Instant Pot Sumo Soup (Chanko Nabe). Sumo wrestler soup, loaded with homemade meatballs, tofu, mushrooms, and chicken broth.
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. It’s a slim volume dedicated to, well, Japanese Hot Pots, and is a fantastic source of comfort meals.
Chanko Nabe is the hot pot I keep coming back to. It is the protein heavy soup that sumo wrestlers eat (and eat, and eat) to bulk up. Now, I may not want the bulk of a sumo, but they are on to something good with this soup. Chicken broth flavored with sake is used to simmer meatballs, tofu, mushrooms, and cabbage. (It’s an “everything leftover in the kitchen” type of soup, so if you’ve got other vegetables you want to add, throw them in there.)
The trick to this soup is homemade broth - it’s the trick to every soup, actually. If you don’t have homemade broth put aside, before you start this recipe, grab some chicken backs or a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store and get pressure cooking. Once you’ve made a soup with your own homemade broth, you will never want to go back to cartons of store-bought broth.
Most of the ingredients in this recipe can be found in a well-stocked modern grocery store. There were a few tricky ones for me, though. Miso is available at my local health food stores or Asian markets. Sake was at my local beverage store, but I had to dig for it - dry sherry or dry vermouth are OK substitutes.
The other tricky ingredient is Yuzu Kosho. It is a Japanese paste made from hot chilies, salt, and Yuzu, a citrus fruit that is kind of like a mandarin-orange sized grapefruit. (Hey, that’s the best explanation I can come up with for Yuzu.). I find it at Asian markets, and a spoon of it stirred in at the table adds a nice burst of citrus and heat to the soup. If you can’t find it, pass around a hot sauce like Sriracha or Gochujang at the table - they serve the same purpose of adding a bit of heat and vinegar to the bowl, even if they’re not very Japanese.
Recipe: Instant Pot Sumo Soup (Chanko Nabe)
Inspired by: Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono and Harris SalatPrint
Instant Pot Sumo Soup (Chanko Nabe). Sumo wrestler soup, loaded with homemade meatballs, tofu, mushrooms, and chicken broth. Inspired by: Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
- 1 ½ pounds ground chicken
- 1 tablespoon red or brown miso (or substitute soy sauce)
- 2 scallions, minced
- ½-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup Sake (or dry sherry, or dry vermouth)
- 4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade, from above, or store-bought low sodium)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ pound firm tofu, cut into 8 slices
- 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (about 12)
- 8 ounces Napa cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces (or shredded green cabbage)
- Minced scallions for garnish
- Yuzu Kosho (or another hot sauce) for garnish
- Shape the meatballs: Put the ground chicken in a large bowl, and add the miso paste. Sprinkle the scallion, ginger, bread crumbs, and salt over the meat. Work everything into the chicken until evenly mixed. Add the egg and work it into the chicken. Form the mix into 12 golf-ball sized meatballs, each about 2 inches in diameter.
- Simmer the sake, then everything in the pot: Place the meatballs into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, setting them in a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Set the pot to sauté mode (medium heat in a stovetop PC), then pour in the Sake. Bring the sake to a boil, then let it boil for 1 minute to cook off some of the alcohol. Pour in the chicken broth and (if using homemade broth) sprinkle with the salt. Add the crushed garlic, tofu and mushrooms to the broth, then sprinkle the cabbage over the top of everything.
- Pressure Cook for 10 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 8 minutes if using a stovetop pressure cooker. Let the pressure to come down naturally, about 20 minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, let the pressure come down for 15 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.)
- Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the extra minced scallions, and serve, passing the Yuzu Koshu at the table for diners to add themselves. Enjoy!
Can’t find Yuzu Koshu? Pass another Asian hot sauce at the table, like Sriracha or Gochujang.
Oh, OK, if you have to use store bought broth, you can. Just get low sodium broth, skip the extra salt in the recipe, and don’t tell me what you’re doing - I don’t want to know.
6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Japanese
Keywords: Instant Pot Sumo Soup (Chanko Nabe), Pressure Cooker Sumo Soup (Chanko Nabe)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Instant Pot Chicken Back Broth
Instant Pot Chinese Beef Noodle Soup with Short Ribs
Instant Pot Chinese Pork Meatballs (Lion’s Head meatballs)
Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes
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