Clear Japanese Onion Soup Recipe

japanese clear onion soup

Japanese onion soup is very mild traditionally – there is no overwhelming onion flavor. Instead everything is well balanced and it’s a light and fragrant soup. You can make an authentic clear Japanese onion soup recipe as it is, or you might prefer to tweak the ingredients a little.

Throw in some extra shiitake mushrooms if you like and maybe a couple of chopped green onions. Some of the vegetables are strained out of the soup before you serve it, so add anything you like for extra flavor.

You don’t have to use shiitake mushrooms in this Japanese onion soup recipe. Any mushrooms will give it a nice earthy flavor so you can use any kind of fresh mushrooms you happen to have.

This is a great appetizer before any kind of main dish, because it offers a light taste without being too filling. This Japanese onion soup is very different to most French onion soup recipes. But if you enjoy eating onions and you like soup, it does make a nice change.

Easy Japaneasy: How to Make Clear Onion Soup

Roughly, chopped vegetables are cooked for 45 minutes to make a tasty broth and then mushrooms are added. French onion soup can be a meal in itself, especially if you have plenty of cheese on top and a big serving but this Asian onion soup is more of a light appetizer than a whole meal. You could even enjoy a cup as a drink instead of coffee or tea – why not!

This clear Japanese onion soup is nice served in little porcelain bowls with Asian soupspoons if you have them. This is a delicious soup which is simple to make and very healthy. Actually, a lot of Japanese recipes are quite nutritious and healthy and this nice broth is a favorite in Japan. The rate of obesity in Japan is much lower than in some other countries (not including sumo wrestlers, of course!)

Now, if you’re an onion soup fan, you might also like to try authentic British onion soup with cider. You might even like to grow your own onions if you enjoy gardening as well as sipping authentic Japanese soup recipes!


Clear Japanese Onion Soup Recipe

This soup is aromatic and simple in the Japanese style, featuring vegetables along with ginger, chives and garlic for added flavor and appeal. It’s easy and very tasty. Feel free to change up the veggies and make this soup recipe your own.

The key to making a good Japanese soup is to keep the recipe simple. A lot of popular Japanese soups are made with miso paste, water and very little else. In this one, the onions are paired with other ingredients and the seasonings are kept deliberately simple, so nothing can overpower any of the delicate vegetable flavors.

Soup is often served as an appetizer in Japan, enjoyed before the main dishes are presented. If you want an Asian appetizer, this is a light refreshing soup recipe to choose.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • ½ chopped stalk of celery
  • 1 cup (handful) sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup (handful) chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 3 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 2 quarts (2 liters) water
  • ½ chopped carrot
  • 1 minced garlic clove



  1. Put the onions, celery, ginger, carrot, garlic, and about ¼ of the mushrooms in a big pot.
  2. Add the beef bouillon granules, chicken broth and water.
  3. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over a high heat.
  4. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to medium and let your clear Japanese onion soup cook for 45 minutes.
  5. Put the rest of the mushrooms in another big pot.
  6. Put a strainer over the pot with the mushrooms in it and strain the cooked soup into the pot with the mushrooms.
  7. Now, cook the soup with the mushrooms in it for 3 minutes and discard the strained materials.
  8. Serve the soup in small bowls with fresh chives sprinkled over.


  • You can use garlic puree and/or ginger puree from a jar/tube in place of fresh.
  • I usually double the garlic because I love it!
  • If you don’t want to strain and discard the vegetables, cut them smaller and peel the carrots so you have small pieces. Or else add extra ones to the soup near the end.
  • Feel free to use other mushroom varieties – there are lots to choose from!

Keywords: Japanese onion soup, clear Japanese onion soup recipe, clear onion soup recipe, clear soup, how to make Japanese onion soup

japanese clear onion soup