Japanese Onion Soup with mushrooms can be enjoyed the whole year round. This light Japanese soup recipe is based on the hibachi soup and prepared with a clear broth, onion, spring onion and shiitake mushrooms.
Further below I share how to make this gorgeous Japanese soup recipe with a video and recipe to print.
What is the Japanese onion soup with mushrooms?
Japanese onion soup with mushrooms is a common soup served in hibachi restaurants across the North American continent as a starter meal as the soup is a clear broth and light onion soup.
The purpose of the soup is to prepare the stomach for the rest of the meal to come, which is usually heavier in nature and contains meat such as beef steaks.
Hibachi Steakhouse has all their take on this soup, with some establishments skipping the mushrooms all together to make it more like a french onion soup (minus the cheese and flour). Yet, the Japanese onion soup is not a miso-based soup but uses a beef broth instead.
The ingredients used in this Japanese onion soup are all inspired by the various Japanese regional onion soup and mushroom soup varieties but is definitely not a traditional Japanese onion or mushroom soup but a western style Japanese inspired soup.
You will love this Japanese onion soup if you are not a fan of miso soups or if you like light Asian inspired meals which have a western touch to it.
Ingredients for the Japanese onion soup with mushrooms
I like to use white soft tender onions for this Japanese onion soup. So, instead of using one large onion I tend to use 3 smaller tender young onions because the flavor tends to be more delicate.
Then, of course, spring onions are another major player in this Japanese onion soup. Again, spring onions have soft bulbs as well.
For the mushrooms, I always use shiitake mushrooms because of the flavor they give to the soup. Button mushrooms don’t have the same effect. You can use button mushrooms in this clear soup, but it won’t be completely the same experience.
Besides I use dehydrated shiitake mushrooms because they can be stored for a longer period of time and because I get it form a Japanese traveler from Osaka who sells, every year again, a load full during December. Those dried shiitake mushrooms are gold worth and enhance a soup or meal immensely!
If you plan on using dried shiitake mushrooms in this soup instead of fresh ones, then you can do the following:
- Rinse your mushroom and place into a bowl with 300 milliliter Water (10.14 fl oz/ 1 1/4 cup).
- Let the mushrooms soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Take out the mushrooms and just pass them through clean water. Cut the mushrooms small.
- Reserve the mushroom water because you can use that + 300 ml instead of the 600 ml of water in the recipe. The mushroom water adds a deep flavor to the soup which you wouldn’t want to miss!
Besides that, you will also need a clear broth. I found that a clear beef broth is the best choice but you can also use a vegetable broth or if you prefer, a chicken broth.
Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce and Black Pepper are added into the soup as well and shouldn’t be skipped.
Dietary application for the Japanese onion soup with mushrooms
- Vegan (if you use vegetable broth)
How to make Japanese Onion Soup with Mushrooms?
To make this one-pot Japanese onion with mushrooms is actually rather easy and quick as well.
To prepare the ingredients will take up about 8 minutes of your time. Cooking the soup takes about 20 minutes all together just leave the soup to simmer slowly once all the ingredients have been added.
Start by keeping all your fresh ingredients ready before you get cooking. Slice your onion and keep aside
For the spring onion, I basically cut off the green stalks from the white spring onion bulbs and chop the green stalks so to use them as an eye-catching and refreshingly zen garnish to my Japanese onion soup. The white bulb is simply sliced and added to the white onion.
The mushrooms are cut small as well and the ginger and garlic are chopped small. Heat up a pan and add the oil and sliced onion pieces. Fry the onion soft and then you can fry the onion crispy too.
After that add the ginger and garlic and mushroom before pouring in the beef broth and water. Season with soy sauce and black pepper. Check if the soup needs salt, mine didn’t need any salt.
Let the Japanese onion soup with mushroom simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes covered. Then you are just left with adding the green onion pieces to the soup as a garnish and serving the soup hot in bowls.
Useful tools to make and serveJapaneseanese onion soup:
- 8-inch stainless steel knife – You can’t cook properly without a good knife
- Walnut wooden cutting board – those are sturdy and will last you a lifetime
- Serving Bowls – Very aesthetically pleasing soup bowls
Related to the Japanese Onion Soup recipe
- Clear Soup – a central European veg clear soup
- Yum Yum Sauce – The hibachi Steak Sauce
- Kani Salad – Japanese crab salad
- Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms by AvocadoPesto.com
Japanese Onion Soup Recipe with Mushroom
How to Video
- 1 large White Onion
- 2 Green Onion aka spring onion
- 4 medium Mushrooms *see notes
- 1/2 inch Ginger fresh
- 2 clove Garlic
- 1 1/4 cup Beef Broth
- 2 1/2 cup Water see note if you used dried mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- to taste Salt
- Peel your onion and slice small. Wash your spring onion and cut into small slices as well. Reserve the green spring onion stalks to garnish the soup.
- Cut your mushrooms small and keep aside. Chop your peeled ginger and garlic and keep aside as well.
- In a pan add the oil and stir-fry the onion slices with the white spring onion bulb soft and then a bit crispy. Increase the flame a bit to turn them a bit crispy and throw in the ginger garlic while stir-frying on high heat for a little before taking down the heat again.
- Now add your cut mushroom and stir-fry for a minute before pouring in the beef broth and water (eventually water + mushroom water - see notes). Season with soy sauce, black pepper and if needed salt. I didn't need to add salt to my onion soup because I found it salty enough due to the soy sauce and beef broth.
- Mix the whole soup and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes covered.
- Serve with chopped green spring onion stalks hot in a soup bowl.
- You can pick your mushroom variety. I like to use Shiitake mushrooms, mine are dehydrated dried mushrooms.
- In this recipe, you can use fresh or dried mushrooms. To use fresh mushrooms just cut the mushrooms and add to the soup with the mentioned broth and water amounts in the recipe. To use dried mushrooms, add 300 milliliters (10.14 fl oz/ 1 1/4 cup) water to the mushrooms in a bowl and let soak for 30 minutes. Then take out the mushrooms and press out some of the water, just pass quickly through the fresh water to get rid of impurities and cut the mushroom small. Keep the 300 ml mushroom water to the side because you will use that + 300 ml water instead of the 600 ml in the recipe. The mushroom water is full of flavors and will give your soup a great depth!
Enjoy this Japanese onion soup as a light meal for lunch with a salad at the side such as a daikon radish salad and some bread (I keep a piece of cheese at the side too and munch on that while I enjoy my soup)
You can also serve this soup as they do in hibachi restaurants as a starter
The soup goes really well with the main course such as a beef steak. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve the soup with western food too because the flavors are quite universal.
Dear Reader, how are you planning to enjoy this Japanese onion soup with mushroom?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!