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Japanese Spicy Soup


This soup is called “Chanko Nabe” in Japan and is served tableside, as a hot pot. We served it straight from the stove, and it was wonderfully spicy and warming! Use any combination of vegetables you like in this soup.

Serves 4.


  • 3 Tbsp chili bean sauce (Toban Djan)
  • 4 Tbsp Chinese chili oil
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 1 tsp golden raisins
  • 2 Tbsp chicken style vegetarian broth mix
  • 5 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 c water
  • 2 star anise seed pods
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 dry Japanese chili peppers (Chili Japones)
  • 3 small potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 6 dry shitaki mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 small parsnip, sliced
  • 4 c chopped cabbage
  • 4 c chopped kale


  1. In a large, heavy pot, place the chili bean sauce, Chinese chili oil, dates, golden raisins, chicken style vegetarian broth mix, garlic, ginger root and water; stir well.
  2. In a small spice bag or sachet, place the star anise, peppercorns and dry Japanese chili peppers.; add to the pot. (You may place these directly in the soup, but you will have to fish them out when soup is done.)
  3. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the potatoes and shitaki mushrooms. Simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and parsnips; continue to simmer 7 minutes more.
  5. Add kale and cabbage; simmer another 4 minutes.
  6. Remove the spice bag and any hard spices that escaped. Serve hot.

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