Chanko nabe is a hearty Japanese stew, with a dashi base, swimming with meat and vegetables. It sounds delicious. We would ask for seconds – maybe. It’s also the food of choice for sumo wrestlers, who use it to bulk up. How many portions of chanko nabe do they consume a day? Around 10.
The sumo soup is sold in a number of restaurants in Japan, often run by ex-sumos, like Sitoshi Kitayama, who features in the video from Great Big Story below. Kitayama knows his chanko nobe – it helped propel him to the rank of sekiwake (the third highest) over a near 20-year sumo career.
Sumos will eat rice alongside each portion of chanko nabe, but don’t worry it’s actually pretty healthy if you consume it in reasonable amounts. The pay-off in the video is great: “Basically, I love eating a lot,” says Kitayama.