Monday, November 16

Recipe: Chanko nabe (Sumo Stew)

As the weather grows colder, stews become very appealing for their ability to ward off the chill. Keeping this in mind today's recipe is just that, a stew. Not just any stew though, this is chanko nabe. This is the meal that helps sumo wrestlers beef up. Hearty and filling, the stew alone won't pack on the pounds but it will help cut the edge off of a cold evening. For more information on the history of chanko nabe head over to Banzuke.

Ingredients: (ingredients in orange available at the store)

3 lbs. chicken bones
1 2.8-oz. package abura-age (deep-fried tofu), cut into large pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 medium potato, peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise, and blanched
2" piece daikon, peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise, and blanched
1 small carrot, trimmed, peeled, sliced on the bias, and blanched
1 leek, white part only, trimmed, washed, and sliced on the bias
1/4 head napa cabbage, cored and cut into large pieces
4 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
10 oz. yaki-dofu (grilled tofu), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2"-thick pieces
1/2lb. boneless chicken thighs. cut into thin strips
1/2 lb. very thinly sliced prime rib eye of beef
1 lb. udon noodles


Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Put chicken bones and fried tofu into 2 separate colanders set in sink and pour two-thirds of the boiling water over the bones to rinse off any impurities and the remaining boiling water over the tofu to rinse off excess oil. Transfer bones to the medium pot and set tofu aside to drain.

Add garlic and 14 cups cold water to pot with bones and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until broth has reduced by one-third, about 21/2 hours. Strain broth into a clean, wide medium pot, discarding solids, and skim off fat.

At the table, set pot on a portable stove in center of table, add soy sauce and mirin, season to taste with salt, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Add about one-third of the potatoes, daikon, carrots, leeks, cabbage, mushrooms, grilled tofu. chicken, and fried tofu to simmering broth.

Cook until vegetables begin to soften and chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add about one-third of the beef. Simmer until just cooked through, about 1 minute.

Once all the vegetables, tofu, chicken, greens, and beef have been eaten, use a small sieve to pick out scraps. Bring remaining broth in pot back to a simmer, add noodles, and simmer until cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Serve in individual bowls.

Picture courtesy: w00kie

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