- Main lore areas
All over Tokyo
- Main ingredients used
Bonito flakes, kelp, daikon radish, potatoes, eggs, konnyaku, shirataki , fried tofu, chikuwabu, hanpen, several kinds of fish paste such as ganmo
- History/origin/related events
Oden is a dish in which various ingredients called "tane" such as Satsuma-age, daikon radish, konnyaku, and chikuwabu are cooked in a broth made from dried bonito flakes and kelp, and seasonings such as soy sauce are added.
The origin of oden is said to be tofu dengaku, in which tofu cut in the shape of a spur is skewered and baked. Oden" is said to have been a wives' term used by court ladies, who added "o" to "dengaku" to make it more polite, and omitted "raku" to become "oden". Dengaku" originally referred to a musical dance performed to the rhythm of flutes and drums to pray for a good harvest. The name "dengaku-mai" came from the resemblance of the tofu cut into clapperboard shapes to the dengaku dance. The dengakumai is still practiced today in Tenryu Ward, Hamamatsu City, as "Nishiura Dengaku Takasoku Mododoki" (dengaku dance in Nishiura).
In the Edo period, dengaku was a popular side dish for the common people, made by skewering tofu or konnyaku and baking them with miso paste. After the modern era, stewed oden became widespread. In the Kansai region, stewed oden is called Kanto nimono (Kanto taki) to distinguish it from the original oden. Today, oden is popular as a winter side dish because of its simplicity and the presence of fish paste, daikon radish, kelp, etc., and oden with distinctive ingredients are spreading in different regions. In Tokyo, oden is characterized by the inclusion of chikuwabu.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Oden is usually eaten from fall to winter because it is a stewed dish. There are long-established oden restaurants in Tokyo that serve oden year-round.
- How to eat
Oden is stewed with dozens of ingredients in a broth made from dried bonito flakes and kelp, and served with mustard if desired.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
When the fall and winter seasons arrive, oden sets are sold in supermarkets, and households stew oden in their own way. Oden pots are also readily available at convenience stores next to the checkout counters. In addition, "Otako Honten," "Otafuku," and "Takohachi," which are famous as the orthodox school of Kanto oden, continue to offer and preserve the taste of Edo oden.