Food | Jan 30

What's Your Favorite Oden?

TOKYO, Jan 30 (News On Japan) - As winter bites, the Japanese tradition of oden, a hearty pot of simmered goodies, takes on national comfort food status. A household in Japan indulges in oden on average three times a month during the chilly season. So what are the most loved ingredients in this winter favorite pot?

From Fukuoka, a 60-year-old prefers konnyaku for its health benefits. A 50-year-old from Kagawa enjoys the egg, especially when the yolk mixes with the broth. And a 60-year-old from Tokyo swears by chikuwabu, a Tokyo specialty known for its mochi-like texture.

Major food manufacturer Kibun conducted a survey among 1,400 people nationwide to find out the most popular oden ingredients. Chikuwa ranked fifth, hanpen fourth, and mochi-filled kinchaku bags third. For ten consecutive years, egg has held the second spot. The undisputed leader for a decade has been daikon, soaking in the victory of oden champion.

While these rankings are dominated by traditional choices, an oden specialty shop, Masuei Kamaboko, offered insights into less conventional yet popular choices. Yukitoshi Nakajima, the owner, mentioned potato as a crowd favorite. In some days, they sell up to 300 potatoes, a staple in regions like Osaka and Hyogo but less known in Kanto.

A 70-year-old from Tokyo expressed curiosity in trying potato in oden. However, there's a catch — potatoes can cloud the broth. Nakajima explains, "To avoid disintegration, cool the boiled potatoes first before adding them to the oden pot."

This technique ensures the potatoes retain their texture without affecting the clarity of the soup. Oden, a simple yet profoundly versatile dish, continues to warm hearts and stomachs across Japan, with both classic and innovative ingredients taking center stage in this beloved winter tradition.

Source: ANN


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