Asian Soup Recipes: How to Make Clear Japanese Soup

Updated on December 8, 2017
akirchner profile image

Audrey is a cook who loves finding new recipes but tweaking them to a healthier alternative.


In my explorations of other cuisines, I have fallen in love with many of the Asian soups. They are so simple to prepare and so distinctive in their flavors that I have ended up buying many different Asian cookbooks over the years.

This recipe is for the Japanese clear soup, though some recipes call this a miso soup. It's also known as "suimono." You can use that base as well, but I prefer just this simple broth variation. I especially love adding a garnish of shrimp and spinach leaves.

This is not a fill-you-up kind of meal, and sometimes I will serve it as a first course to a Japanese menu. Or if the soup is the only thing on for dinner, we will add some noodles to the soup as well. This is just one of many delicious Asian soups to try!


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon (or omit bouillon and substitute 3 cups of chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce


  • Thinly sliced mushrooms
  • Green onion strips
  • Celery leaves
  • Spinach leaves
  • Thinly sliced lemon or lime
  • Thinly sliced carrots
  • Strips of lemon peel
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Small chunks of tofu


  1. Heat ingredients to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  2. Top with at least 1-3 garnishes.
  3. Serve in small bowls.

Serves 4.

Noodle Varieties You Can Add:

  • Ramen - this noodle is wheat-based with soda water
  • Soba - medium-sized buckwheat-based noodle
  • Somen - very thin wheat-based noodle
  • Udon - the thick version of somen; wheat-based noodle
  • Shirataki - noodles low in carbs and calories

Another Japanese Masterpiece - Oyakodon

Asian Cookbooks

This is one of my favorite Asian cookbooks. Sometimes I check out the latest cookbooks from the library as I already have so many cookbooks it is hard to store them all. This one has some great recipes as well!

© 2010 Audrey Kirchner


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      JT tyler 6 years ago

      I noticed that your article suggests that the clear soup like from this recipe is sometimes called Miso soup. I will try this recipe but miso soup usually is made where a miso paste is added to the stock which gives a more cloudy looking appearance.

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      Shannon 6 years ago

      Can't believe it was so easy. The only time it took was waiting for the water to boil. Eating it right now, delicious!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Kim and thanks for the great suggestions!! My favorite add-in to this soup is shrimp or prawns. Love it. It still makes for a light soup and is so good!

    • profile image

      kim 7 years ago

      i just made this soup and it is very good. very close to what i’ve had at different japanese restaurants. needs a bit more soy sauce then the amount you have here, but not much. and a dash of salt and a little pepper. also, it’s good if you after it boils to let it simmer with the green onions and whatever else you’re going to use in it. it really lets their flavor get in the soup.

      great job! thank you so much :D

    • hubber-2009 profile image

      hubber-2009 8 years ago from India

      really it's a yummy tasty soup.. I will make a try...

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Thanks both of you - and yes I can see where Asians are much more frugal than we are - aren't most cultures? I love this soup because it is so simple and so healthy. I love the other Asian fare as well but love the soups.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      This is nice. I love Chinese food, but hardly try the soups - too busy with Fried Rice and Spare Ribs. After reading this, I think I must give it a try. It's a Healthy Recipe. Thx.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 8 years ago from USA

      Hi Audrey - The words from a Japanese mother that I read one time were sort of like these, "We eat clear soups because if they were thick soups enough would be wasted from what sticks to the bowls that would feed a baby for a year." Gus

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Thanks - you'd think I could have finished 1 more but nah - will have to hit it again tomorrow or next day. I love that soup though because it so simple....I tend to go overboard on cooking so occasionally it is nice to fall back on something easier! Thanks as always for tracking me.....har har

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 8 years ago from England

      Hi, now that does look nice. I don't tend to try different types of food very often but occasionally i splash out and try something different. I noticed that you have one more hub to go before 100 yeah!! cheers Nell