Sunday, November 2, 2014

Akihabara Canned Ramen, Oden, and Bread (Vending Machines too!)

Good, tasty, things can come in cans.  Over here in North America, you're more used to canned soup/stew/chili, or canned meat like SPAM, ham, salmon or tuna.  In Japan, there are canned stews called oden that are a big favourite in the fall and winter months of the year.  In addition, Japan also has canned ramen and canned bread.  I've tried canned bread, but not the other two types myself. 

In Akihabara and other places you can find these types of canned food on the shelves and sometimes in vending machines.  Canned bread doesn't come from machines as far as I know, but you can find machines that will sell you hot canned oden and ramen.  In fact, Akihabara introduced hot canned oden as an innovation years ago.  Oden is just a savory stew with a variety of different Japanese stew ingredients such as konnyaku (from a taro family plant),  fish cakes, eggs, daikon radish (yum!) and other vegetables.  The canned ramen is a little different from regular raman as the noodles are made of  konjac (also used to make the konnyaku).  Konjac is a near zero calorie food and is used as a dieting food, but it retains its texture in the soup.  All of these canned goods come with pull tab tops for easy opening, and are ready to eat right from the can.  A folding fork is included for the soups.  You can read all about konjac here at Wikipedia.
 
Canned Oden Machine.  Photo used uner the creative commons license from Irrational Cat.

I previously wrote about where to find a canned ramen machine here as they aren't on every street corner.  http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/2014/07/akihabara-attractions-hotspots-guide.html  I'm not sure where to find the canned ramen machines though.  Leave a comment if you know where to find them.

Shirataki noodles as found in a Canadian supermarket.  These are very similar to the canned ramen noodles.  The Tofu ones add some carbs and protein to it, but don't have the same shelf life as the zero calorie regular shirataki noodle.  These are a traditional Japanese noodle too, so canned ramen is a new use of an old konjac item.
Canned ramen machine.  Photo used under the creative commons license from Karl Baron.
Sapporo canned ramen. Photo used under the creative commons license from Spilt Milk.
A display of canned ramen in an Akiba store.  There are plenty of varieties.  Photo used under the creative commons license from Miki Yoshihito.
Canned bread from the Anime Center in Akihabara. 
Canned bread is pretty interesting too.  It has a long shelf-life and tasted pretty good.  I blogged about canned bread previously here: http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/2013/04/canned-bread-and-other-interesting.html


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