Bistro-style Oden

Traditional oden uses dashi for the broth, but this recipe uses tomato soup. It's a bistro-style oden.

Bistro-style Oden
Photographed by Masaya Suzuki

Recipe by
Katsuo Oomiya







Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 16-20 sardine tsumire fish balls (small)
  • 2 chikuwa
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • A pinch of dry red chili (round slices)
  • 1 can canned tomatoes (in water) (400 g)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Basil leaves, as needed
  • 300 ml water
  • Olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • [Garlic-basil toast]

    • Baguette, as needed
    • Olive oil, as needed
    • 1 clove garlic
    • Basil paste (store-bought), as needed



Cut the chikuwa diagonally into bite-size pieces. Cut the onion into cubes. Divide the broccoli into florets and parboil.


Put 1 tbsp of olive oil, the garlic and dried red chili in a pot and place over low heat. When it starts to become aromatic, add the tsumire and chikuwa and stir-fry over high heat until golden brown.


Stir-frying removes the fishy smell.


Add the onions and continue to stir-fry. When the ingredients are fully coated with oil, add the tomatoes, including the water. Crush the tomatoes, add the water, bay leaf and a pinch of salt.


When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Maintain a gentle boil and let it simmer for about half an hour until the sauce has been reduced to half. Do not remove the surface scum until almost done.


Be careful not to skim the scum too soon as this will result in the loss of umami.


Add the broccoli, lightly simmer and turn off the heat. Sprinkle with shredded basil. You might like to add some basil leaves in the center as a finishing touch.


Cut the baguette into thin slices. Brush with olive oil. Place in a toaster oven to lightly toast.


Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut side over the baguette slices. Spread with basil paste and pop them back in the toaster oven until crisp.