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Chanko Nabe

Chanko Nabe: A One-Pot Dish for a Pot Belly


  • 1 ¾ lbs. chicken parts with bones
  • 3 quarts water
  • A 6-inch piece of kombu kelp, wiped with a damp cloth and lightly slashed to release flavor
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms trimmed
  • 12 oz. shirataki fine white konnyaku [devil’s tongue] noodles
  • 7 oz. spring onion white part only, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. mitsuba trefoil, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 block of grilled tofu drained and cut into 1-inch squares


  • Pour boiling water over the chicken parts to get rid of the odor. Place the chicken, kelp, water, and salt in a Donabe pot or deep soup pot over high heat. When nearly boiling, discard the kelp, turn heat down to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Skim off any scum. Remove the chicken to a bowl with a little stock to keep it moist; strain the rest of the stock and, if you prefer, let cool to room temperature and skim off excess fat.
  • Arrange all the ingredients on a large platter. Half-fill a deep casserole with stock and heat to boiling. Prepare a heat source at the dining table, transfer the casserole to it, and add some chicken, vegetables, and tofu. When just cooked through, allow guests to help themselves to a selection from the pot. Continue adding more ingredients as needed.