Seasonal Eats: Foods for Winter

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Days grow shorter and the air grows colder as winter approaches. In Japan, the seasonal shift means a new showcase of seasonal food. As a compliment to the cold weather, simmered dishes take center stage. Piping hot broth from nabe and oden, perfectly tender meat and potatoes in niku jaga, and even a sweet, soup-like dessert made of mochi and red beans called zenzai are staples of Japanese winter cuisine. The following five foods are favorites among Japanese people during the colder parts of the year.


Oden is a delicious dish made with fish cakes, chunks of vegetables and konnyaku all simmered together in a soy-sauce based broth. When eaten, the solid pieces are fished out of the broth and served piping hot, sometimes with a small amount of karashi mustard as a garnish. There is some variability to ingredients, but popular ones, aside from those already mentioned, include daikon radish pieces, lotus root chunks, strips of konbu tied into bows, hard boiled eggs, and miniature cabbage rolls. For a basic intro to oden, try one of our oden sets from the frozen foods section!