Let's explore Japanese cuisine: Chanko-nabe

09 Nov 2009 11:29 PM | Deleted user


Some of you may have watched Sumo match, but probably not many have tried ‘Chanko-nabe’.  Whether you have had it previously or not, today let’s take a Japanese cuisine exploration together and even try to learn more about Japanese culture!


So what’s Chanko-nabe, anyway?  It is one-pot meal which Sumo wrestlers have every day to build up strength.  At the Sumo stable (‘heya’ in Japanese) where wrestlers train and live, normally junior wrestlers prepare Chanko-nabe and they put various ingredients such as chicken, tofu and vegetables into it.  Nowadays it is not just Sumo wrestlers’ dish, and it is popular food served at the restaurants, owned by retired sumo wrestlers in some cases.  Now that we have learnt the basic things, let’s actually go to a Chanko-nabe restaurant and try it!






Here we are in Ryogoku area where the Kokugikan (National Sports Arena) and many of chanko-nabe restaurants are located.  This time, the newsletter editor chose this restaurant called ‘Yoshiba’, because…






At the center of the restaurant is a real sumo ring (‘dohyo’ in Japanese)!  This all-cypress restaurant was once a sumo stable for former Miyagi-beya, where Yokozuna champion, Yoshiba yama trained.  While we are curiously looking at sumo pictures on the wall, coaster with dohyo picture on it and so on, here comes Chanko-nabe!






Shrimp, scallop, minced fish, pork, chicken, vegetables…a total of 17 ingredients are being stewed in this pot.  To be honest, when the server opened the lid for us, the editor first thought that it is not different from ordinary nabe dishes, but once the editor had a bite, this is heaven!  Particularly the soup is tasty and well-flavored.


Well, how was the Japanese cuisine exploration this time?  The restaurant ‘Yoshiba’ was featured in this issue, but there are more to explore in Ryogoku and other areas.  Now it is your turn to take us to other restaurant and send a report to your humble editor. 


Bon appetit!


For the listing of Chanko-nabe restaurants in Ryogoku, please go to

http://gourmet.goo.ne.jp/special/chanko/ryogoku.html (in Japanese)


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