Japanese Clear Onion Soup

Pretty much every hibachi or Japanese restaurant serves a kind of clear-golden broth soup before the meal, usually with a salad and ginger dressing. This soup isn’t necessarily miso soup, although sometimes they will add a little miso paste (that’s the stuff floating around the bottom of the bowl) but the broth is just a simple clear onion soup that’s really easy to make at home.

I used baby bella and fresh shiitake mushrooms

I sliced them and put them in a soup pot

Along with sliced onions, carrots, garlic, and ginger.

Then I simmered them with beef stock, chicken stock, and water for about an hour.

Cooking this soup over a low heat for a longer amount of time helps maintain the clear color. Boiling it fast will get the same amount of flavor in the broth, but it will be more cloudy.

My broth got pretty dark:

I used a fine mesh strainer to strain out all the vegetables

And served the broth with paper-thin sliced mushrooms and green onions floating in it, just like at the restaurants :)

It’s kind of like a more flavorful version of American vegetable broth soup, with a distinctly Japanese flavor from the garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, and green onions.

My recipe makes about 6 or 8 servings, depending on how big the soup bowls are. I also froze some of the leftover soup in ice cube trays, and then put the cubes in a ziplock in the freezer so that I can reheat a few for a quick warming breakfast on a cold or rainy day!

Japanese Onion Soup


    3 fresh shiitake mushrooms

    1 cup sliced baby Portobello mushrooms

    ½ onion

    1/2 carrot

    1 Tablespoon chopped ginger

    1 clove garlic

    1 cup chicken stock

    2 cups beef stock

    3 cups water

    green onions and extra mushrooms for garnish


    Slice the mushrooms, onion, carrot, and chop the ginger and garlic.

    Put everything in a soup pot and cover it with the stock and water. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour.

    Strain out the vegetables and garlic and ginger, and serve the clear broth in soup bowls with finely sliced green onions and mushrooms on top.

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20 thoughts on “Japanese Clear Onion Soup

  1. Pingback: Fighting the Flu- Naturally | nmxmr BLOG

  2. OH MY GOSH. Thank you so much! I’ve been searching for this recipe for such a long time now, I LOVE the soup served as an appetizer at Sakura’s in glen burnie, MD! I can’t wait to try this recipe, I’m sure it will be delicious! :)

    • Hope it turns out great! And next time try checking the international section (with the Asian foods) for dried shiitake mushrooms. Those are carried in Asian grocery stores and they’re very easy to use, just soak a few in warm water for about five minutes and use them as you would fresh mushrooms! Thanks for trying my recipe :)

  3. What about the little tan looking crunches that some places use. There’s a Kyotos near me and its basically the same as above but just before serving it’s just the chopped onion greens and then the weird crunchy things. They’re really delicious! Just want to find out what they are so I can find them lol

  4. Delicious recipe. I did boil too fast apparently and it was a little cloudy. Making it again today with lower heat. I assume fried onions are the crunches that Chris Jones asked about. That’s what I used at serving at any rate.

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