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Japanese Clear Soup – A Traditional Dish With Aromatic Flavors

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Step into the elegance of Japanese cuisine with our Japanese Clear Soup Recipe! Delight in the simplicity and purity of flavors as delicate broth dances with tender bites of mushrooms, scallions, and tofu. Each sip is a journey through the serene landscapes of Japan, capturing the essence of tradition and culinary finesse. Savory yet light, this soup is a gentle embrace for your taste buds, promising an unforgettable dining experience filled with harmony and grace.

Clear Soup or suimono is a traditional Japanese dish that uses easy-to-find ingredients (or at least easy to find in Japan) to produce a spicy, earthy, warming meal. 

Japanese Clear Soup

Using ingredients that are readily accessible in Japan, suimono transforms them into a harmonious blend of spicy, earthy, and warming elements. 

Each sip of this delicacy promises not only a burst of flavor but also a glimpse into the rich history and traditions of Japanese cuisine.

It serves as both a comfort dish and a culinary journey for those who partake.

What Is Japanese Clear Soup?

Some people would rather call suimono a broth than a soup because the result is very thin.

Because the Soup is thin, we wouldn’t call it a dinnertime meal unless you serve it alongside other Japanese food. Instead, it would do well as a light lunch.

The most important part of this Soup is its mushroom aesthetic. Although the liquid is somewhat clear (hence the name), the mushrooms stand out as the key visual in the meal.

Japanese Clear Soup

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto Replace carrots with lower-carb vegetables like zucchini. Use bone broth for added nutrients and flavor.
  • Paleo Skip the sesame seed oil and use avocado or coconut oil. Use Coconut Aminos instead of soy sauce.
  • Gluten-Free Make sure the broths and Coconut Aminos are certified gluten-free.
  • Whole30 Use homemade compliant broths and Coconut Aminos, and skip any processed seasonings.
  • Vegetarian Substitute chicken and beef broths with vegetable broth. You can add tofu for extra protein.
  • Vegan Along with using vegetable broth, replace any animal-derived ingredients with plant-based options. For umami, consider adding nutritional yeast.
Japanese Clear Soup

Recipe Directions

  1. Cooking: In a large pot, sauté carrots, ginger, onions, and garlic in sesame seed oil on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Blending: Add both broths and coconut aminos. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour, covered.
  3. Straining: Strain the liquid into another pot and discard the vegetables.
  4. Final Touches: Add scallions and mushrooms and simmer for 8 minutes.
  5. Serving: Serve hot.
Japanese Clear Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Seafood: Incorporate shrimp or fish for a maritime twist.
  • Vegetarian: Use vegetable broth and tofu cubes as a protein substitute.
  • Spicy: Add a chili oil or a few slices of jalapeño for heat.

Add-Ons

  • Protein: Chicken, tofu, or thinly sliced beef can add a satisfying protein punch.
  • Noodles: Add udon or soba noodles for a heartier version of the Soup.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach or bok choy can add color and nutrients.

Toppings

  • Herbs: Fresh parsley, cilantro, or even mint can bring a new layer of flavor.
  • Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds or flaxseeds can add a bit of crunch.
  • Citrus: A squirt of lime or lemon juice can elevate the entire dish with acidity.
Japanese Clear Soup

Can I Make Japanese Clear Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Add all your ingredients—except for items like scallions and mushrooms that you’ll add later—into the slow cooker. 
  • Set it low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Before serving, strain the liquid, return it to the cooker, add the remaining ingredients, and let them simmer until soft.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function for your initial sautéing of vegetables. Then add the broths and coconut aminos. Seal the lid, set it to manual pressure for 15 minutes, and quick-release. 
  • Strain and return the liquid to the pot to add the remaining ingredients and use the sauté function to simmer them.
Japanese Clear Soup

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

Store-Bought

  • Convenience is the primary benefit here. Look for high-quality, organic, and low-sodium options for better control over seasoning. Some even come with added flavors like herbs or garlic for extra depth.

Homemade

  • Making your broth allows complete control over ingredients and flavor profile. It can be more nutritious and free of preservatives or additives. Homemade broth can also be tailored to specific dietary requirements, such as low-sodium or vegetarian.
Japanese Clear Soup

How To Serve? 

  • Temperature: Ensure the Soup is served hot. Using a warmed bowl can help retain its temperature longer.
  • Presentation: Use deep, wide bowls to showcase the clear broth. Place a few pieces of vegetables or meat in the bowl’s center for visual appeal.
  • Garnish: Freshly chopped scallions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, or a dash of red pepper flakes can add color and flavor contrasts.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with a side of steamed white or brown rice or even traditional Japanese pickles.
  • Timing: Serve immediately after preparation to retain the flavors and warmth, ensuring the freshest taste experience.
Japanese Clear Soup

Perfect Side Dishes

With most Western foods, you expect to serve the Soup with a side of bread. However, in Eastern cultures, you can expect something called ichiju-sansai, which is “one soup, three sides.”

The sides are meant to offer balance. This balance is aimed at flavor, textures, and nutrition.

Japanese Clear Soup has a light texture, deep earthy flavors, and thin density.

We need dense food, light flavor, and exciting textures to balance this.

Remember that each bowl (including the clear Soup) should be small so we balance the total amount. The aim isn’t to overeat.

Hibachi Chicken

  • Hibachi chicken is considered a comfort food, just like clear Soup. With this side, we aim to balance the earthy flavors of suimono with the spicy and sweet flavors of Hibachi.
  • You’ll need chicken breast cut into chunks, mayonnaise, ground mustard powder, honey, coconut aminos, and garlic powder.
  • Mix all ingredients, minus the chicken, and let the chicken marinade in the flavors. After an hour, cook the chicken usually, and you’ll have a spicy and sweet side.
  • Many people would pair this chicken with vegetables cooked in the same sauce. Keep that in mind for any future recipes.

Lettuce Wraps

  • Lettuce wraps are no secret in the cooking world. Sprinkle some ingredients into the lettuce and wrap it like a tortilla. We will give you more direction, but that’s it.
  • Lettuce wraps are an excellent balance for Clear Soup because of the change in texture and temperature. Lettuces have a beautiful crack or snap, which directly contrasts the Soup’s smooth liquid texture.
  • To connect the food to our ensemble, we suggest using a Hibachi steak or Hibachi vegetable stuffing for the wrap.
  • This means using the same ingredients of mayonnaise, ground mustard powder, honey, coconut aminos, and garlic powder.
  • Mix them and then use them as a light sauce to drizzle across either steak and rice or cucumber and rice.
  • To create the wrap, lay your crisp lettuce down first, then the cold rice, the main topping (steak or cucumber), and the sauce.
  • You can serve this plate with extra sauce on the side.

Mushroom Fried Rice

  • Lastly, we want to bring the mushroom flavor back onto the table. It is the star of this meal, after all.
  • To make mushroom-fried rice, you’ll need rice, eggs, garlic, soy sauce, and mushrooms.
  • Cut up the mushrooms and garlic into small pieces. Cook the rice in boiling water, while in a pan, saute the mushrooms and garlic. Then add in the rice, soy sauce, and eggs. The eggs will combine the ingredients.
  • Once all is cooked, you can mold the rice into a bowl and serve it as your side.
Japanese Clear Soup

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Cool Down Quickly: Allow the Japanese Clear Soup to cool rapidly to room temperature after cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Strain and Store: Strain the soup to remove solids, then transfer it into airtight containers for storage.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: Place the containers of soup in the refrigerator promptly after cooling to maintain freshness and safety.
  • Consume Within 3 Days: Enjoy the stored soup within 3 days of refrigeration for optimal taste and quality.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat when ready to serve for a convenient and refreshing meal.
Japanese Clear Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Rice Add-in: Pour the Soup over steamed rice for a comforting rice porridge.
  • Stir-fry Base: A flavorful liquid base for stir-frying veggies or protein.
  • Noodle Soup: Introduce cooked ramen, udon, or soba noodles for a quick noodle soup meal.
  • Casserole Foundation: Incorporate into casseroles for enhanced moisture and taste.
  • Sauce Reduction: Simmer until reduced and used as a sauce for meat or vegetables.
  • Soup Remix: Add different veggies, proteins, or spices to create a new soup variant.
  • Freeze for Later: Portion and freeze for a ready-made soup on hectic days.
  • Egg Drop Soup: Stir in beaten eggs for a Japanese twist on egg drop soup.
  • Poaching Liquid: Poach fish or chicken in the Soup for added flavor.

Tips

  • Use Quality Dashi: Start with a flavorful dashi broth as the base, either homemade or high-quality instant dashi granules.
  • Garnish Wisely: Enhance the soup’s flavor and appearance with thinly sliced green onions, shiitake mushrooms, and silken tofu.
  • Simmer Gently: Avoid boiling the soup vigorously, as it can cloud the clear broth. Instead, simmer it gently to preserve clarity.
  • Season Lightly: Add soy sauce and mirin sparingly to season the soup, allowing the delicate flavors to shine.
  • Serve Immediately: Enjoy the Japanese Clear Soup immediately after cooking to experience its freshness and subtle nuances fully.
Japanese Clear Soup - A Traditional Dish With Aromatic Flavors

Japanese Clear Soup – A Traditional Dish With Aromatic Flavors

0 from 0 votes
Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

20

minutes
Calories

100

kcal

Japanese Clear Soup boasts a delicate, savory broth infused with vegetables and aromatics. It’s a warming, traditional dish often enjoyed as a meal starter.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Sesame Seed Oil

  • 1 ½ Cups 1 ½ Carrots

  • 1 1 Yellow Onion

  • 8 Oz 8 Mushrooms

  • 3 3 Garlic Cloves

  • 4 4 Scallions

  • 1 Inch 1 Ginger

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • Pepper (To Taste)

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Coconut Aminos

  • 4 Cups 4 Chicken Broth

  • 3 Cups 3 Beef Broth

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Use a large pot. Cook the sesame seed oil on a medium heat. Add carrots, ginger, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
    Saute for around 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add both broths and the coconut aminos. Stir until everything combines.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Once simmering, cover the pot and allow it to simmer for an hour.
    Every so often, check on the Soup and stir.
  • When the hour is up, grab another large pot and a sieve. Put the sieve over the second large pot and pour the Soup through the sieve. The sieve will catch the bulky ingredients, while the secondary pot will catch the liquid.
    Dispose of the vegetables, and put the liquid back on the heat.
  • Put the heat on low. Stir in the scallions and the mushrooms. Allow to simmer for 8 minutes or until the mushrooms soften.
  • Serve while still hot. This recipe will create 3 meals.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Adjust salt based on broth sodium content.
  • Fresh ingredients enhance the Soup’s depth.
  • Customize with your choice of protein.
  • Sieving is vital for a transparent appearance.
  • Best consumed fresh, but stores well for short periods.
  • Garnishing can elevate visual appeal and taste.
  • Opt for organic ingredients for a cleaner profile.

Nutrition Table 

Japanese Clear Soup

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