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+ servings
5 from 2 votes
Chanko Nabe cooked in a large clay pot.
Chanko Nabe (Sumo Wrestler Hot Pot)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Chicken Broth
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins

Chanko Nabe is a hot pot dish consumed by sumo wrestlers. The chicken based broth and lots of different ingredients are so delicious.

Just like any other hot pot dishes, the list of ingredients is long but you don't have to have all ingredients.

Time to make Tsukune is not included. I separated the time to make Chicken Broth since it can be made ahead of time. Cook Time is only to make Chanko Nabe Broth as you only need to prepare the hot pot dish and let the diners cook.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted, and this recipe, so you can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chicken broth, hot pot, Japanese hot pot, sumo stew
Serves: 2
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
Chicken Broth (make ahead)
  • 1000ml / 2.1pt water
  • 1 whole chicken carcass cut to half (about 600g)
  • 1 piece konbu (5cm x 10cm / 2” x 4”)
Chanko Nabe Broth
  • 750ml / 1.6pt chicken broth (made per the instruction, note 1)
  • 100ml / 3.4oz cooking sake
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
Chanko Nabe Ingredients
  • 6 Tsukune balls (note 2)
  • 100g / 3.5oz pork belly thinly sliced
  • 100g / 3.5oz chicken thigh fillet cut to bite size pieces
  • 1 cluster bok choy (about 60g / 2.1oz)
  • 150g / 5.3oz Chinese cabbage leaves
  • 35g / 1.2oz carrot
  • 1 stem shallot/scallions
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms
  • 25g / 0.9oz enoki mushrooms
  • 4 slices kamaboko (5mm / 3⁄16" thick)
Chicken Broth (make ahead)
  1. Soak the konbu in a bowl of water (you will use this water later).

  2. Bring water (not in ingredients) in a large pot to a boil, add the chicken carcass.
  3. When it starts boiling again and the surface of the chicken carcass becomes white, drain and rinse the chicken carcass well, removing guts and other brown bits.

  4. Add the chicken carcass and the konbu to the pot. Add 1000ml / 2.1pt water including the water from the konbu to the pot and bring it to a boil.

  5. Remove scum and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for minimum 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour. Remove scum occasionally until no more brownish scum comes to the top.

  6. Put through a sieve. If the amount of broth is less than 750ml / 1.6pt, add water.

Chanko Nabe Broth
  1. Add all the Chanko Nabe Broth ingredients in a pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat off and leave until required.
Preparing Ingredients
  1. Bok choy: Remove outer leaves. Cut the central cluster of small leaves vertically to half or quarters depending on the thickness of the cluster. Wash well, particularly at the bottom of the stems where dirt collects. If the outer leaves are large, diagonally cut in half.

  2. Chinese cabbage: If the leaf and the stem is very wide, halve vertically, then slice leaves diagonally. To diagonally slice, place the stem-end to the left (for a right hander) on the cutting board. Place a knife diagonally tilted to the right and slice the leaf diagonally to 5cm / 2” long pieces, by placing a knife.
  3. Carrot: Cut a carrot to 5cm / 2” long, then slice vertically to 2-3mm / 1⁄16- ⅛” thick. If the rectangle is very wide, halve it vertically. Alternatively, slice the carrot diagonally.
  4. Shallot/Scallions: Diagonally cut to 5cm / 2” long.
  5. Shiitake mushrooms: Remove the stems. To decorate shiitake head (optional), make a shallow V-shape cut in the middle of the head, then another V-shape cut perpendicular to the first cut, making a cross (see the photo in the post).
  6. Enoki mushrooms: Trim the end of the stems that are woody. If mushrooms are stuck together at the bottom, divide it into smaller bunches.

  1. Place all the ingredients in a pot (note 3), clustering each ingredient together.
  2. Add the broth to the pot and heat the pot on a portable stove (note 4).
  3. Serve with small serving bowls.
Recipe Notes

1.   If the chicken broth you made from scratch per this recipe is not enough, add water to make it 750ml / 1.6pt.

If you are in a hurry and do not have time to make chicken broth from scratch, skip the instructions for Chicken Broth and substitute 750ml / 1.6pt of chicken broth with 1 tablespoon of powdered chicken broth diluted in 750ml / 1.6pt boiling water. Omit salt as the powdered chicken bouillon usually contain sufficient amount of salt. Then, adjust the saltiness to your palate.

Asian chicken bouillon powder is the best for this hot pot, e.g. the Lee Kum Kee chicken bouillon powder that is sold at Asian grocery stores (see the photo in the post).

Do not use the Western-style chicken soup stock as the flavour is quite different.

2. Unless you are making Chanko Nabe soon after making Tsukune, it is a bit of an effort to make only a half dozen Tsukune for the hot pot. I usually save some when making Tsukune and freeze them. Thaw in the microwave before using.

3. A clay pot like the one in the post is ideal as it retains heat very well. If using a cooking pot, use a shallow pot of at least 10cm / 4” deep but not too deep. If the pot is too deep, it will be difficult to pick up food from the pot.

4. If you don’t have a portable stove to cook Chanko Nabe at the dining table, you can cook it on the cooktop and serve when all ingredients are cooked through.

5. After eating all the ingredients, you can add noodles to finish the meal. Since the broth is chicken based, either udon noodles or ramen noodles are best suited.

Alternatively, you can add cooked rice and make Zōsui.

6. Nutrition per serving. Assumed that only a half of the broth is consumed. Since working out the nutrition details for the home-made broth is difficult, I assumed the broth is made with chicken powder.

serving: 577g calories: 650kcal fat: 49g (75%) saturated fat: 16g (80%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 7.9g monounsaturated fat: 22g cholesterol: 165mg (55%) sodium: 547mg (23%) potassium: 1044mg (30%) carbohydrates: 18g (6%) dietary fibre: 3.2g (13%) sugar: 7.7g protein: 28g vitamin a: 154% vitamin c: 86% calcium: 12% iron: 15%