This is a slow-simmering pot that can cook for as little as 30 minutes or as long as several hours. Reheated, even days later, it tastes just as delicious. Serve oden as a main course with lots of hot white rice and a variety of colorful pickled vegetables.
It is a very simple matter to make the basic fish paste in a food processor, blender or even a meat grinder. (The traditional Japanese method is to chop the fish fine, then grind it in a serrated mortar.) Coarsely chop the fish fillets and feed them into your machine (if using a meat grinder, put it through twice) and continue to mash and grind the fish until it forms a smooth, glossy mass. Add the flour and cornstarch and turn on your machine for a few seconds to blend it in. (If you are using a meat grinder, transfer the ground fish to a bowl and beat in the remaining ingredients with a fork or whip.) Add the egg and salt and blend again.
Peel the burdock root, cut it lengthwise into 4 strips, and soak them in a small bowl of cold water for a few minutes while preparing the shrimp. Remove the shells of the shrimp, leaving the tail sections intact. Devein, then score the underbelly lightly to prevent them from curling up when frying. Pat dry the burdock strips and the shrimp.
Lightly oil a plate, then your hands. Scoop up about
Heat your oil for deep frying to a medium temperature (300–325 degrees F.) and fry the filled fish dumplings, a few at a time, until golden and cooked throughout (about 5 minutes). Drain them well on paper towels.
Cut the konnyaku cake into
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.