Sunday, May 06, 2018

How To Do Chanko Nabe At Home

Chanko nabe, a.k.a. sumo stew, is the thing I crave when the temperature dips below 50 degrees and it starts to rain. It is, like all hot pot dishes, cold weather food. But this dish, which is famous because it's what Japanese sumo wrestlers eat to bulk up, is also pure comfort food. The problem is that there’s only one restaurant in OC that serves it: Torizo in Fountain Valley.

I love Torizo's chanko nabe, but not enough to endure the 405 at rush hour on a weeknight.

Fortunately, chanko nabe is not very hard to make at home. The broth can be dashi or chicken broth, flavored with sake or mirin, but the recipe is not hard set. So long as you have lots of vegetables and lots of protein, you can make chanko nabe and, most importantly, make it your own.

Actually, I take it back. To me, there are two things a chanko nabe has to have. One: there must be a tableside stove that keeps your pot simmering as you eat. Two: it must have homemade meatballs.

Typically, the meatballs are made from ground chicken, but I've made it with ground pork. It tastes just as good.

I'm not going to give you my recipe for the meatballs because I basically followed the one outlined by one of my favorite YouTube cooking shows, Cooking with Dog. Also, I don't need to tell you what other ingredients I dumped into my pot, because you can see it arranged in some sort of order in the video I shot above.

I follow the rule that anything that works well in a shabu shabu pot is fabulous in a chanko nabe. As they never overcook, mushrooms are ideal. And for me, tofu is always required. But the most important ingredient of all? Heat. Constant heat. Everything has to be piping hot from the first morsel to the last drop.

Chef Peter Hung - Garden Grove


At 12:38 PM, Blogger KirkK said...

Are you planning for a second...third career??? Just kidding.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Ha! At this rate, I'm well on my way into becoming the "sumomonster"!!


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