Sumo Stew
(Chanko-nabe)

A non-fattening version of a favorite sumo meal


1 bunch choy sum or baby bok choy (see Hint below)
lb spinach
1 large carrot
1 leek (1-in. diameter), white part only
1 C daikon (see below for substitutes)
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
package lite tofu, firm or extra firm, cut into l-inch squares

Cooking Sauce:
2 cups vegetable broth or dashi (recipe available on this site)
C seaweed (kombu, hijiki, etc.)
1 C water
C low-salt soy sauce or tamari
1/3 C mirin (sweet rice wine for cooking)

Lemon wedges
Hot cooked brown rice


Cook rice. Cut leek diagonally into 1/2-inch lengths. Slice carrot in coins. Cut daikon 1/8 inch thick, then cut into 1 by 2 inch pieces. Discard mushroom stems; cut caps in half (rehydrate in warm water for 10 minutes if dried). Split choy sum lengthwise. Remove coarse stems from spinach; rinse leaves. Arrange vegetables attractively on a platter; cover and chill until ready to cook. In a small pan, combine cooking sauce ingredients and heat to simmering.
Place all vegetables except spinach in a deep frying pan or wok, keeping each ingredient separate. Pour cooking sauce over them and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 4 or 5 minutes. Turn vegetables as needed during cooking, but keep each in its own place. Put spinach around the edge of pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Ladle tofu, vegetables, and broth into deep soup bowls. Squeeze lemon wedges on individual servings. Serve with rice.

2 servings, each 284.6 calories: 7% from fat (2.3 g), 69% from carbohydrates (51.9 g), 25% from protein (18.7 g). Sodium 1406 mg, Fiber 12.4 g.
(Calculated with C rice)


Healing Heart Hints

Chanko is often cooked and served at the table, with each person adding more ingredients as the meal progresses. The broth becomes richer, with some people drinking it as a soup at the end.

Bok choy (pak choi) is often called Chinese cabbage. Choi sum is a similar cabbage with small yellow flowers. Both can be found at many Asian grocers. If this cannot be found, use Napa cabbage.

Mirin is a sweetened, fermented rice sauce, often made from rice wine. A dry white wine, with added honey or other sweeteners to about the sweetness of apple juice concentrate, can substitute for mirin.

Daikon, an Asian type of turnip, can be replaced with jicama or a white root vegetable.

Potatoes, aburage (fried tofu) and other ingredients are often added, depending on regional preferences.

This dish is high in sodium, but that can be reduced by using less soy sauce.


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