Chanko Nabe – Sumo wrestlers’ hot pot

It’s been so warm these last couple of days in Calgary. Yesterday the temperature hit a high of 11 C. Plus 11 C in January is pretty amazing, but we are still in the winter. Let me talk about Japan’s winter cuisine, “Nabe (hot pot)” and warm you up to get through the winter.



One of the popular nabe is “Chanko Nabe”, a Japanese style stew or one-pot dish known as sumo wrestlers’ weight-gain diet. Chanko Nabe is actually very nutritious and balanced diet with protein sources (chicken, fish, tofu, beef, etc…) and lots of vegetables. Usually in sumo stables, wrestlers cook and eat Chanko Nabe with lots of rice after hard training and take a nap right away; that’s why they bulk up fast.

A great thing about Chanko Nabe is that there is no fixed recipe or ingredients, so you can easily cook it at home with whatever you want to add. You use chicken broth as base, but you can add miso (bean paste) or soy sauce to enjoy different taste. For ingredients, chicken, meatballs and Asian mushrooms (e.g. Shiitake, Enokitake) makes Chanko Nabe very tasty. But gain, you can use anything you like.

If you like to try authentic sumo wrestlers’ Chanko Nabe, there are many restaurants all over Japan owned by retired sumo wrestlers. Sumo wrestlers’ hot pot is becoming very popular these days. If you ever go to Japan, try one of the restaurants in Tokyo mentioned on the website:


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