One of those is oden, a traditional, hearty Japanese stew. Ingredients vary by region, and well, by what you have on hand. But some of the ingredients that you could consider adding: potato, firm tofu, fresh spinach, fishcake, mochi cake (better if you deep fry them first). . .the possibilities are endless.
So, when I decided to cook up a quick pot of oden, I just used what I have on hand. Sometimes I like to make it spicy, this time I just stuck with the traditional.
4 cups Dashi stock for base (you can make your own with bonito flakes and kombu or use the instant dashi)
2 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp Sake
2-3 tbsp Miso paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 block Konnyaku
1 sliced green onion
1/4-1/2 package firm tofu, drained
1/2 package of your favorite fishcake (some asian supermarkets even sell a variety pack of various forms of fishcake)
Combine and heat dashi, mirin and sake. Heat to a low boil to burn off the alcohol. Lower temperature and add miso paste, whisk to combine. You'll want to avoid boiling this once you've added the miso. Cut and add the konnyaku. I like to cut 1/4 inch strips from the block, then cut a slit in the center, and tuck the top through the slit, in order to produce a pretty shape. Add the remaining ingredients. I like to let everything else simmer a bit, and add the sliced green onion right before serving.
Keep in mind, everything is to taste, so feel free to add more/less of the sake, mirin, miso and soy sauce to your taste. I hope you enjoy! Oden is quick, healthy and filling, and the perfect dish to enjoy in cold weather.