December 23, 2011

Oden for Christmas/クリスマスにおでん

I'm still playing with the five new knives I got recently. This morning, I cut a block of konnyaku with my new sashimi knife. I thought, "What will I do with this konnyaku?" I decided to make oden partly because we still have several daikon left in our house and mainly because I wanted to have something light for the Christmas season. I'm still on a diet, and I don't want to gain weight in the holiday season!
Eight eggs, 1 1/2 daikon, and 16 rectangles of konnyaku made from a single block
卵8個、大根1 1/2本、一つのこんにゃくから作った三角形16個。

While cutting the konnyaku with the sashimi knife, I accidentally cut myself!
The cut is very shallow but rather long, requiring two Band-Aids.

Now I have four knives in the storage space under the sink:
Left to right: New sashimi knife, Shigefusa petty (paring) knife, new mioroshi-deba knife, and Shigefusa nakiri.
左から右へ: 新しい刺身包丁、重房のペティーナイフ、新しい身おろし出刃包丁、重房の菜切り。

And, today, by using two empty milk cartons, I have made a storage box for the three new knives, santoku, petty (paring) knife, and mukimono knife:
Don't laugh! I'm quite satisfied with my idea (laugh).


muskratbyte said...

How ironic, I just posted about oden yesterday! I've never used eggs in oden before - I should try it. I'm very impressed by your knife collection. The milk carton is a creative temporary storage solution.

In some kitchens I've seen magnet strips which are attached to a wall or inside a cupboard, which are specifically to hold knives. Do they sell these in Japan? It might be a good storage solution for you.

Fräulein Trude said...

Somehow I feel very guilty, for telling you the story about blood tax, very guilty ごめんなさい。 Looking at your knife-storage system I found something which could please your craftsmanship instincts too:
The german text says: use left over ply wood, wood glue and many bamboo skrewers (and nothing more)... just click from image 1 - 6.

Hiroyuki said...

muskratbyte: Did I say it was "temporary"? (laugh) I think I can find the "magnet strips" somewhere, but the problem with me is that I don't want to spend money for such things...

I will search for good materials for making a knife storage box or something the next time I go to the 100-yen shop.

Kiki: Do you think I have paid enough blood tax? (laugh)
I wasn't used to the long blade of the sashimi knife, and obviously a sashimi knife is not suitable for cutting konnnyaku. It was totally my fault.

Thanks for the link. As I suggested above, I will try to make a nice storage box with minimum spending and a lot of creativity!

Ruminating Roy said...

Before we moved into a place with less storage space than before, my wife and I had a small modular wood and bamboo cutlery tray which I used to store my sashimi and nakiri knives as well as the usual European style knives and a few odd bits for food preparation. It had been a left-over piece from a kitchen gift set someone had given us, if I recall correctly.

I'm very taken by the storage set you have under your sink, I think I need to find one of those for my kitchen!

Hiroyuki said...

Ruminating Roy: The "storage set" is pre-installed. Most kitchens in Japan have this type of under-the-sink knife storage space.
(When you ever come to Japan, you will be surprised to see how small the kitchen is.)

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, your storage box isn't funny at all: it's extremely inventive! I will remember it (I have problems with knife storage, but for now I only have two knives I don't know how to store... if I have more I will use your trick!)
The bad side of new knives is they always cut (at least I have this experience with every new knife). Luckily it was shallow! Your knives look as if they could cut off a finger easily!
I cannot believe the knife storage space is in most houses! It is very intelligent!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Necessity is the mother of invention. In Japan, houses, especially those in large cities like Tokyo, are very small, and kithens are small, too. The Japanese have invented a large number of storage solutions, some of which are really fascinating.

Arthur3030 said...

I’ve read about oden for many years, but I’ve never made it myself. But yesterday when I read your blog, I decided the time had come. I found fresh daikon and eggs at my normal market and made a quick trip to a small Japanese market to find both kamaboko and a Japanese fish roll with gobo inside (gobou maki?).

Afterward, I read all your oden entries and made a delicious oden for Christmas Eve dinner. It was very simple with daikon, eggs, konnyaku, kamaboko, and gobou-maki. My broth was 12:1:1, so probably too strong for your family, but I enjoyed it.

So, Merry Christmas from the USA, and thank you for all the things you share with us.

Hiroyuki said...

Arthur3030: Merry Christmas from Japan!

Yes, gobo(u) maki ごぼう巻き.

I'm glad that you liked your oden. I, for one, use a 12:1:1 ratio for hot udon.