Japanese clear soup is a flavorful broth that pairs perfectly with meat and vegetables and makes an excellent appetizer before meals. There are several different recipes available on the web and understanding the differences between them can help ensure you achieve the best flavor for making your own at home.
When you order a meal at most hibachi restaurants or your favorite Japanese restaurant, it is usually accompanied by a brown, thin soup, flavored with floating mushrooms and green onions.
While this soup looks simple, it is full of savory, umami flavor that makes it a favorite among many hibachi dinners.
It’s called Japanese Clear Soup, but it may also be called Miyabi, hibachi soup, osumashi, sumashi, or Japanese onion soup.
The simple ingredients that go into the soup contribute their flavor but are then strained out, leaving a broth that is full of flavor and nutrients but won’t fill you up.
If you are planning your own Japanese feast, Japanese clear soup is a great appetizer for just about any meal, like Chicken Katsu Curry Recipe. The simple base of delicious broth makes it easy to add any fresh ingredients you want, depending on what is in season or what would compliment your meal the best.
If you are looking for the best recipe, there are several different versions so let’s take a look at the differences.
How to Make Japanese Clear Soup
The biggest difference between different Japanese clear onion soup recipes is in the broth, but the cooking method is generally the same.
Chefs start by sauteing and searing vegetables like carrots, onions, fresh ginger, and garlic. Water, broth, and sesame oil are then added to the pot and left to simmer.
The pot should simmer for at least an hour but some chefs will leave it for several hours and even overnight to release the most flavor possible.
Once the soup has simmered for plenty of time, the chunks are completely removed, leaving only the clear broth behind.
The clear broth is then topped with fresh ingredients which cook slightly in the hot broth. The toppings may include rice cakes, fish cakes, green onions, mushrooms, or more. In most American hibachi restaurants the soup is kept fairly simple with green onions and sometimes mushrooms.
Japanese Clear Soup Recipes
Below are some of my favorite Japanese Clear Soup Recipes and an explanation of what makes them different from one another.
This recipe from Unbound Wellness calls for a mixture of beef broth and chicken broth or chicken stock. This produces a deep brown broth that may look familiar.
It also calls for coconut aminos which can be replaced with soy sauce. Most Japanese chefs will use light soy sauce to flavor their clear soup to keep the broth looking translucent.
Some chefs swear that true Japanese clear soup should be a light color. To achieve this they use only chicken broth.
Dashi is a very popular broth used in Japanese cooking. It’s made from dried kelp, dried anchovies or dried mushrooms, or sometimes a combination of all of these (I also use it in my Chicken Katsudon Recipe!).
Some chefs will argue the most authentic miyabi soup cannot be made without good, high-quality dashi. This Japanese clear soup recipe uses dashi stock for its main flavor. It’s a great vegetable broth to use to make this healthy soup even healthier.
Dashi may be a new ingredient for you but it is actually fairly simple to make at home with some dashi powder.
What is the Difference Between Japanese Clear Soup and Miso Soup?
When you search for Japanese clear soup or Japanese onion soup, you may get many results for Miso soup. While both are thin Japanese soups with green onions that are served alongside a meal, they are very different.
The main difference between clear soup and miso soup is that miso soup is eaten almost daily by most Japanese people, usually with breakfast. The clear soup is generally reserved for special occasions like Japanese New Year and festivals.
Miso Soup is made with fermented soybeans that are made into a miso paste. The paste mixed into the broth makes for a cloudy soup. It is usually served with tofu, spring onions, and seaweed, but it may also be served with carrots, shiitake mushrooms, or peas.
Miso soup is slightly more filling than Japanese clear soup, especially when more vegetables are added. It is filling enough to be a complete meal, while clear soup is almost always served as a side or appetizer.
Both soups are very low-calorie and contain many health benefits thanks to the meat broth and vegetables used in the cooking process. Many people turn to these simple soups for help with weight loss.
If you have a favorite Japanese Clear Soup Recipe, please feel free to leave it in the comments!