Chanko Nabe ちゃんこ鍋 – A Nutritious Japanese Soup

Traditionally this soup uses a dashi or chicken stock base. But I typically use dried bonito flakes – beautiful flavor. Bonito is also known as skip jack tuna.

I turn to this when I need to detox or lose weight – for it makes me full yet not a lot of calories 🤭

Oh yes – gluten-free, egg-free and soy free!

INGREDIENTS (4 servings):

  • ~18 gluten free & egg free boiled meat balls
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 brown crimini mushrooms, rinsed
  • 4 green onion stalks, washed
  • 4 nappa cabbage leaves, washed
  • 4 bunches of baby bok choy, washed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and washed
  • 1 thick slice of fresh peeled ginger
  • 250g daikon radish, peeled
  • 5g dried bonito flakes – see Photo A below
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: 1 pack of konjac noodles


  1. Cut carrots into 1/4 inch thick, biased cut slices.
  2. Cut daikon into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Then quarter them.
  3. Cut nappa cabbage leaves into 1 inch squares.
  4. Cut green onions into 2 inch sections. Separate white parts from green parts – see Photo B below.
  5. Bring 3.5 litres of water to a boil in a large pot.
  6. When boiling, add 2 tbsp salt, ginger slice and bonito flakes.
  7. Boil for 15 mins. Then pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large pot. Add the ginger slice into the broth. Discard the bonito flakes.
  8. Bring to a boil.
  9. Add cooked meat balls. Boil 5 mins, remove any scum.
  10. Add carrot, garlic, mushrooms, daikon and white parts of the green onion into the soup.
  11. Cover pot with lid and simmer over medium heat for 30 mins.
  12. Add nappa cabbage, baby bok choy and remaining green onion pieces. Boil 3 mins.
  13. Add salt to taste.
  14. Portion out cooked konjac noodles into serving bowls. Then add soup and its ingredients over it.
  15. Ready to serve. This broth is packed with flavor + nutrients, remember to drink it all🥣

How to cook konjac noodles:

  1. Rinse konjac noodles under cold running water for 2 mins.
  2. Add konjac noodles and enough cold water to cover it into a pot.
  3. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 mins.
  4. Strain and set aside until Chanko Nabe soup is ready.
Chanko Nabe ready to be served.
Photo A: 5g pack of Dried Bonito Flakes
Photo B: Greens onion stalks cut into sections
Photo C: Chanko Nabe almost ready
So good!

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