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Goin’ Japanesque!

Oden: Warm Japanese Classic Dish to Eat on A Budget While Travelling

It’s getting colder and colder in Japan these days. People crave for hot Oden during winter when you feel chills down to your bones. Having Oden at a diner or from a food vendor truck is obviously great, but quick and cheap “Conbini-Oden (Oden sold at convenience stores)” isn’t bad at all. You can have it at home or in your hotel room as you chill out, or enjoy it at a park as you chat with your friends. No matter whether you have tried it or not, enjoy Japanese Conbini-Oden as better products are offered with each passing year! Title Photo by flickr

 

What is Oden?

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Photo by flickr

Oden is winter soul food for Japanese people and is one of the traditional eats for winter in Japan. It is a dish consisting of mixture of Japanese and Western ingredients stewed in broth called “Dashi”. When home cooked, it’s usually served in a large pot so family members can eat from the pot.

 

Where to Buy

seven-eleven
You can buy Oden at convenience stores. It is said that the number of convenience stores in Japan amazes many tourists from overseas. It is common in Tokyo to find another convenience store in front of the one you just shopped at. This means you can buy Oden whenever you feel like it. It is very reasonably priced as you can get one item for around 100 yen. You can find Oden right by the cashier.

 

Convenience Store Oden with Authentic and Uncompromising Taste!

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Photo by flickr

You may expect less of a dish you get at the convenience store.

There are several convenience store chains in Japan (Seven-Eleven, Lawson, Familymart etc), and each one has its original Oden with different Dashi and ingredients.

Traditionally, in cities like Tokyo or Kyoto, they have its characteristic dish and even if the name of the dish is the same, it is cooked with slightly different flavors and seasoning depends on the area. This is because preferences in taste differ by region, and the seasonings are adjusted to the preferences of each region.

Oden also has different flavor variations in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyushu so please compare the taste while you travel around Japan.

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Photo by flickr

Oden in Nagoya looks black as shown in the picture. Up until I became a university student it this was the standard Oden I knew. Seeing it now however, the color might be odd for food. However, for Conbini-Oden, the broth is transparent in color even in Nagoya.

 

Recommended Ingredients

Here is the classic Oden line-up

1. Daikon (Japanese radish)

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Photo by flickr

Daikon is the king of the classic Oden ingredients. This vegetable is light in taste, yet very popular as it goes so well in Oden that we cannot think of Oden without Daikon. It tastes amazing as it becomes tender from being boiled and absorbs the flavors of the broth.

2. Egg

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Photo by flickr

The egg; it is also a classic. It is the star ingredient of Oden.

3. Shirataki noodles

shirataki
Photo by flickr

The unique chewy texture and the low calorie count can be the reason why it’s so popular.

 

Extras

And here are my personal recommendations.

1. Mochi Kinchaku(rice cake wrapped with deep-fried tofu)

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Writer’s Photo

If you love rice cake then this is the one for you. The combination of melted rice cake inside of the pouch and absorbed dashi is delightful. My personal favorite is Mochi Kinchaku from Seven-Eleven. It also contains Shiitake and chicken, which have been sweetened and boiled. What a treat!

2. Sumibiyaki Tsukune skewer (with cartilage)

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Writer’s Photo

This also is from Seven-Eleven. It is not just an ordinary Tsukune (chicken meatball), but with cartilage. The mixed texture of Tsukune that has been boiled tender and crunchy cartilage is incredible.

 

Running short of money from spending too much on tasty restaurant food? If you want to be economical for the day, why don’t you go to a convenience store! The Conbini-Oden, which tastes as delicious as a restaurant meal will warm your body up and save you some money!

Related Articles:
What is Oden? Its History and How or Where to Eat It
Shirataki: Worldly Popular Super Diet Food from Japan

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