Chanko Nabe: Hotpot with Robust Recipes

Eat Like a Japanese Sumo Wrestler

Sumo, Japan’s national sport, has developed over 2000 years of Japanese history. As a sport, it is unparalleled in the world. Chanko-nabe refers to a hot pot (nabe) with a mixture of nutritious, body-building ingredients collectively referred to as “chanko.” This traditional stew consists of a mixture of fish, meat, and vegetables. It has the virtue of being simple, easy to prepare in large quantities, and, most of all, nutritious. Chanko-nabe is a staple of sumo wrestlers from the time they are first introduced to the sport.   

Chanko-nabe, as a popular dish, has its roots in the late Meiji era (1868-1912). Long a staple food in sumo stables, it is said to have been introduced to the general public by a retired sumo wrestler. 

Traditional chanko is called soppu-taki; it is made with chicken broth. Soppu is from the Dutch word for “soep” (soup in English). The traditional soup is made by adding chicken meat, vegetables, and deep-fried tofu to a chicken soup seasoned with soy sauce and sake. 

Traditionally, chanko-nabe has used chicken as an ingredient or broth. Four-legged meat such as that from four-legged animals such as cows and pigs are avoided due to a superstition associated with “touching the hand” (i.e., losing). Why don’t you savor the best chanko-nabe and feel like a Japanese sumo wrestler? 

Click to view Best Chanko Nabe Restaurants in Tokyo

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