Chanko nabe is a component of sumo wrestler fuel. But chanko nabe is not like Furious Pete eating a giant burger or Matt Stonie attempting to eat 8 sticks of butter. This is a nutrient-rich and low-fat chicken and vegetable stew. It becomes part of a weight gain regime if you consume a big pot of it by yourself and with a bucket of rice.
Here I tried a recipe for a day in the slow cooker, but 4-6 hours would have been better than 8. Everything can be prepared the night before, but don’t add the broth until just before cooking time.
Slow Cooker Chanko Nabe
Serves: 4-6, or 1-2 sumo wrestlers
Time: 20 min prep + 4-6 h in the slow cooker
- 500-600 g ground chicken
- 8 young green onions, divided into:
- white parts sliced thinly
- green parts in less thin slices, for near the end
- 2 Tbsp miso
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 of cabbage in small pieces – I used some sort of Chinese cabbage.
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 250 g daikon or lo bak, peeled and cut into chunks
- 250 g carrot, cut into chunks – I cut some baby carrots in half
- 8 button or crimini mushrooms, cut in half if they’re big
- 150 g shimeji mushrooms, with the connecting base stem removed
- 1400 ml dashi or chicken broth, more/less depending on your slow cooker size
- 100 g fried tofu, in bite-size pieces
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken, white parts of the green onions, miso, and ginger to make a sticky meat paste.
- With wet hands, roll the meat paste into golf ball-sized meat balls. Set aside.
- In the slow cooker, put cabbage on the bottom until the slow cooker is about 1/3 full. Then add the onion, daikon, carrot, mushrooms, and meatballs.
- Pour your broth into the slow cooker until the solid ingredients are just covered by liquid.
- Set the slow cooker to low for 6-8 hours.
- Add the fried tofu pieces and the green parts of the green onion, and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
- Serve hot and, if you like, with rice or noodles.