Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe

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 broth 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 easy vegetable ingredients, this is the perfect quick and easy vegetarian 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. Coconut Aminos (or 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

Instruction Video – How to make Clear Onion Soup:

Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe:

Close high side shot of Japanese Clear Onion Soup in a white and blue patterned bowl. Sriracha and Soy Sauce in the background.

Japanese Clear Soup

A easy recipe for Japanese Clear Soup – Just like at your local Japanese Habatchi Steakhouse. Only 10 Simple Ingredients and 30 Minutes Needed. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb. Keto. Paleo. Whole 30.
4.85 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 64kcal


  • 2 onions (diced)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 celery stalks (diced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 1 cup button mushrooms (very thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup scallions (sliced)
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • to taste soy sauce
  • to taste Sriracha


  • Sauté the onions in a pot in a little bit of oil until slightly browned.
  • Add the carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger and 6 cups of vegetable broth/water.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Strain the veggies from the broth.
  • Add a handful of scallions and mushrooms to bowls. Ladle the soup on top.
  • Add a splash of soy sauce and sriracha to taste.
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Tips and Tricks:
1. For a fully compliant Paleo/Whole 30 soup, use Coconut Aminos instead of Soy Sauce.
2. I usually don’t throw away the strained vegetables, but either eat them as is for a snack (haha), or toss them in with another meal.


Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5971IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @LivingChirpy or tag #livingchirpy!

Japanese Onion Soup Nutritional Information & Calories

Japanese Clear Onion Soup

146 thoughts on “Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe”

    1. 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 🙂

  1. 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?

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. John X. Ellis Sr.

    5 stars
    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 5 stars
    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!

  7. 5 stars
    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!

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