With colder, wet weather upon us, I found myself craving soup and decided to try my hand at a Japanese delicacy I had heard about before. Chanko-nabe is a common dish for sumo wrestlers in Japan, known for its high protein content. There really is no set recipe for the dish other than typically a dashi- or miso-based broth along with various meats and lots of vegetables. This sounded like an easily modified soup for Paleo purposes, obviously omitting the udon or rice that would usually accompany the meal since I’m not trying to gain weight like a sumo.
For my first attempt at Chanko, I used ingredients almost exclusively from Trader Joe’s for ease in shopping. Since the dashi base has soy, I opted to mimic it by using a piece of kombu seaweed (from Whole Foods) with the low-sodium chicken broth from Trader Joe’s. As I’ve posted before, I heart my crockpot, and used it for this soup since it would allow the mix to slowly come together with minimal supervision. Here’s what I threw in the mix:
I seasoned with salt to taste along with some Coconut Aminos, a tasty soy sauce substitute I read about from Whole9. While it doesn’t look spectacular in pictures, it was actually quite delicious and filling. The next time I make some, I would likely include some bok choy or other greens and maybe try some more Japanese ingredients like bonito flakes, shiitake and enoki mushrooms and daikon.
I will not be bringing samples in for everyone (sorry, Ruth spoils you). However, if you’re interested to try some of the real deal before making your own, I’m looking at getting together a post-WOD excursion to Shinsengumi Chanko in Gardena where they make chanko-nabe to order. They do require reservations, so speak up if you’re interested so we can get a head count and plan an evening accordingly!
Front Squat 3×3
33 Double Unders