The recipe card and video is at the bottom of the post, but don’t be too hasty! The post contains all the tips and tricks.

Japanese Clear Onion Soup

A while go we attended a birthday celebration at a Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse. It was my first time at one and I completely fell in love with a simple clear onion broth we were served as a starter. The name is Japanese Clear Onion soup!

I couldn’t believe how tasty that little bowl of brown water was (haha)!

As with everything we eat, if we love it, we immediately know that we will eventually do our own recreation of it. This was no different.

After some research, planning, cooking and taste-testing, we finally perfected our very own Japanese Clear Onion Soup recipe.

Japanese Clear Onion Soup

What are clear onion soup ingredients?

With just 6 simple and ingredients, this is the perfect quick and easy appetizer soup for your traditional Japanese (or Chinese) themed dinner party or if you’re just doing some fun homemade Benihana for the family.

If you’re like me, you’ll make it just because you love soup (and because this one is incredibly light and easy…and DELICIOUS).

So what ingredients goes into a Japanese Onion Soup recipe?

  1. Onion (Duh!)
  2. Carrot, Celery and Garlic (for depth of flavor)
  3. Mushrooms and Scallions (for garnish)
  4. Soy Sauce and Sriracha (to boosting it to epic flavor proportions)

It is a very simple vegetable clear soup. So, it isn’t very substantial, but that’s exactly what makes it perfect as a starter. Or as a light meal with very low calories – perfect for weight loss.

So, now that you know what you need, now you need to know how to make this great clear broth mushroom soup.

How to make Japanese Clear Onion Soup for an Appetizer?

The best thing about this recipe, is that there’s hardly any hands on time, as with the majority of Living Chirpy recipes. What I’m trying to say is that you have no excuse to not impress your dinner guests with this cute little soup.

Even something as simple as “Clear Onion Soup” can seem special if you serve it as an appetizer in a pretty little bowl and an authentic little spoon.

Japanese Clear Onion Soup
  1. So, you start by frying the onions in a little bit of oil (preferably sesame oil for extra flavor) until they start to caramelize brown.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer away for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the vegetables from the water (don’t need to throw them away! I blend them and mix them in with my toddler’s food. Or I just snack on it myself)
  4. Garnish it with thinly sliced mushrooms and chopped scallions.
  5. Voilà!
  6. Japanese Clear Onion Soup is ready to be served.
Japanese Clear Onion Soup

So, if you’re sold on making this as an appetizer! Why not check out some of our other healthy Asian-inspired recipes to serve up as a main dish!

  1. Cauliflower Fried Rice
  2. Cabbage Chicken Teriyaki
  3. Authentic Beef Ramen with Zoodles
  4. Mongolian Pork Stir Fry

Also, check out these great recipes and roundups from other bloggers:

  1. Whole30 Paleo Poke Bowl
  2. Easy Vegetable Teriyaki Stir Fry
  3. Sesame Pork Stir Fry
  4. Low-Carb Keto Soup Recipes

Japanese Clear Onion Soup – Pin It!

Japanese Clear Onion Soup

Instruction Video – How to make Clear Onion Soup:


Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe:

4.15 from 70 votes
Japanese Clear Onion Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Roche Woodworth
  • 2 • onions [diced]
  • 6 cups • vegetable broth or water [whichever you have at hand]
  • 2 • celery stalks [diced]
  • 2 • carrots [peeled and diced]
  • 2 • garlic cloves [minced]
  • handful • button mushrooms [thinly sliced]
  • handful • sliced scallions
  • to taste • salt and pepper
  • to taste • soy sauce
  • to taste • Sriracha
  1. Sauté the onions in a pot in a little bit of oil until slightly browned.
  2. Add the carrot, celery, and garlic and 6 cups of vegetable broth/water.
  3. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Strain the veggies from the broth and add the mushrooms and scallions before serving.
Recipe Notes

Japanese Onion Soup Nutritional Information & Calories

Japanese Clear Onion Soup


    • Hi Jennie! Good to hear! 🙂 I seasoned the soup with regular salt and had the soy sauce (and Sriracha) on the table. We all just added a little splash to our bowls, mostly for the flavor. If I have to take a guess, it would probably be a tablespoon or two into the pot. Saltiness is a very personal preference though and I would suggest adding little by little while tasting, until it tastes perfect to you! Hope you like it!

  1. This sounds amazing, so excited to try this! I was wondering, do you let the mushrooms sit in the soup for a bit before you serve it? I was wondering how the mushrooms get soft? Thank you!

  2. Hey! If you slice the mushrooms super thin like we did, they’ll get soft quick – so it’s not really necessary to let it sit. Hope you like it! 🙂

    • Hey Linda 🙂 It’s a recipe for Japanese Clear Onion Soup, meaning a clear onion flavored broth. Same as when you make a vegetable broth or a chicken broth – the veggies (and/or bones) get dumped. It’s entirely up to you though, keep them in there if you want a regular vegetable soup, but in that case I recommend adding all the other goodies I added in our Veggie Soup recipe 🙂 I actually ate those discarded veggies as a snack the next day. Yum lol

  3. I have been looking for this recipe forever and have had a cold and sore throat for a week so this is perfect!
    Do you happen to know if you can buy/make those crunchy rice they give with the soup?

    • Hi Lauren, I’m glad you like it! 🙂 Unfortunately I don’t have any advice regarding the crunchy rice. Thanks for stopping by!

    • I know it’s not my recipe and you said crunchy rice but in my experience with the onion soups at Japanese restaurants is they actually use french fried onions! I personally think it’s absolutely delicious if you’d like to give it a try. If not maybe try cooking the rice only partially and then deep frying! Hope this helps some. 🙂

    • The “crunchy rice” is usually little pieces of fried tempura batter…just mix some cornstarch, plain flour, and water together to make a “batter” that you then drip into hot oil-use a strainer to almost immediately scoop out of the oil as they cook in seconds. Drain on paper towels and let cool so they don’t make your soup greasy. Put in the soup last minute or they get soggy and gross.

    • The “cruchy rice” is actually just fried tempura batter. I used to work at a hibachi restaurant and they would scoop out the little bits of tempura better that broke off when they were frying tempura vegetables or they would just fry up the batter and then set it aside until just before serving the soup and waiters would add the “crunchies”, as we called them, with the mushrooms and green onions.

  4. Hi! This looks delicious! Have you ever made this with Miso? If so how did it change the flavor and how much would you recommend using? Thanks!

  5. How many carrots, celery, and onion are needed? Does the little dot stand for cups? And where does the sirracha and soy sauce come into play? Thank you.

    • Hi Shiona, I think your browser may not have loaded the page correctly. All the quantities and instructions are in the recipe box! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

    • Nutrition Facts
      Serving Size 527 g
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 114
      Calories from Fat 21
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 2.3g4%
      Saturated Fat 0.6g3%
      Trans Fat 0.0g
      Cholesterol 0mg0%
      Sodium 1406mg59%
      Potassium 736mg21%
      Total Carbohydrates 13.2g4%
      Dietary Fiber 3.0g12%
      Sugars 6.3g
      Protein 10.5g
      Vitamin A 105% • Vitamin C 17%
      Calcium 5% • Iron 16%
      Nutrition Grade A
      * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

    • This was me using this as the ingredient base:

      2 onions
      6 Cups vegetable broth
      2 celery stalks
      2 carrots
      2 garlic cloves
      8 oz mushrooms
      3 scallions
      1 TBSP soy sauce

      I don’t personally like sriracha, so that will adjust the calories a bit, I don’t use salt or pepper for this type of dish either.

  6. This sounds delicious. I am planning to make some and add a little chicken breast to make it heartier. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Why do you put carrots, celery & onions in it? The soup Ive had only had scallions and mushrooms. It looks like thats all your picture shows too

    • Hi Chastity. If you read the recipe, you’ll notice that the celery, onions and carrots get strained from the soup at the end. Those vegetables are what creates the flavorful broth. Without it the soup would taste like plain ‘ol water 🙂

  8. For keeping with the low-carb / paleo lifestyle, I feel it important to note that the Kikoman Soy Sauce has gluten in it. The wheat is used as a thickener. Not really a big deal for the soup unless you have celiac disease. There are some gluten free soy sauce options though that would be a good replacement.

    • Hi Sarah! In general, I don’t look too deep at condiments, because of the very small amount I generally include in my recipes and also because I do not cater to an “ultra” low-carb/celiac audience. But I appreciate you bringing that to my attention. I will definitely look into some alternatives.

  9. Excellent tasting soup! I’m sorry I missed the earlier commentor. The “crunchy rice” they use in restaurants some time is actually Panko…Japanese breadcrumb, add right before you serves.

    • Thank you for the feedback, Cassandra. This is of our most popular recipes that consistently gets positive results. Unfortunately since I wasn’t in the kitchen with you, I can’t troubleshoot it. My best guess is that you didn’t season it enough – a little salt goes a long way in bringing out flavors, especially with soup in my opinion.

    • Why oh why do people feel so compelled to point out how ummmm inept(?) They are? Amazing the number of critics the internet has produced.

      • Trolls..
        We love mushroom umami flavor, and sauteed a lb in avocado oil and ghee, then added 4 cups water and billed for 30 mins. Added two pinches of smoked sea salt and a day off so sauce. We are the soup without straining there mushrooms. This was our variation and was very flavorful and delicious. Served two. Cheers.

  10. One of our favorite places to eat is japanese palace in ft worth tx. They serve this soup for a starter, and I’m with you it’s wonderful. When I saw you post it, I made it that night. It GREAT! Douro arigatou gozaimasu (thank you very much.)

  11. Is this something I could make and freeze? I always crave this soup when I’m not feeling well and having it frozen would be wonderful.

    • Hi Jessica! Sure, you can definitely freeze the broth, although I think I would definitely add the mushrooms and scallions fresh each time 🙂

  12. Just letting you know I have BEEN craving this soup so I used your recipe. It is soooo good. But I may have made a mistake putting garlic in it though 🙁

  13. As there was nothing in the soup to make it Japanese, I added miso at the end along with the mushrooms and kept all the veggies. It was delicious.

  14. Our Japanese restaurants use the deep fried onions, so for those missing that, just add a tablespoon of Durkee onions into the bowl before you pour the broth in and the broth will soften them.

  15. Maybe it’s something I did, but this tastes nothing like the soup I get from hibachi restaurants. I’m disappointed because my husband and I had such high hopes for this recipe.

  16. Unfortunately this turned out to be disappointing for us. Perhaps it was the brand of vegetable broth that we used. But to be honest I’m not sure how this could be flavorful at all if only water was used ( implied from directions ). Thank you for sharing though!

  17. Love this soup! It’s a great base soup for me because I usually throw in any veggies I have lying around! I leave in the onions carrots and celery, and add diced cucumber (yes cucumber! It’s amazing!) and mushrooms at the same time and throw in bean sprouts towards the end for some crunch! I also use water instead of veggie broth and it tastes amazing! I serve it with scallions, soy sauce, and a little bit of sambal oelek instead of Sriracha and it is soo good!!!

  18. How might you use the leftover vegetables? I just made this soup but I would like suggestions to make it more sustainable and stretch my dollar.

  19. TU-Shay!!!! I think I nailed it girlfriend thanks,… I sprinkled ginger as it can make or break you and drizzled soy to taste.. Tell your readers to go lite then add that’s the best way…

  20. In the process of cooking it, my husband loves this soup at restaurants. It smells delicious and it’s super easy!! Thanks for the recepie.

  21. I used veggie broth and I felt like it took sway from the classic onion taste im used to. Will try water next time! Still great!

  22. Not impressed at all. Even using vegetable broth it only tastes like carrot and celery and not anything close to the restaurants. I would compare it more to dish water.

  23. Just making this for the first time. So excited! I love broth soups. They’re so comforting, but also not heavy. Thank you!

  24. i really liked it. i found this when my boyfriend needed something “brothy” after oral surgery. i’ve had “real” ramen at a chain restaurant in China & this falls in line. like some of the others, i used a little more broth & i didn’t have green onions, but i did add some cilantro & chili garlic sauce & it was superb. next time i’ll pick up some noodles to throw in.

    • Hi Teresa:) You just need to pour the liquid through a strainer to separate the solid chunks from the broth. And yes the mushrooms are added raw – if sliced thinly they will cook some in the hot broth.

  25. I have a very similar recipe but with slow cooking chicken and beef bone and vegetables over night. Yours seems so much easier. Going to have to try 😉

  26. Although I strained the vegetables, per the recipe, my wife ate the soup with the vegetables in. Both were delicious, with or without the vegetables.

  27. This just popped up on Pinterest. I have most ingredients in but can hardly wait till I feel better and get to the store. I know I am going to love this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  28. SO good!!! Vegetarian husband declared it “restaurant quality.” Vegan older teen loved the flavor and ate 2 bowls. Carnivorous pickier young teen even liked it (mushrooms strained out first.) Great addition to our multi-diet family. Thank you!

  29. This was so good! My daughter loves hibachi onion soup, but this recipe was even better than the one we get at the Japanese steak house. It’s quick, light and has such good flavor. Thanks for sharing.

  30. I tried making this bout a month ago and while it was still ok, I felt as though the carrots didnt taste right in it. It added a tad of sweetness to it that def doesn’t normally have from the Japanese steakhouses. Next time going to try without carrots. I used all same ingr. as you posted.

  31. Wanted to add. I used3 to 1 parts of chicken broth to beef broth. It def is better than veg broth. So if use 3 cups chicken broth, do 1 cup beef and so on.

  32. I used all veggie broth instead of water and added a touch of red pepper flake opting out of sirracha.. this is great to just make and keep on hand.. I eat it for lunch now every day.. FEELING STRONG!

  33. My husband is Filapino. We use this broth, minus the srircha, (because it is soooooo tasty) with pancit bihon rice noodles and shrimp or chicken. It is a great broth on its own, but can also be used to make a heartier meal. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  34. Veggie broth covers a world of options and since it is the primary flavoring, may I ask WHAT vegetable broth is being used? A can? A box? Better than Bouillion? Homemade? Those people who did not care for it may have used plain water.

  35. I haven’t made this soup yet hence why I’m here. I will make some suggestions though as I will be making some changes to it. Use home made stock without salt so that you can use the soy sauce without being overly salty right out of the gate if you intend on using soy sauce. Always add your salt at the end. Lamb or chicken broth will give you a change in both flavor depth and profiles for changing up the basic soup. Start with a Dashi base if possible for your home made broth for better umami flavors. If you don’t like sriracha then try adding a few (to taste) korean red peppers, red pepper flakes, S&B Japanese Style Shichimi Chili Paste, or Gochujang sauce/paste if you prefer those flavors. These peppers and paste may overwhelm the subtle flavors in the soup so be careful and use sparingly especially if you heat them since peppers will intensify in flavor when heated. Also, our local restaurant uses a chicken broth with bread crumbs and minced onions remaining in the bowl for an awesome flavor without any hot peppers or sauce.

  36. Just out of curiosity if following this recipe as is where is the amount of protein listed in the nutritional values come from? Making it right now and it smells amazing. I did add a beef bone (daughter just had wisdom teeth extraction and I felt she needed for nutritional value). Thank you.

    • We meticulously test our recipes and always revisit old ones for retesting if we see any negative feedback. Since I was not in the kitchen with you while you made this recipe, it’s impossible to troubleshoot why it came out as “onion water” for you. My guess is that you likely didn’t season it enough. Thanks for the feedback.

  37. Ok made this tonight. It is a little bland compared to the Japanese restaurant down the street!
    I added water and that may be the issue. I’ll try it again with vegetable stock.

    • Thanks for the feedback. Since I was not in the kitchen with you, it’s hard for me to judge why yours came out bland. In a lot of cases though, blandness is simply a case of too little salt. But, we will throw this recipe into our line-up for retesting to be sure.

  38. Matsutake Suimono is clear Japanese soup, which is made with dashi—not water or broth. You never find sriracha in Japanese cooking.
    What exactly is Japanese about this recipe?

    • Hey Kuko! This is just a recreation of the clear soup found in Japanese Steakhouses in the USA. We don’t claim that it is an authentic recipe by any means. We also used easy to find ingredients that your average home cook can find in their neighborhood grocery store that gets relatively close to the flavor. Also, Japanese Steakhouses in the USA normally serves Sriracha when you ask for hot sauce. Thank you for visiting our blog.

    • Hi Vanessa! The broth should last up to a week in the fridge and months in the freezer. I would add the mushrooms and scallions fresh each time though 🙂

  39. I have made tons of recipes for this soup. This one takes the CAKE!! When it gets cold I love to make soups each week to have with dinner. This soup will go into our rotation!

  40. I was wondering where the vitamin D comes from?

    Other than that…, This recipe is awesome !

    I had to move far away from my favorite sushi restaurant but now I can make this soup myself thanks to ya’ll, (:

    Also for people wondering what to do with the veggies, I left them in the soup for fiber content.

    (other details: I made mine with red onions and I just used water bc I didn’t like the veggie broth I bought… btw, there’s gluten free soy sauce out there, I bought mine at whole foods)

    Tasted delicious!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here