Oden Satsumage – video

Oden is one of the oldest fast foods in Japan, with roots stretching back hundreds of years.

The word “oden” is usually written phonetically in hiragana, but when written with kanji the “den” is the character for “rice field” (the “o” is honorific). The predecessor of oden is miso dengaku, and the word dengaku celebrated for rice planting was performed by villagers either at the New Year or during the planting season in early summer. The a rice planting and harvest ritual dance where dengaku-hōshi (priests) clad in white hakama (traditional  trousers) and colorful coats dance on tall bamboo stilts. (internet)

Satsuma-age is a fried fishcake originating from south Japan in Kagoshima. There isn’t any magic, it is surimi and flour is mixed to make a compact paste that is solidified through frying.

The paste is made from fish and seasoned with salt, sugar, and other spices and molded into several shapes. It is made not only from ground fish but can include beni shōga, onion, and other vegetables, or in this case they use shrimp paste.

Surumi isn’t typically made in Kyoto and when compared with the industrial type sold in America best known as the fake crab used in sushi rolls – its a different matter all together.