6 large outer cabbage leaves
24 large spinach leaves
6cm daikon radish, peeled
1 medium orange kūmara, peeled
10g soup seaweed such as wakame or nori fronds
80g (about 8) fried tofu (I use shop-bought), halved
300g white fish fillet, boned
1 egg white
a 3cm-piece ginger, peeled and grated
15g chives or coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
6cm daikon radish, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons plain oil
10g kombu
300g squid, cleaned if necessary and cut into bite-sized pieces
6g bonito flakes
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sake (optional)

Oden is a simmered stew/soup with various components that soak up the flavours of the broth. The dish can include many speciality Japanese ingredients such as konnyaku jelly cake and different varieties of prepared fish cakes. This is a simplified version with easy-to-find ingredients. Fish cakes are very popular, so I have incorporated a homemade version in my oden along with a slow-cooked squid dashi broth. The broth has a subtle soy and fish flavour, but if you like a punchier broth stir in a couple of tablespoons of miso at the end.

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2.Cut the fish into small pieces, put into a food processor and pulse to chop it up.
3.Add the egg white, ginger, chives or coriander, carrot, daikon and cornflour and tamari and pulse to a rough paste.
4.Scoop heaped tablespoons of the fish and, with wet hands, form into patties.
5.Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low-medium heat and cook the patties for 2 minutes each side until golden and cooked through.
6.Cool and refrigerate until needed. They will keep for up to 2 days.
8.If you have a large piece of kombu, make a few cuts in it to maximise its surface area.
9.Put it in a large saucepan with 2 litres water. Cover and set aside for up to 2 hours.
10.Add the squid to the pan and very slowly bring to a simmer, spooning off any scum (this will take about 20 minutes as you don’t want it to boil).
11.When it comes to a simmer, remove the kombu immediately.
12.Add the bonito flakes, bring back to a simmer then turn off the heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Strain the broth.
13.Pick out the squid, wash off any bonito and add the squid back to the broth, discarding the bonito.
14.Stir in the tamari, mirin and sake if using, cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
15.TO SERVE, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and have a bowl of iced water ready.
16.Blanch the cabbage leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute until tender then cool immediately in the iced water.
17.Repeat with the spinach, blanching for 10 seconds.
18.Lay one cabbage leaf on the bench and cut in half, cutting out and discarding the stem.
19.Place two spinach leaves to cover each piece of cabbage, put one piece of cabbage on top of the other and roll up tightly.
20.Cut into four and spear in twos with a toothpick.
21.Repeat with the remaining cabbage and spinach and set aside.
22.Cut the daikon in half lengthwise then into 1cm slices.
23.Cut the kūmara in half lengthwise then into 1.5cm slices.
24.Bring the dashi back to a simmer.
25.Add the daikon to the dashi and simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the kūmara and seaweed and cooking for 10 minutes.
26.Add the fish cakes and tofu and simmer for a few minutes to heat through.
27.To serve, divide the oden and the cabbage and spinach rolls between six warmed bowls and serve immediately.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles