Oden, Japanese Fish Cake Soup
Japanese Soup, Soup, z. All Recipes

Oden, Japanese Fish Cake Soup

Oden (おでん), a Japanese fish cake soup or stew enjoyed during winter, is commonly found in convenience stores in Japan and also Taiwan. It has a variety of ingredients such as radish, mochi kinchaku, eggs and fish cakes, simmered in a light soy dashi broth.

Oden, Japanese Fish Cake Soup
Oden, Japanese Fish Cake Soup

My first oden was when I was travelling in Taiwan, probably 10 years ago. One was while waiting for the New Year fireworks at Taipei 101, my husband (then boyfriend) came back with a hot bowl of oden while I was waiting at our ‘viewing spot’. I was kept warm and comforted just by a simple bowl of oden.

The best oden is usually from the Japanese markets like Osaka’s Kuromon Ichiba Market, their broth is very flavourful as it has been simmering for a long time. Sometimes you’ll find boiled eggs and potatoes, it’s super duper comforting.

Oden at Kuromon Ichiba Market
Oden at Kuromon Ichiba Market

Fish Cakes

Convenient pre-packaged oden sets are readily available in shopping mall supermarkets now, which includes soup base and fish cakes such as ikamaki squid wrapped in surimi, gobomaki burdock wrapped in surimi and hanpen which is made from white fish and sweet potato starch. Priced from SGD$7 onwards, depending on the variety and quantity.

If not able to get actual oden fish cakes, here’s what I suggest:

  • Vegetable fish ball
  • Fish ball with roe
  • Fish tofu
  • Cheese tofu
  • Sotong ball
  • Chikuwa
  • Deep-fried taukwa

Saito fish cakes, steam fish cakes or even fish balls are not recommended, as these have a ‘bouncy crunch’ texture. Nothing close to oden fish cakes which has a slight ‘soft mush’ with a nice sweet taste.

:: Update! Recently tried Tasty Bite’s fried fish ball, I think it’s alright to be used for oden.


  • Oden would taste even better if allowed to simmer for 4 hours, or left overnight in the fridge to soak up all that flavour.

Now let’s start cooking your own comforting pot of oden at home!

Oden, Japanese Fish Cake Soup


Cook your pot of warm & comforting Oden, a Japanese fish cake soup consisting of soft juicy daikon, eggs and mochi pouches at home!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small potatoes or 1 large potato
  • 500 g radish cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • Choice of fish cakes

Mochi Kinchaku

  • 2 pieces aburaage (deep fried tofu)
  • 1 piece mochi block cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 toothpicks


  • 1 litre water
  • 1 sachet bonito stock powder
  • 2 – 3 pieces dried kelp
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce


Prepare ingredients

  • In a pot of water, place eggs and potatoes. Boil for 8 mins, then drain and place in cold water. Peel eggs and potatoes. Cut potatoes in half.
  • Run fried bean curd (aburaage) in boiling water to remove excess oil. Remove from pot and squeeze out water.
  • Cut radish into 1 inch thick slices.

Mochi Kinchaku

  • Cut mochi block into 4 pieces. Slice fried bean curd (aburaage) in half, open cut-side and place a piece of mochi inside the bean curd pouch. Thread a toothpick through to seal the opening.


  • Heat water in pot, add in kelp. Let it simmer for 10 mins, then remove.
  • Add bonito stock powder, mirin and soy sauce. Stir.
  • Place radish, potatoes and egg in the broth. Then put in all the fish cakes and mochi bags. Bring to boil and let it simmer for at least an hour, covered.



  1. Oden would taste even better if allowed to simmer for 4 hours, or left overnight in the fridge to soak up all the flavour.

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