)
  • 2 ½ cup oxtail broth (600 ml) (See the recipe in Notes)
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
  • 1 tsp sugar

To Serve


Prepare Ingredients:

  1. Gather all the ingredients. Please make dashi and oxtail broth ahead of time. 

    Oxtail Oden Ingredients
  2. Fish cakes: Boil 4 cups (1000 ml) water. Meanwhile, open the oden mix packages and place the fish cakes in the sieve. Pour boiling water all over the fish cakes to remove the excess oil. Alternatively, you can place them in boiling water for 15 seconds. If you prefer, cut the big pieces into smaller pieces.
    Oxtail Oden 1
  3. Konnyaku: Cut a slab of Konnyaku into 4 equal rectangles. Then cut each rectangle diagonally so now you have 8 triangle pieces.
    Oxtail Oden 2
  4. Then scorch the flat surfaces of konnyaku with crisscross incision. This helps konnyaku to absorb more flavors during cooking.
    Oxtail Oden 3
  5. In a small pot, place all the konnyaku in cold water and bring to a boil. Then cook for 1 minute and drain or using a tong to remove the pieces. Set aside.
    Oxtail Oden 4
  6. Daikon radish: Peel the daikon and cut into ½ to 2/3 inch pieces. To prepare daikon for oden properly, please follow this recipe post where we remove corners of daikon to prevent from breaking and then pre-cook it. In this recipe, I cut daikon thinner than my stovetop method so it will cook faster.
    Oxtail Oden 5
  7. Octopus: If you’re using frozen octopus, defrost and put each piece of octopus into skewers. If you’re using long octopus legs, you can skewer each piece (see this oden post).
    Oxtail Oden 6

Make Oxtail Dashi Broth:

  1. In your slow cooker (or Instant Pot), add 2 ½ cup oxtail broth, 2 ½ cup dashi, 2 tbsp mirin, and 2 tbsp soy sauce.
    Oxtail Oden 7
  2. Add ½ tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp sugar.
    Oxtail Oden 8


  1. Add daikon, oxtail meat from the oxtail broth, boiled eggs, and konnyaku.
    Oxtail Oden 9
  2. Then add octopus skewers, fish cakes, and mochi pouch on top if your oden mix comes with them (Click here https://www.justonecookbook.com/oden/ to make your own).
    Oxtail Oden 10
  3. Cover and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. Press the “Slow Cook” button to switch to the slow cooking mode. Press “+ (plus)” button to change the cooking time to 5-6 hours.
    Oxtail Oden 11
  4. When it is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. Open the lid and scoop some liquid over the fish cakes (you can also do this extra step while slow cooking).
    Oxtail Oden 14


  1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp Japanese hot karashi mustard with 1 tbsp hot water. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap. Turn it over and let it steam under the bowl for 5 minutes to release the fragrance. Unwrap the bowl and the mustard is ready to use.
    Oxtail Oden 12
  2. Serve the assortment of oden ingredients on a plate with some soup. Put a small dollop of karashi hot mustard on the edge of the plate. When you eat, dab the fish cakes or other foods with a tiny bit of mustard. You can drink the soup if you like, and I like to break the egg in half and let it absorbs the soup before eating.
    Oxtail Oden 13

Recipe Notes

Hard boiled eggs: To make perfect boiled eggs, click here


Oxtail Broth (and Meat): To make the broth, click here.


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 in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.