Tag Archives: Oden

Shizuoka Oden Fair Starting Tomorrow!

One of the most celebrated traditional gastronomic events in Shizuoka City (and Japan), the Shizuoka (Shizooka in local dialect) Oden Fair will be held from Friday, February 10th to Sunday, February 12th!

The event has expanded and will be held in five different locales:
-Aoi Square/青スクエアAoba Park/青葉公園・青葉シンボルロード
Time: 11:00~20:00

-Gofuku Cho Doori/呉服町通り/Shichiken-cho Doori/七間町通り and Koya Machi/紺屋町
Time: 11:00~17:00

Many shops, restaurants and izakayas from Shizuoka will sell Shizuoka-Style Oden and more shops from other parts of Japan and even a few foreign restaurants will be doing the same in Aoba Park and Aoi Square.

One the other hand, more shops from Shizuoka will sell Shizuoka-Style oden, and more shops from other areas of Shizuoka Prefecture will serve local specialties in Shichiken-cho., Gofuku Cho and Koya Machi.

Do come early as it promises to be very busy and crazy like in precedent years (and probably more! LOL).

Check the official Japanese HOMEPAGE!

Reports coming soon, of course!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Oden Fair 2011!

Yamako’s miso oden!

The Shizuoka (Shizooka in local dialect) Oden fair 2011 has finally come to us.
It has become a yearly event reported by all TV’s (local and more and more national), newspapers and various media. Actually reporting on such an event turns into a major TV crew dodging exercise!

Unfortunately today was cold and rainy, but it separated the true officionados from the casual visitors!
Sunday promises for clear skies and it will a real tussle!

When it comes to oden, I do have my preferences, some of them very subjective due to the fact I have some friends in the business such as Yamako/山幸 in Mariko, Shizuoka City!

Pose!
The Kondohs are being helped by their friends working at Yamanashi Clinic in Shizuoka City!

They offered one of the most complete assortment with oden, bento rice, tororojiru, soup and what else.

My favourite: Yamako’s miso oden!

Having fun!

The whole event is worth a whole tour and a second one and a benediction for photographers who want to discover real Japanese life!

But there are also a lot of foreign residents in Japan with their own version of oden!
The above stall was selling Korean oden!
They were certainly very loud about it! LOL

Korean oden. Very large!

The stand of the Shizuoka Oden Lovers Association!

They had the merit to serve great Shizuoka sake!

My other favourite stand by Annam, the best Vietnamese restaurant in the whole Prefecture!

Very welcoming ladies!
Actually they were very professional and devoted to their customer who flocked at their stand!

Vietnamese oden!

The oden dish of the day:
Vietnamese oden served with noodles in Pho Soup!

Alright I’ll go there again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow for further investigation!

The event is held in two different locales until the 13th:
-Aoba Park/青葉公園・青葉シンボルロード and Aoba Square:青葉スクエア
Time: 11:00~20:00

-Shichiken-cho Doori/七間町通り and Gofujuku-cho Doori/呉服町通り
Time: 11:00~17:00

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
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Yamako: A tiny Izakaya Hidden in the Mountains of Mariko!

Hiroyuki and Mie Kondoh/近藤広幸、美枝

If you feel energetic (mind you, you can go there by car, but then no alcohol! LOL), take your bicycle and venture in the mountains of Mariko, one of the most celebrated stages on the Old Tokaido Road.

After all, it is only a 50-minute ride from Shizuoka JR Station. You can also take a bus until very near and walk for 1.5 km through real rural Japan!

There, you will find, almost at the end of the road, a tiny izakaya called !Yamako/山幸”/”Mountain Happiness”!
It was re-opened by the amiable Kondohs 10 years ago after Mie’s father passed away.

It is a microcosm of old Japan with its small wooden side entry to a minuscule park with flowering trees.

Nice place to sit waiting for your turn!

A view of the same from inside the tatami room.

The tatami room where up to 10 people can sit.

The inside is all old wood making for a great atmosphere.
The above picture was taken inside the other room where 5 can be seated at a table on chairs.

At lunch time you have a choice of three sets:
Tororo soba, 900 yen
Zaru Soba: 700 yen
Sansai Soba: 800 yen

I chose the latter.
Very tasty and healthy!

For (early) dinner you can either take the 2,000 yen set which makes for quite a lot of food or you can have a large plate of oden for 1,200 yen.
But it is possible to arrange for a more complete meal according to a pre-arranged budget through reservation on the phone.

They have plenty to drink for thirsty people including beer and local sake (Morimoto and Aoshima Breweries!), in glasses or bottles for the latter.

They also provide a large BBQ site just beside the izakaya I had the luck to use last year!

Know there is a tiny haven waiting for you at the end of a nice journey!

Yamako/山幸
Shizuoka Shi, Suruga Ku, Mariko, 6088
Tel. & Fax: 054-257-3228
Opening hours: 11:00~19:00 (Please call for a reservation if you come after 13:00!)
Closed on Tuesdays
Credit cards OK (within reasonability!)
Reservations expressly recommended!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Oden Fair Coming Soon!

One of the most celebrated traditional gastronomic events in Shizuoka City (and Japan), the Shizuoka (Shizooka in local dialect) Oden Fair will be held from Friday, February 11th to Sunday, February 12th!

The event will be held in two different locales:
-Aoba Park/青葉公園・青葉シンボルロード and Aoba Square:青葉スクエア
Time: 11:00~20:00

-Shichiken-cho Doori/七間町通り and Gofujuku-cho Doori/呉服町通り
Time: 11:00~17:00

No less than 17 shops, restaurants and izakayas from Shizuoka will sell Shizuoka-Style Oden and 6 shops from other parts of Japan and one foreign will be doing the same in Aoba Park.

One the other hand, 11 shops from Shizuoka will sell Shizuoka-Style oden, and 6 shops from other areas of Shizuoka Prefecture will serve local specialties in Shichiken-cho.

Do come early as it promises to be very busy and crazy like in precedent years (and probably more! LOL).

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Oden at Yasaitei

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: very clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden.

I’ve already extensively written about oden the Japanese comfort food, but it is always a pleasure to introduce restaurants and izakayas awhich serve the higher quality.
Yasaitei has been introduced in this blog for its vegan delights many a time, but it also serves very extravagant oden I might need a couple articles on that single subject!).

But let’s start from the beginning!

Like in most izakayas, a o-toshi/snack will come with the first drink (bear in mind that you ususally have to pay for it!). Teh quality of that very snack is good indication of the level attained by the establishment!

“Shugijku no goma ae”: Edible Spring Chrysanthemum leaves (lightly boiled) and thinly cut (and fried) aburaage (deep-fried tofu sheets) seasoned with a sesame dressing.

In Yasaitei, I usually order shochu as they have a few from Shizuoka Prefecture on hand.
This particular one is a favourite of mine. It is a kome shochu/rice shochu called Doman, the name of a rare crab found in Hamana lakein the Western part of Shizuoka Prefecture. The shochu is distilled by Tenjingura-Hamamatsu Brewery.

As for the oden served in Yasaitei they are Kansai/Western Japan style, that is they are stewed in very clear broth with an accent on light flavours. Yasaitei will serve the combination of your choice with a small piece of yuzu lime in the broth, plenty of finely chopped scallions and some yuzu koshio/lime and pepper seasoning mixture.

There is no way I could order all the varieties in one serving, so I decided for 5 of them and will taste the others next time!
Looking from the left, you will noticethe little piece of yuzu floating. Just touching the lime pice is a “ganmo”, a light variety of deep-fried tofu, very fluffy and containg little bits of vegetables and seaweed.
The egg itself has been boiled and then slowly stewed in the broth.
The two balls skered on a stick are “shinjyo age”, fish paste which had been deep-fried first. The two grayish slices in front are “Suji” made of sardine and other fish paste. Not to be confused with the eponymous “suji”, meaning beef tendons, which are also a popular oden morsel. The tube on the right is “chikuwa”, made from fish paste like kamaboko, then stuck around a stick and grilled.
All ingredients have simmered in the broth (around 80 degrees Ceksus) for some time, although not as long as Typical Shizuoka oden.

For a closer view.
It is very healthy food, although packed with good calories!

For a side view. The spoon is lacquered, very soft on the tongue!

YASAITEI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 20 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Shizuoka Oden Festival!

The 2010 Shizuoka Oden Festival kicked off today!
I made a quick visit in-bewteen work to have a quick snack!

Going to the Aoba Koen/Aoba Park Street behind the City Hall, one just could miss it clearly markde as it was giant red lanterns with “ODEN” wrote on them (in Japanese only, mind you!).

Now, choosing one was a bit of a dilemna!
Knowing that the festival would last until Sunday, I decided to wait until a particularly big and troublesome local TV crew left the premises to get some hot food and a glas of local sake!

The great thing about these oden foodstands (they actually were held by regular izakaya in town) is that most of them made an effort to serve local Shizuoka sake.
Above picture shows Masu Ichi Brewery (Shizuoka City), Shidaizumi Brewery (Fujieda City) and Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City)!

But the one I had chosen today (I’m planning to go there again during the week-end!) had some unusual sake:
Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City), Kumpai Brewery (Shizuoka City) and Kansagawa Brewery (Yui)!

This foodstand had been erected by “Showa Hormone Izakaya, south of Shizuoka JR Station.

All oden were very typical of Shizuoka-Style (almost every region in Japan has its own style) oden.

In Shizuoka, most oden are skewered with a stick for easier consumption.

“Motsu/kind of tripe”, also very popular here!

Pity I couldn’t tay all evening there. The Festival is held between 5 and 7 p.m. for 3 days. I wonder why they choose the colder time of the year. LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, Warren Bobrow, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor, Wheeling Gourmet, Chef de Plunge, Sushi Nomads, Island Vittles, Jefferson’s Table, Rubber Slippers in Italy, The London Foodie

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi,
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Oden: A Shizuoka Delicacy!

Dark Shizuoka Oden

When winter seems bent on holding us company and taking a sadistic pleasure listening to our moans, everything to warm up our bodies is welcome.
The Japanese have come up with the ideal solution: Oden (おでん)!
The beauty of it is that it is sustaining food, quite cheap fare by this country standards and very comforting.

For a closer look!

Oden has a long history. It can be traced back to Edo times when it was called Kanto-daki/関東煮, meaning Kanto region stew. At the time it was mainly made with strong soy sauce and soup stock extracted from a combination of konbu/seaweed, whale meat and beef tendons.
The whalemeat has disappeared but the broth is still made with the same soy sauce, seaweed and beef tendons in the east of Japan.
On the other hand, many contend that Oden was originally what is now commonly called misodengaku or simply dengaku. Take your pick!

Dark Shizuoka Oden again!

It can be found all over the Japanese archipelago all year round (not only in winter!) in many guises and many trends, although it can roughly be divided into three categories:
-Simmered in a light broth most popular in the Kansai Region/Western Japan.
-Served with Miso, notably in the Nagoya area.
-Cooked in a dark soup in the Kanto Region/Eastern Japan.
Many people will argue that each region, or even city, has its own original brand of oden, and they might be right as ingredients greatly vary although the three above methods prevail.
The Japanese are so entrenched in their fondness of oden that regular TV shows extol the virtues of their national comfort food with “talents” recruited in each Prefecture on a single stage!

Even darker Shizuoka Oden!

But wherever you go, look forward to sampling common ingredients:
-Eggs: they are first boiled before being skewered and left in the broth. Actually skewering oden is far from being universal. But the sticks attached to them will certainly help you when choose them out of impossibly dark soup in Shizuoka!
-Potatoes: popular almost everywhere, they are seemingly a favorite of expats.
Now, have you ever wondered how potatoes do not break up being left for ages in hot broth and roughly manipulated around?
The potatoes are first boiled to about 80% and then plunged into ice water or immediately locked in a fridge. Do not be worried when the local odenyasan/oden shop owner opens his/her fridge for more potatoes to add into the broth, but choose them with a nice color when fishing them out!
-Daikon, or Japanese long radish: these are also prepared like potatoes to ensure they do not break.
-Konnyaku: Devil’s Tongue tuber jelly: some odenya will serve it in thick triangular or rectangular pieces or as ito konnyaku/konnyaku vermicelli.
-Tofu or bean curd: it is usually of the harder kind and seared first before plunging them in the broth.

Out of the pot!

Oden is often sold from food carts, and most Japanese convenience stores now have simmering oden pots in winter containing different kinds of oden sold, with single-ingredient varieties as cheap as 50 yen.

You can of course buy any ingredients of your liking, cook them in your preferred broth at home with hot Japanese mustard and some beer or (hot) sake like many do in Japanese households.

As served in Odenya!

But the best way to enjoy oden and discover their varieties is to eat outside with a mind to have a (few) drinks on your own or with special company!

Shizuoka Aoba Koen Oden Alley!

Now Shizuoka Oden has probably become the most famous (maybe notorious?) variety in Japan.
In an era when so-called B-Gourmet, or even C-Gourmet (Japanese expressions!) have become a regular feature on TV and other media, Shizuoka is not following the norms.
Odenya there serve a dark (and even black to visitors from Kansai who favour a light dashi!) broth flavored with beef stock and strong soy sauce. Moreover all ingredients are skewered, that for “true” Shizuoka Oden. Another peculiarity is that they are served with a powdery mixture of dried ground fish (sardine, mackerel or bonito shavings) and aonori (edible seaweed). More often customers will be handed plates and allowed to take out their preferred morsels and spoon out some oden seasoning powder they will liberally sprinkle over their food. On top of this the same customers will add hot Japanese mustard from one of the pots on the table or counter.

Shizuoka Oden Pack

Visitors from other regions might entertain some reservations when witnessing Shizuokans choose with utmost care the oldest pieces, some of them eggs which have become a solid burnt brown on the outside or triangular pieces of fish paste that no one else would be able to recognize as such!

Now, if you have the occasion to stop and visit Shizuoka City (other areas in the prefecture do also have their own peculiar tidbits on offer like beef lungs in Gotenba!), go to Aoba Koen Park Street.
The whole park used to be lined with yatai/food stands serving oden and drinks from as early as 3 o’clock in the afternoon (some still do) until the wee hours of the morning.
But a new hygiene law in the 1960’s forced them into moving inside alleys and corridors between other buildings where the became Aoba Oden Alleys.
They totalled at least 36 shops at the present, all with their specialties and famous characters. Actually an official pamphlet lists more than 80 specialized odenya and more than 300 izakayas serving real Shizuoka Oden!

Shizuoka Oden Festival Poster.

Every year a Shizuoka Oden Festival is held in mid-February in the Aoba Koen and Gofuku-cho area for the pleasure all, adults and children, day or night, Japanese or expats!
The perfect comfort food with superlative Shizuoka Sake!

For people who do not have the time to visit Shizuoka, oden are sold in tins, cans, and bags on the Shizuoka JR Station platforms!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Bread + Butter, Comestilblog, Greedy Girl, Bouchon For 2, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Mangantayon, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles, Lexi, Culinary Musings, Eats and Everything, Bite Me New England, Heather Sweet, Warren Bobrow, 5 Star Foodie, Frank Fariello, Oyster Culture, Ramendo, Alchemist Chef, Ochikeron, Mrs. Lavendula, The Gipsy Chef, Spirited Miu Flavor, Wheeling Gourmet, Chef de Plunge, Sushi Nomads, Island Vittles, Jefferson’s Table, Rubber Slippers in Italy, The London Foodie

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi,
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