Recipe Chanko Nabe

Chanko Nabe is a hearty and nutritious Japanese hot pot dish traditionally consumed by sumo wrestlers to build strength and gain weight. Packed with proteins, vegetables, and a flavorful broth, this dish is perfect for a communal meal. Here’s a comprehensive guide to making Chanko Nabe, including ingredients, preparation steps, tips, variations, calorie content, and a conclusion.

Ingredients

Broth

  • 4 cups dashi stock (can be made from dashi powder or kombu and bonito flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • Salt to taste

Proteins

  • 200g chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 200g firm tofu, cubed
  • 200g salmon fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 150g shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 150g thinly sliced pork belly (optional)

Vegetables

  • 1/2 head napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed
  • 2 carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1 daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 leek, sliced diagonally
  • 1 block konjac (optional), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced

Others

  • 200g udon noodles or rice
  • 1 block mochi (optional), cut into bite-sized pieces

Preparation Steps

1. Prepare the Broth

  1. In a large pot, bring the dashi stock to a gentle boil.
  2. Add soy sauce, mirin, sake, and a pinch of salt. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

2. Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Cut all the proteins and vegetables as described above.
  2. Arrange them on a large platter for easy access during cooking.

3. Cooking the Chanko Nabe

  1. Add the harder vegetables (napa cabbage, daikon radish, carrots) to the simmering broth first, as they take longer to cook.
  2. After 5-7 minutes, add the proteins (chicken, tofu, salmon, shrimp, pork belly) and the rest of the vegetables (spinach, shiitake mushrooms, leek, konjac).
  3. Let the ingredients cook through, occasionally skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.

4. Adding Noodles or Rice

  1. Once the proteins and vegetables are cooked, add the udon noodles or a serving of rice.
  2. Allow the noodles to heat through for about 2-3 minutes.

5. Final Touches

  1. Add mochi pieces if desired and let them soften.
  2. Sprinkle sliced green onions on top before serving.

Tips

  • Dashi Stock: Use high-quality dashi for the best flavor. You can make it from scratch or use dashi granules.
  • Vegetable Variety: Feel free to include other vegetables like mushrooms, bok choy, or corn.
  • Protein Options: You can substitute or add other proteins like beef, fish balls, or scallops.
  • Cooking in Phases: Cook in phases to ensure everything is cooked perfectly. Start with hard vegetables, then add proteins, and finish with soft vegetables.
  • Serving: Serve Chanko Nabe directly from the pot, communal-style, or portioned into individual bowls.

Variations

  • Miso-Based Chanko Nabe: Add 2-3 tablespoons of miso paste to the broth for a richer, more savory flavor.
  • Spicy Chanko Nabe: Incorporate some chili paste or sliced chili peppers for a spicy kick.
  • Vegetarian Chanko Nabe: Replace the proteins with more varieties of tofu, mushrooms, and vegetables.

Calorie Content

The calorie content of Chanko Nabe can vary based on the ingredients used. Here’s a rough estimate for one serving (approximately 500g):

  • Chicken Thighs (200g): 430 kcal
  • Tofu (200g): 160 kcal
  • Salmon (200g): 410 kcal
  • Shrimp (150g): 140 kcal
  • Vegetables and Broth: 100-150 kcal
  • Udon Noodles (200g): 270 kcal
  • Total per Serving: Approximately 1510-1560 kcal

This dish is calorie-dense, which is suitable for those needing a high-calorie diet like sumo wrestlers. Adjust the portions to suit your dietary needs.

Conclusion

Chanko Nabe is a versatile and nourishing dish, perfect for communal dining. Its adaptability to various ingredients makes it a favorite in many households. By following this recipe, you can enjoy a taste of traditional Japanese cuisine that’s both delicious and fulfilling. Enjoy the rich flavors and warmth of Chanko Nabe with family and friends, savoring the balance of nutrition and taste in every bite.

Enjoy your cooking and savor the communal spirit of this traditional Japanese hot pot!

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