I once heard oden described as ‘fish marshmallows in soup’. That doesn’t really sound appetizing but it made me smile.
Oden is a traditional winter dish in Japan, that stews vegetables and fish cakes in dashi Japanese stock. As strange as ground fish meat made into patties translated to ‘fish cakes’ sound, if you eat ramen or udon, you’ve most likely had it in some form before:
Oden is usually eaten with Japanese hot mustard karashi and is Japanese comfort food at its finest. I love oden so much and since the description sounds a bit scary, I just tell people it’s ‘a Japanese delicacy’ in order to get them to try. I’ve yet to meet a single person who said they didn’t like it. It’s really, that good.
The other night I went to a very famous oden place in Ginza known only to Japanese people. The owner and operator Tanaka-san, has been cooking oden for over 50 years.
This is Tanaka-san:
And boy, was it delicious.
It’s so good but oden is a bit hard to try if you’re unfamiliar with Japanese foods. I want to recommend this to everyone but if you’re not with a Japanese speaker, definitely do not try to embark (lol).
I almost don’t want to share this location because I want it to stay hidden. But for any Japanese people who are reading this or people who have eaten oden before, this place is HIGHLY recommended.