All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Tomato to satsumaage, kabu no oden / oden stew with tomatoes, deep-fried fishcakes and Japanese turnips

A summery oden stew with ripe tomatoes. The soft acidity of tomatoes lightens this oden, making it perfect for hot days when you have little appetite.


2 ripe tomatoes
2-4 satsumaage deep-fried fishcakes
4-6 kabu Japanese turnips
500 cc katsuo dashi
500 cc water + 7cm- or 8cm-square kombu kelp piece
4 tbsp sake
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce


Soak kombu in water, ideally for 30 minutes or longer.


Pour boiling water over satsumaage to get rid of extra oil.


Core tomatoes, cut skin crisscross, blanch for 40-50 seconds, and transfer to ice water. 


Peel tomato skin.
Skin kabu. Peel kabu thickly if skin is fibrous (often the case with large kabu).


Heat kombu water on low.
When water is warm, add satsumaage, and continue to heat.

Remove kombu before boiling.


Add katsuodashi, sake and kabu, and simmer on medium low to low heat for 10-15 minutes until kabu is soft. 


Add tomatoes and salt, and continue simmering for 20 minutes. 


Add soy sauce, and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Remove from heat, and cool.


When ready to serve, heat up.
Serve with karashi mustard (not in photo).

  • Ripe yet still firm tomatoes work best.
  • If using vacuum-packed satsumaage, boil them instead of pouring boiling water over, as they are much greasier.
  • If you use 1000cc katsuo-kobu dashi, you can simply start cooking satumaage and kabu.
  • To prevent tomato surface from crumbling, simmer at the point where broth is only quietly bubbling.
  • Ingredients absorb flavor while cooling. Without cooling and reheating, this dish would taste rather bland.
  • Daikon radish can substitute for kabu. If using daikon, prep boil with rice grains or water from rinsing rice to ensure softness at the end.
  • Atsuage deep-fried tofu together with animal protein items such as tsumire fishballs, chikuwa grilled fishcakes or hard-boiled eggs is a good substitute for satsumaage. (Atsuage alone would make the dish taste more subtle.)

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