Chanko Nabe (Sumo Soup)

Is it a faux pas to talk about what you did on Valentine's Day? If it is, I'm sorry in advance. I'm pretty sure this Vday was my all-time favorite. Not because it was fancy, or present-filled, as it was neither. Instead, it was simple and cozy and perfectly us. We started the day with coffee in bed and later that morning Moses picked up some bunches of pretty ranunculus. After that, the day was pretty much a normal day. That is until Moses cooked dinner (!!!). Guys, he cooked dinner--BIG DEAL. The menu went: filet mignon, smashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, and bruschetta with buratta. For dessert, he whipped up banana splits and I taught him how to brûlée the bananas with a blow torch. He then proclaimed that brûléed bananas are the only bananas we should have moving forward. We ended the night with a new episode of This is Us, and I cried my eyes out. Pretty much the best day ever. 


Since Tuesday was so epic, the pressure was def on yesterday. I decided to follow up Vday with a super simple, extra yummy chanko nabe. I mean, who doesn't love SUMO soup. In case you're like what's sumo 🤔 , I got you... go here. Basically, this soup is something that came out of sumo wrestler's kitchens, and is something they make on the reg, so you know it's super hearty. But what's nice is that it's not in the least bit heavy. The soup broth is clear and flavorful, and you cook all the veggies and meat all in it, so they too are super tasty. While, a donabe pot is the traditional vessel for this dish, I found that American Kitchen Cookware's 10-inch Premium Stainless Steel Casserole Pan worked like a charm. What I love about this pan is that it's handcrafted in the United States, in West Bend, Wisconsin to be exact, and it's made with the highest grade of responsibly sourced stainless steel and aluminum available. Basically, it's made to perform, and def a good choice for a sumo soup. 

And SURPRISE!! The kind folks over at American Kitchen Cookware have been kind enough to offer to giveaway a 2-piece set of cookware to one lucky winner!! Yup, you can be the proud new owner of some American Kitchen Cookware, whose parent company is Regal Ware. They've been manufacturing quality stuff for over 100 years and they offer a Lifetime Warranty on everything they make!! All you have to do to enter is fill out the little widget below and tell me what you're gonna make first with your new set by lunchtime (noon PST) next week Thursday, February 23. Of course I feel like this Chanko Nabe is a great dish to make in this pan, but obviously, sky's the limit with these beauties!!


Serves 4 to 6


DASHI (Yields ~5 c.)

  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 2 2 ½- x 5-inch pieces of kombu
  • 3 cups (katsuobushi) bonito flakes


  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 c. boiling hot water
  • 5 c. dashi
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. sake
  • 1/4 c. mirin
  • 1/2 of a small nappa cabbage, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 – 2 stalks bok choy, cut in half
  • 1 block firm silken tofu, cut into 1 - 2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut at an angle into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 6 stalks green onions, diagonally cut into 3-inch segments
  • 3 oz. fish cake, thinly sliced, crosswise
  • 2 -3 pieces of aburaage (fried bean curd)
  • 1 bunch bunapi mushrooms, bottom trimmed off


  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken meat
  • 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced, crosswise
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2-inch segment of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • Freshly cracked black pepper



DASHI (Yields ~5 c.)

  1. Clean the kombu with a wet paper towel, then place in a pan soak for 30 minutes in the 6 cups of filtered water.

  2.  Bring to a boil over medium heat in 10-inch casserole pan or another low wide pan and remove the kombu from the water right before it comes to a rolling boil. Turn up the heat to high, and let come to a rolling boil for one minute then turn off heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the bonito flakes then bring back to a rolling boil. Let boil for 30 seconds then turn off the heat. Let cool for 10 minutes then strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel. Set aside for Chanko Nabe. Wash out pan for use later.


  1. In a medium bowl, pour boiling hot water over dried shiitake mushrooms and place a smaller bowl on top of the mushrooms, to weigh them down. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes, then squeeze out all the liquid from the mushrooms, back into the bowl, then strain the soaking liquid through a paper towel lined fine mesh sieve. Add to the dashi. 
  2. Next add 1/4 cup soy sauce, sake, and mirin to the dashi and set aside. 
  3. Place chopped cabbage, bok choy, tofu, carrot, green onion segments, fish cake, aburaage, bunapi mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  4. To make the meatballs, mix the ground chicken, thinly sliced green onions, cornstarch, grated ginger, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and freshly cracked pepper (to taste) in a small bowl with your hands. Use a small cookie scoop or your hands to form balls, and place on a parchment lined plate on your baking sheet. 
  5. Now bring your dashi mixture to a simmer over medium heat in the same pan you used earlier. Add meatballs first and cook for a few minutes before adding the remaining vegetables, tofu, fish cake, and aburaage. Cook for 15-20 minutes, then serve straight out of the pan in small bowls with chopsticks and soup spoons. Small bowls of hot steamed rice are recommended! Enjoy!

This post was sponsored by American Kitchen Cookware! All thoughts and opinions are my own and I love that they're making quality cookware in America!