Japanese Meatball Soup

If you’re craving a warm and comforting bowl of Japanese goodness, look no further than my Japanese Meatball Soup! My recipe combines the delicate flavors of ground pork and beef meatballs in a savory broth, creating a protein-rich and satisfying meal. Whether you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine or just looking for a hearty yet light meal option, this soup is a must-try!

Japanese meatball soup being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Why I Love This Recipe

What I think makes this recipe truly special is its blend of Japanese flavors and the umami-packed meatball goodness, all delicately trapped under a layer of oil to retain its warmth, simply the best when looking for something to warm you up! Crafted from a combination of ground pork and beef, these meatballs infuse the broth with a rich and savory taste, very similar in style to my Japanese Chicken Soup, Japanese Mushroom Soup, or Ozoni Soup!

The result is a bowl of soup that’s hearty enough to satisfy your cravings while remaining light on the palate, making it perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a taste of Japan in the comfort of their home. So, if you appreciate the deliciousness of Japanese cuisine and crave a comforting, protein-rich meal, I promise this Japanese Meatball Soup should be on your list to make soon!



  • Dashi fish broth made from steeping kombu and bonito flakes with boiling water. Can also use Hondashi mixed in water for instant dashi.
  • Green Onion – finely chopped green onion scallions.
  • Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets. 
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Onion – yellow or brown onion.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 
  • Ground Pork – 20% fat or greater preferred.
  • Ground Beef – 20% fat or greater preferred.
  • Eggs – whole.
  • Milk – diary milk or half n half only. Milk alternatives will result in a off put taste.
  • Black Pepper – ground.

🧂 Additional Flavor Pro Tip

Enhance the umami by adding chopped Shiitake Mushrooms.

🥢 Dashi Pro Tip

For instant dashi, opt for a mixture of water and Hondashi. Add 1 tbsp of Hondashi to 6 cups of boiling hot water.

Japanese meatball soup served in a wooden bowl, close up shot.


Step 1 Sauté chopped onions in a large frying pan coated with oil until browned, approximately 2-4 minutes.

Onions in a frying pan.

Step 2 In a mixing bowl, combine the browned onions, ground beef, ground pork, milk, eggs, salt, and black pepper. Form meatballs from the mixture.

Meatball mixture in a bowl.

Step 3 In a pot, add Dashi and Japanese sake. Bring to a boil, then add in the meatballs. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes.

Meatball being cooked in soup.

🌡 Internal Temperature Check

Ensure the meatballs are fully cooked by checking that their internal temperature reaches 165°F. This temperature ensures that they are safe to eat and cooked to perfection.

Step 4 Add salt and soy sauce into the broth.

Seasoning added to meatball soup.

🥄 Tasting Pro Tip

Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with Salt to your preference.

Step 5 Top the soup with green onions, mix well, and serve.

Japanese meatball soup served in a bowl.

🍴 Serving Pro Tip

Make sure to give the soup a Good Stir Before Serving. You’ll notice a layer of oil on the surface, which effectively traps the heat, so be cautious to avoid burning your mouth.

Paring Recommendations

For a hearty and satisfying meal, Japanese Beef Fried Rice is an excellent choice. Its combination of tender beef, vegetables, and seasoned rice perfectly complements the flavors of the soup. Additionally, a veggie side dish like Stir Fry Bean Sprouts or Japanese Cucumber Salad adds a refreshing and crunchy contrast to the savory soup.

Japanese meatball soup being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare the meatballs in advance and freeze them?

Yes, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Just ensure they are fully cooked before freezing.

Is it necessary to add both ground pork and beef, or can I use just one type of meat?

Yes, you can use just one type of meat for the meatballs, but it will alter the flavor and oil content. Using all pork will make the soup richer, while all beef will make it leaner.

Can I make the dashi broth from scratch?

Yes, you can make dashi from scratch using kombu and bonito flakes. However, using instant dashi is the quicker and easier option.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, ensure it’s placed in an airtight container and refrigerated. The soup will remain fresh for a period of 10 to 14 days when stored this way. When you’re ready to relish it again, reheating can be conveniently done using either a microwave or stovetop.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese Meatball Soup

Indulge in the savory delight of Asian meatball soup featuring delicious Japanese meatballs. A bowl of comforting warmth awaits.
4.85 from 13 votes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Asian meatball soup, Japanese meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe
Calories: 653kcal





  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for Japanese meatball soup.
  • Make 6 cups of Dashi and leave on simmer.
    Dashi in a pot.
  • In the meantime, chop onions.
    Chopped onions.
  • In a frying pan, add oil and cook onions on medium heat until translucent. Should be around 2-4 minutes. Set aside once cooked.
    Onions in a frying pan.
  • Chop green onions into thin slices and set aside.
    Chopped green onions.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add and combine ground beef, ground pork, milk, eggs, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and grilled onions.
    Meatball mixture in a bowl.
  • Take a small amount of the meatball mix and throw from one hand to another while gently cupping the meatball with the palm of hands to form shape. Meatballs should be a little bigger than a golf ball and you should end up with 12-16 meatballs. Note - these meatballs are very fragile, so handle with care.
    Meatball mixture in a bowl.
  • Bring Dashi to soft boil then add Japanese sake and meatballs. Lower heat to medium low, cover 7/8 ways and cook for 10-12 minutes.
    Meatball being cooked in soup.
  • Once meatballs are cooked, add 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp soy sauce. Taste and adjust tastes with salt only. Transfer meatballs & soup to serving bowl and top with chopped green onions. Note - when serving, make sure you mix the soup around to mix in the oils from up on top as the soup will be very hot!
    Japanese meatball soup served in a bowl.


Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 1061mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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