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

145 thoughts on “Japanese Clear Onion Soup Recipe”

  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. Roche Woodworth

      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!

  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
    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.

  7. 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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