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Japanese Clear Onion Soup

An easy Japanese Clear Onion Soup recipe. A simple light, clear soup just like the one on your local Hibachi Steakhouse menu. 9 Simple Ingredients. 30 Minutes. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb. Keto. Paleo. Whole 30.
Close up high side shot Japanese Clear Onion Soup in a white and blue patterned bowl with a spoon scooping a bite.
Whole30Paleo

An easy Japanese Clear Onion Soup recipe. A simple light, clear soup just like the one on your local Hibachi Steakhouse menu. 9 Simple Ingredients. 30 Minutes. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb. Keto. Paleo. Whole 30.

top shot of two bowls with japanese clear onion soup on a blue kitchen towel

What Is Japanese Clear Onion Soup?

Firstly, what does Clear Soup mean?

A clear soup is as the name suggests, a richly flavored clear liquid broth that can be made from any meats, vegetables, herbs, spices and flavorings. It has to be strained at the end, because a strict definition of “clear soup” means that no solid parts can be present in the soup.

Japanese Clear Onion Soup specifically is a very light, clear soup made from a meat or vegetable broth with a strong onion flavor. It is simmered for 30 minutes to unlock the flavors and then strained to achieve a clear and flavorful onion soup.

Authentic Japanese Clear Soup is generally garnished with fresh sliced scallions and thinly sliced mushrooms.

It is a very common and very popular soup served at Japanese Restaurants, and is a staple on any Hibachi Steakhouse menu.

How To Make Japanese Clear Onion Soup:

What Is Japanese Clear Onion Soup Made Of?

Japanese Clear Onion Soup is a light, but delicious soup. The ingredients are simple and easy to find:

  1. Chicken Broth (Can use beef broth as well, or a combination of both. You can also use vegetable broth if you’d like to keep it meat free, although it’ll be just slightly less delicious)
  2. Onion (Duh!)
  3. Carrot, Celery, Garlic and Ginger (for amazing depth of flavor)
  4. Mushrooms and Scallions (for garnish)
  5. Toasted Sesame Oil (for that unmistakable Asian flavor)
  6. Coconut Aminos (or Soy Sauce) and Sriracha (optional- for boosting the clear soup to epic flavor proportions).

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop the onions, carrots and celery (no need to peel the carrots).
  2. Slice the ginger and garlic into rounds in order to expose more surface area and unleash the most of its flavor.
  3. I like to start off by slightly caramelizing the onion in a bit of regular oil in order to unlock their full deliciousness. About 10 minutes. (Photo 1)
  4. Then, I add the carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, and toasted sesame oil. (Photo 2)
  5. Pour in the chicken broth. (At this point I like to take a spoonful of the broth and see how salty it is – if it’s not salted enough, I add a little salt now). (Photo 3)
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the temperature and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes. (Photo 4)
  7. Strain all the solid particles out of the soup. (It’s up to you what you’d like to do with all the solids. I don’t like waste so I keep it and throw it in another meal. A little extra fiber never hurt anybody) (Photo 5)
  8. Garnish with fresh sliced scallions, very thinly sliced button mushrooms and serve it up! I personally enjoy a splash of soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you’re on the Whole 30 or Paleo diet), as well as a little squirt of sriracha. (Photo 6)

Is This Popular Hibachi Soup Healthy?

As you can see, it is a very simple clear soup recipe – as is most clear soup variations. This means that it is not extremely nutritionally substantial and is very low in calories, but that’s exactly what makes it perfect as a light starter.

With only 64 calories per serving, it is the epitome of light!

Some people do enjoy adding shredded chicken and have it for a light meal that is very low calories. This is quite delicious and perfect for weight loss, but then not exactly a Japanese Clear Onion Soup anymore.

Looking For More Healthy Soup Recipes?

For other yummy (and healthy) soup recipes, check out any of these options from our archives, as well as some of our personal favorites from other great bloggers.

  1. Instant Pot Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup
  2. Shrimp Boil Soup
  3. Chicken Taco Soup
  4. Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana by BeautyAndTheBenchPress.com
  5. Greek Lemon Chicken Soup by ASpicyPerspective.com

Did You Make This Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe?

Close up low top shot of Japanese Clear Onion Soup in a white and blue patterned bowl with a spoon.

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Close up high side shot Japanese Clear Onion Soup in a white and blue patterned bowl with a spoon scooping a bite.

Japanese Clear Onion Soup

An easy Japanese Clear Onion Soup recipe. A simple light, clear soup just like the one on your local Hibachi Steakhouse menu. 9 Simple Ingredients. 30 Minutes. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb. Keto. Paleo. Whole 30.
4.86 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 24kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken or beef broth as well, or a combination of both if you have it. be sure to use a low sodium variety)
  • 2 onions (diced)
  • 1 celery stalks (diced)
  • 1 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup button mushrooms (very thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup scallions (sliced)
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • to taste soy sauce (optional)
  • to taste Sriracha (optional)

Instructions

  • Sauté the onions in a pot in a little bit of oil until slightly carmelized. About 10 minutes.
  • Add the carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger, sesame oil, and broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the veggies from the broth.
  • Add a handful of scallions and thinly sliced mushrooms to bowls. Ladle the soup on top.
  • Optional: Add a splash of soy sauce and sriracha to taste.
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Tips and Tricks:

  1. A serving = One cup of soup. The nutritional information does not include soy sauce or sriracha.
  2. For Paleo and Whole 30 compliant clear onion soup, use Coconut Aminos instead of Soy Sauce.
  3. I usually don’t throw away the strained vegetables, but toss them in with another meal instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 262mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @LivingChirpy or tag #livingchirpy!

This Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe was first published on September 17, 2015 and updated on February 20, 2020 to include detailed step-by-step instructions and faqs.

151 thoughts on “Japanese Clear Onion Soup”

  1. It didn’t taste right to me at all…I think I did too much celery….The recipe said two stalks which seemed extensive to me considering how little carrots there were. Is it actually supposed to be that? Like you mentioned in other comment replies you can’t know for sure because you weren’t there. I’m just a college student trying to learn how to make more stuff with very little cooking skills. Maybe not enough onions too. I added a lot of salt which seemed to help. It’s not horrible but isn’t what I was expecting compared to all the hibachi places i’ve been too. Especially Benihana’s! I will definitely try again though because I love this soup all year round…you can’t beat it!

    1. Maybe it’s got to do with the size of the ingredients? If they used small celery stalks and yours are huge… it can affect the taste! Same goes for onions and carrots!

      1. Hi, we’ve recently updated this post – we’ve also retested the recipe and adjusted some of the quantities after reading user feedback! It’s impossible to know the size of the stalks each person uses, so we thought it better to stick with one.

  2. I was surprised also but realized that onions are sweet and carrots are sweet. Note that doesn’t mean they are bad just that when onions are sauteed their sweetness is released (making onion soup as delicious as it is) and when carrots are simmered their sugars are released. Both are healthy vegetables but I suspect that is where the carbs come from. I do not have the nutritional information on Siracha which may also contain some form of sugars. There are many brands of Siracha and I have seen cane sugar on at least one label. Brands may make a difference.

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