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Oden for Naomi

From Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking

Oden is a traditional Japanese stew, enjoyed especially during the colder months. It is cooked family-style on the table and eaten from the pot. Oden consists of tofu, daikon, and a wide variety of other ingredients in a broth and is frequently accompanied by hot sake. It is prepared both in the countryside and in the cities, where it is associated with taverns and spicy toppings and dressings.

2 strips kombu, soaked and sliced into 3- to 4-inch-long strips

2 cups daikon, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

4 to 5 shiitake mushrooms, soaked stemmed, and halved

Dark sesame oil

5 to 6 slices firm tofu, 3 by 2 by 1/2-inch thick

Spring water

Shoyu

Tie each kombu strip into a bow, with the knot in the center of the kombu strip. Place the kombu in one section of a pot. Add the daikon round in the pot next to the kombu bows and shiitake next to the daikon. Place a little oil in a skillet and lightly pan-fry each othe tofu slices on both sides for a few minutes. Add the tofu slices to the pot next tot he shiitake and kombu. Each of the ingredients should have its own separate section in the pot. Do not mix or layer the ingredients. Add water to half cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the daikon is soft and translucent. Season with a little shoyu to taste and cook until there is only about 1/4 cup of liquid left. Transfer to a dish and serve.

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