There are 10 types of oden ingredients to choose from.
In Japan, oden is a classic cold weather comfort dish. Akin to Japanese-style ‘yong tau foo’, the one-pot dish features ingredients like daikon, savoury konjac, fish cakes and eggs simmered in soy sauce-based dashi broth. Usually sold at little stalls and convenience stores, the oden is displayed in a large grid pot, where customers can choose their desired ingredients to go in a bowl with a helping of hot broth and a carb like udon or ramen. Despite the fact that it’s popular and easy to prepare (just throw the ingredients into broth and leave them to cook), oden stalls are not commonly found in Singapore. Don Don Donki briefly offered an oden concept, though that has since quietly disappeared from its mobile food halls. But recently, 8days.sg stumbled upon an oden stall called Oden & Men (men means noodles in Japanese) at &JOY Fiesta in Jurong Point, which serves a variety of oden goodies at $1.20 each.
The cute little takeaway stall has a basic setup with the requisite simmering oden pot.
The oden ingredients go for a flat $1.20 each, and there are 10 types, though not all of them were available during our visit.
They include Daikon (radish), Chikuwa (Japanese fish cake), Gomoku Age (deep-fried fish cake), Tamago (hard-boiled egg), Konnyaku (konjac), Hanpen (triangular-shaped fish paste), Gobomaki (Japanese ‘ngoh hiang’ log with a meat or fish cake-wrapped burdock root), Naruto (the cartoonish fish cake with a pink-and-white swirly design) and obscure-sounding items like Corn Chiri and Yasai Temp. We eyeball the ingredients while making our purchase, and the serving portions look pretty generous. For instance, you get half a naruto fish cake stick, a typically pricey item at Japanese supermarkets).
You can also add $1.50 for ramen, udon or harusame (Japanese glass noodles), or opt for a $6 noodle bowl which comes with your choice of carbs and four ingredients.
For a $6 bowl, our oden is very slurp-worthy, with flavourful broth loaded with the simmered goodies. The springy udon we pick is packed separately in a tiered tray so they wouldn’t get soggy on the way home.
Our favourite ingredient is this adorable ‘money bag’, a plump beancurd skin pouch stuffed with glass noodles and crunchy veggies like carrots, tied with a bit of kombu ribbon. Delish. Oden & Men is at &JOY Fiesta, B1 Jurong Point, 1 Jurong West Central 2, S648886. Photos: Yip Jieying
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