Japanese Clear Onion Soup

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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.
Gluten FreeLow CarbWhole30PaleoKeto

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.
4.73 from 55 votes
Print Pin
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 24kcal


  • 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)


  • 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.


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.

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  1. I see that a serving is 100 calories, but what is considered a serving size? One cup? Also, what type of onions do you recommend?

    1. Hello Kiley! Yes, a serving would be approximately one cup. And we used regular yellow onions for this recipe:)

  2. Just made this tonight and adapted it to cook in the Instapot, it tastes exactly like the Japanese steakhouse! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Erica! Glad the recipe worked out well for you in the Instant Pot!:)

  3. 5 stars
    I recently discovered a mushroom farm where I can buy shiitakes so fresh they are still on the log. Needless to say I was very excited! I used this recipe to the letter but subbed in the shiitakes and the recipe is AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing. I make this at least once a week.

  4. Why does everyone in the US and Europe think SOY SAUCE is bad for you? It’s the perfect fermented item to season food with, hell of a lot better than salt.

    1. Hi! It’s not that we (and I’m talking about us running the blog) think soy sauce is “bad” for you, but since we are a healthy low-carb blog and soy sauce is made from a legume (which is high carb and inflammatory). We recommend Coconut Aminos to people that are on a strict low carb diet.

    2. I’d also say, D Vasta, that US soy sauce is typically NOT fermented. The process is sped up with hydrochloric acid and tons of crappy cheap salt, MSG, and caramel color is dumped in it so that what for some people can be a healthy food is now total and complete garbage. This is known as acid hydrolyzed soy sauce and accounts for most of what is sold in the US and many Asian countries as well. Plus GMO soy beans here in the US. Don’t forget that part.

      However, if you can find organic shoyu or tamari you’re good to go! That’s brewed with traditional methods using koji cultures and is either made with or without wheat depending on which type you get.

  5. 4 stars
    This was amazing to try! I had always wanted to make Japanese food and this is what got me started! It was so simple and easy! I’ve had it several ways, I’ve even left the veggies in it and added chicken to it! It made a great chicken veggie soup!

  6. 5 stars
    How many carbs are in this? Is this truly a Keto friendly soup? I’m new to all this Keto stuff. Thanks.

  7. 5 stars
    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!!

    1. 5 stars
      The vitamin D comes from the mushrooms. The caveat is that the mushrooms have to be exposed to ultraviolet light prior to harvest to increase the Vitamin D level. There’s no way of knowing if the grower went to the trouble to expose the mushrooms to sunlight or ultraviolet growing lights.

  8. 5 stars
    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!

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