Monday, 14 September 2020

Chanko Nabe : Food for the Sumos

Some years ago while watching TV, a documentary about sumo wrestlers came on. Oh! How interesting!

When I was a child, I was very fascinated by these huge bulky men (wearing very little clothing during competition) who wrestled one another inside a small ring.

I was also rather curious. What did they eat to get so big? The segment on their daily diet came on and I was very surprised to see that they ate a soup that had lots of vegetables and meat called chanko nabe.

Wow! That is healthy food. You can put on so much weight with healthy food? Well, if eaten in abundance, the added  calories will make you gain weight.

The sumo wrestlers don't stop at just one bowl, they eat many bowls. Then they take a nap after lunch, and that my friend will guarantee weight gain. I know because that is what always happens whenever my brother and I return to Kuala Terengganu hah..hah...

In Japan, there are restaurants that specialize in chanko nabe and anyone who wants to have a taste of the food for sumos can get the opportunity.


You can certainly make your own at home because chanko nabe is not difficult to cook. It is basically a soup made with broth, like chicken broth, and some seasonings and aromatics are added - sake, mirin, soya sauce, garlic and ginger.

Well, my version did not contain any of that but I think it can still qualify as a chanko nabe because chanko nabe is basically a hotpot dish - broth with proteins and veggies. I used my homemade bone broth and added whatever veggies I had in the fridge. I also added meatballs and tofu  as my proteins.


Come to think of it, this is not fattening food (if taken in normal portions). In fact it is very wholesome, nutritious and delicious. I believe if you eat this daily (you can make different versions by adding different seasonings and ingredients) and do some exercise, you can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.


Many years ago when I first moved into my home and started cooking, I used to eat soups like this quite frequently (because of the easy preparation) and I lost weight without even trying.  

That's what I should do right now. Eat like a sumo but not end up looking like one hah..hah...

27 comments:

  1. Haha. I used to watch wrestling as a kid. Last time, tv channels mostly shown basketballs or wrestling. We only got to watch tv1, tv2 and tv3, not much choice.

    Your soup was so hearty.

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  2. Clear soup? I like!!! I hear the wrestlers eat trays and trays of eggs every day! I do not eat so much, how come my body like that leh? Muahahahahahaha!!!!!

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  3. This definitely a versatile and wholesome one pot dish that packs with nutrition! One pot is enough for a meal,no need to cook other dishes, LOL

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  4. I watched sumo wrestling too during my younger days....that time not much of variety to watch on TV, so just watch whatever shown...including sumo...lolx! I always thought these sumo wrestler eat lotsa rice and chicken....rupa rupanya is this magical soup!

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    Replies
    1. hah..hah...this magical soup I am going to eat very often!

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  5. I love this kind of soup. Not oily, healthy and delicious!

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    Replies
    1. It's an all in one dish, just add a small bowl of rice and it is a complete meal :)

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  6. I don't mind having this type of soup for my meals. Easy to cook and delicious too.

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    Replies
    1. Just need to wash only one pot hee..hee...

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  7. I love all the ingredients in your blue cast iron pot (is it a cast iron pot?), Especially the tofu and napa cabbage. Yummy yum yums! 😋😋😋

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    1. Yes, so worth it I bought this cast iron pot!

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  8. This soup looks amazing :) I would love to have this as a meal. So easy and all the food value is in one meal.

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  9. A very balanced sumo meal, I can say! hahahaa... Yes, no carbs will not make us gain weight so easily... Since the lockdown is lifted, I easily gained 2kg in a very short time, that is why I am trying to cut down my rice intake nowadays.

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    Replies
    1. I also put on weight but I am now eating rice pulak hah..hah..

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  10. Everything is about small portions, I guess
    The soup looks delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Portion control is key. I have to keep reminding myself!

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  11. Yes, eating soups like these will certainly help one reduce weight. I love soups (and eat them often) but it can't fill me up for long and I end up eating it with rice, so the reduce weight scenario goes out the door but it certainly qualifies as healthy food...lol! I'm so gonna make this :) P/S: I see your nicely laid out layers of tofu (that is silken tofu, right?) but I can never get it out of the box all intact like that. Any tips you can share on how to do that? ;)

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    1. A bowl of rice with this soup is fine. Just stick to one bowl and make it a small bowl hah..hah.. (I am issuing this reminder to myself). I used firm/pressed tofu (it said so on the box). To get the tofu out nicely, just run the tip of your knife over all four sides of the plastic cover. Remove the plastic cover and flip the box on your hand (over the sink of course) and the tofu will come out in one piece. Just gently transfer onto a plate or cutting board. I learnt this from a Youtube video :)

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  12. Replies
    1. Next time I will do with one whole chicken. Lagi sedap!

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  13. this does look a lot more wholesome than my daily diet! maybe modern sumo wrestlers eat pizzas and burgers :D

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    Replies
    1. LOL! Perhaps they do - on their cheat day!

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  14. This kind of soup is so healthy! A lot of vegetables inside. Those who dislike veges will only eat the meat instead. Haha! Since it can be actually done at home, maybe I will try to do it in my own version I guess..

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