Oden - a Traditional Japanese Stew
It is cooked family style on the table and eaten from the pot. Oden consists of tofu, daikon, and a wide variety of other ingredients in a broth and is frequently accompanied by hot sake.
1 inch kombu, soaked and diced
2 cups daikon, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick rounds
4 to 5 shiitake mushrooms, soaked, stemmed, and halved
light sesame oil
5 to 6 slices firm tofu, 3 by 2 by 1/2-inch thick
shoyu soy sauce
2 cups Chinese cabbage (add at the end)
Place the kombu in the middle of the pot. Add the daikon rounds in one section of the pot, then the shiitake next to it. Place a little oil in a skillet and lightly pan-fry each of the tofu slices on both sides for a few minutes.
Add the tofu slices to the pot next to the shiitake and kombu. Each of the ingredients should have its own separate section in the pot. Do not mix or layer the ingredients. Add water to half cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the daikon is soft and translucent.
Add cabbage and cook about 1 minute longer. Season with a little shoyu to taste and cook until there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left.
Transfer to a serving dish.
Michio and Aveline Kushi