Himeji Oden

Himeji Oden


2017.06.22

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Himeji Oden

Himeji Oden is perhaps as close as one can get to a signature dish representing this city.

  • But wait, what is oden to begin with? Well, it is a kind of hotpot snack often considered to be a Japanese soul food. It consists of ingredients such as eggs, daikon (Japanese white radish), konjac, tofu, and different kinds of fish cakes. The ingredients are boiled for a long time in a soy flavoured dashi broth, giving them a distinct, yet mild flavour.

    Oden is generally considered a winter dish, but plenty of restaurants in Himeji serve it all year round. What sets this oden apart is that the soy broth has a huge amount of ginger in it, giving it a unique taste that is typical for this part of the country.

    Himeji Oden

    Himeji Oden

    You might also find a few peculiar pieces of oden in Himeji that are not available if you buy the same dish at your local convenience store in a major city, such as skewers of tender beef. Himeji oden also comes topped with a healthy amount of freshly cut negi, or green onions.

    Himeji Oden

    Himeji Oden

    The history of oden in general dates back to the Muromachi period, (1336 to 1573). Back then the dish was referred to as dengaku, and usually consisted of only tofu and konjac grilled on skewers. It is believed that the word “oden” is the first part of “dengaku”, with the honorific “o” added for politeness.

    The ingredients and kinds of oden vary depending on the region, although many of the basic ones like daikon, konjac and fish cake, are omnipresent. The Himeji kind is just one of many other different local versions, albeit one with a very distinct flavor that does indeed set it apart. No matter where in the country you find yourself, you can be sure that this dish is served with a clique of spicy Japanese mustard. The strong flavour might not be compatible with everybody’s tongue, but we recommend that you try it before making a judgement.

    Himeji Oden

    Himeji Oden

    Harimakko
    place
    Hyougo Pref. Himejishi Honmachi 68
    phone
    0792837522

    In general, oden is eaten as it is, a snack often consumed on the go right away. However, some shops have invented ways to turn it more into a proper meal. One way of doing so is by serving it with a larger amount of broth and by adding udon noodles to the mix. They are either there from the start, or added to the broth after the oden itself has been consumed, turning it from more of a snack into a hearty meal. Many shops also offer oden together with rice, miso soup and pickles, teishoku-style.

    There are several theories around as to why the people of Himeji started mixing ginger in their soy sauce. While no one knows for sure, the most likely one has to do with the fact that food resources were scarce during the years after World War II. Many people had to resort to simple foods such as Tofu and eggs, and putting the easily obtainable ginger into the mix to add a bit of flavour became a widespread practice in Himeji back then.

    Himeji Oden

    Himeji Oden

    Himeji Oden

    Himeji Oden

    千姫茶屋
    place
    兵庫県姫路市本町68-290 イーグレひめじ1F
    phone
    0792884567
    no image

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