In Kagawa prefecture, we eat oden (fish cake and vegetable stew) with a sweet miso. The miso is simmered with the oden in this recipe, with the ingredients cut into bite pieces that are easy to eat for kids! The potatoes are so soft that they're falling apart, and quail eggs are popular.
Ingredients: 6 to 7 generous servings (this is an easy-to-make amount)
There should be enough water to cover the main ingredients.
These are the ingredients I used. You can use any combination of oden ingredients. Be sure to include quail eggs, potatoes and konnyaku!
Cut up the kombu into 1 cm strips with kitchen scissors. Put the water, dashi stock granules and kombu in a pan.
Peel the daikon radish and carrot and cut into large bite sized pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks.
Tear the konnyaku with your fingers into bite sized pieces, and parboil. Cut the grilled tofu into 15 to 16 pieces. Cut the beef up so that it's easy to separate.
Cut up the rest of the main (solid) ingredients into bite-sized pieces. Pour boiling water over the ○ ingredients to remove excess oil from the surfaces.
Put all of the flavoring ingredients except for the miso into the pan from Step 2, and add the cut up vegetables from Step 3. Add the tofu, konnyaku, quail eggs and the fish cakes on top of the vegetables in the pot.
Bring to a boil, then scatter the beef. Lower the heat and simmer over low for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir up the contents of the pan from the bottom with a spatula or large spoon. Dissolve in the miso. Adjust the amount depending on how salty it is.
Taste again, simmer for a little while and it's done. It tastes the best when the potatoes are falling apart and the simmering liquid has reduced quite a bit!
Apparently, the students spoon this over rice to eat it (although that's bad manners). But it's delicious that way!
It's even better the next day, as is regular oden. So make plenty of it to plan for leftovers, using your favorite ingredients.
Story Behind this Recipe
My daughters love this school lunch, so she asked me to make it at home. I had a chance to try the school lunch version, and it was really easy to eat, so I tried making it myself with my daughters' advice.
Prep the simmered ingredients beforehand properly by draining excess oil, parboiling, etc. If the potato pieces are too small, they will melt into the soup. If you want the potato pieces to retain their shape, put them on top of the pot at Step 5. But I think they taste great if they've partially crumble and blending with the other ingredients.