Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup

Get ready to savor the comforting embrace of my Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup recipe, a beloved Japanese classic! When those chilly days call for warmth and nourishment, this hearty dish, also known as butajiru or pork soup, comes to the rescue. Packed with the delightful flavors of miso, dashi, and tender pork belly, combined with an array of wholesome vegetables, this recipe promises both simplicity and goodness!

Japanese tonjiru pork miso soup served in a white bowl with a wooden spoon, side angle shot.

Why I Love This Recipe

My Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup is a delightful representation of Japanese cuisine, with tender pork belly as the star ingredient slow cooked to produce incredible depth of flavor! The secret lies my low and slow cooking method, allowing the vegetables to tenderize and infuse the soup with their savory and slightly sweet notes. The miso brings the perfect umami richness to the dish, making it a wholesome and satisfying experience, ideal for those seeking comfort and an authentic Japanese taste!

If you’re craving an authentic Japanese experience that’s both simple to prepare and packed with goodness, my recipe is your go-to choice! Just like my other Tofu Miso Soup variations, such as Egg Drop Miso Soup and Clam Miso Soup, the secret lies in the dashi and miso base, it’s the addition of succulent pork belly that takes the flavors to a creamy, umami-rich delight. It’s a must-try for anyone who loves a nice, warm, hearty bowl of Japanese-style soup!

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • Dashi fish broth made from steeping kombu and bonito flakes with boiling water. Can also use Hondashi mixed in water for instant dashi.
  • Pork Belly – skinless thinly sliced pork belly cut into bite size pieces.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.   
  • Ginger – freshly grated ginger roots.
  • Burdock Root – also known as gobo and can be found at Asian grocery stores.
  • Carrot – chopped.
  • Onion – yellow or brown onions chopped.
  • Green Onion – freshly chopped green onion scallions.
  • Japanese Radish  also known as daikon and can be found at Asian grocery stores.
  • Tofu – soft or medium white Tofu.
  • Shirataki Noodles – low carb Shirataki Noodles made from konnyaku or konjac plant. Can be found at Asian grocery stores.
  • Miso – awase brown Miso works best for tonjiru miso soup.

🥢 Dashi Pro Tip

For easier preparation of the dashi, use Hondashi mixed with water. This quick tip simplifies the process and ensures a flavorful base for your dish.

🥢 Miso Ingredient Note

There are three main variations of miso paste to consider. White Miso offers a mild and sweet, nutty, and savory profile. Red Miso brings a more robust and salty flavor to the table. Brown Miso, often referred to as Awase Miso, strikes the perfect balance between salty and sweet, delivering the most umami flavor. For this particular recipe, we highly recommend using Brown Miso to achieve the ideal flavor profile.

Japanese tonjiru pork miso soup served in a white bowl with a wooden spoon, side angle shot.

Directions

☑ Before Getting Started

Use a Large Pot to provide ample space for even heat distribution and flavor infusion.

Step 1 Start by heating oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Sear bite-sized pieces of pork belly along with ginger until they’re nicely browned. Toss in toasted sesame oil and set this mixture aside.

Pork belly being cooked in a frying pan.

🌰 Sesame Oil Note

Avoid Cooking with Toasted Sesame Oil as it has a low smoke temperature and can easily burn during the cooking process.

Step 2 In a large stove-top pot, add cooking oil along with the chopped onions, carrots, and gobo. Coat them with toasted sesame oil, and then reintroduce the cooked pork belly and Dashi stock. Add the chopped daikon radish to the pot and let it simmer on low heat for approximately 20 minutes.

Tonjiru in a pot being cooked.

Step 3 Next, introduce tofu and shirataki noodles, and let them cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Tofu added to tonjiru.

Step 4 Finally, incorporate the miso paste into the soup, allowing it to simmer until you’re ready to serve.

Miso paste being added to tonjiru.

🥢 Miso Pro Tip

Do not Boil Miso. Boiling can cause it to lose its distinctive miso flavor.

🥄 Tasting Pro Tip

Ensure to taste the soup and Adjust the Miso flavor to your liking, as miso can vary significantly depending on the type and brand.

Step 5 Before serving, garnish the Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup with green onions and, if desired, a touch of shichimi togarashi red pepper for added flavor.

Tonjiru served in a bowl.

📄 Leftover Recipe Notes

Note that this soup Tastes Better the Next Day. With time, all the ingredients absorb the miso broth, resulting in a more delicious and satisfying meal.

Paring Recommendations

Consider serving tonjiru alongside Japanese Miso Salmon for a delightful combination of flavors. Additionally, a bowl of steamed rice can be the perfect accompaniment to soak up the savory broth. If you’re looking for more options, simple stir-fry dishes like Japanese Shishito Pepper Stir Fry or Bean Sprouts and Pork Stir Fry can complement the soup’s hearty character while offering a true authentic Japanese meal.

Japanese tonjiru pork miso soup noodles being picked up with chopsticks and a wooden spoon, top down shot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the pork belly with a different type of meat?

No, it's recommended to use pork belly for its unique flavor and the creamy texture it imparts to Tonjiru.

Where can I find the ingredients like burdock root or shirataki noodles?

Most Asian grocery stores carry these ingredients.

Can I freeze Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup for future meals?

Yes, you can freeze it in ziplock freezer bags. To defrost, simply place it back on the stovetop.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, place it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will remain fresh for 5-7 days. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese tonjiru pork miso soup noodles being picked up with chopsticks and a wooden spoon, top down shot.

Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup

Indulge in the rich flavors of Pork Miso Soup, a hearty and nutritious Japanese classic. This satisfying dish is perfect for warming up during colder months. Try my pork miso soup recipe today!
5 from 11 votes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese pork soup, pork miso soup, tonjiru, tonjiru soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe
Calories: 514kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Dashi
  • 1 1/2 lb Pork Belly
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Inch Ginger
  • 1/4 Whole Burdock Root gobo
  • 1 Whole Carrot
  • 1/4 Cup Onion chopped
  • 1 Stalk Green Onion
  • 2 Inches Japanese Radish daikon
  • 1/4 Box Tofu about 3.5oz
  • 8 oz Shirataki Noodles
  • 5 1/2 tbsp Miso brown or awase miso

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Make 6 Cups of Dashi. Set on simmer and hold aside.
  • In the meantime, peel the skin off the Japanese radish, cut into small cubes about 1" x 1" and place in a bowl of water.
    Cut daikon in a bowl.
  • Cut pork belly into slices that are about 1/2 inch thick and set aside.
    Cut pork belly.
  • Grate ginger and set aside.
    Grated ginger.
  • Coat frying pan with cooking oil and add in sliced pork belly and grated ginger on high heat. Cook for about 2-3 until browned on all sides, add in 1/2 tbsp of toasted sesame oil and mix well. Once done, transfer to a holding plate.
    Pork belly being cooked in a frying pan.
  • Prepare all the ingredients by dicing onions, slicing carrots and burdock root into 1/4" slices, cutting tofu into 1/2" cubes, and finely chopping green onions. Set all aside.
    Sliced carrot.
  • Prepare Shirataki Noodles by straining prepacked liquid and washing noodles under cold water. Set aside in a bowl.
    Shirataki noodles in a bowl.
  • Coat a large stove top pot with cooking oil on high heat and add in carrots, burdock root and onions. Cook for 1 minute while mixing and then add in 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil.
    Carrot, gobo and carrots in a pot.
  • Next, add the cooked pork belly and Dashi from step 2). Strain the water from Japanese radish and add into the stove top pot. Bring the soup to a boil and once boiling, lower heat to low/simmer and cover 7/8 way to allow for venting. Cook for 20 minutes.
    Tonjiru in a pot being cooked.
  • After 20 minutes has passed, add tofu and Shirataki Noodles, cook for another 3 minutes partially covered.
    Tofu added to tonjiru.
  • Inside a strainer, add Miso and mix into water to dissolve (never boil Miso as it will lose its umami flavor). Transfer soup to a serving bowl and top with green onion. 
    Miso paste being added to tonjiru.

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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4 Comments

  1. I’ve think I found the ramen fix ? you guys are amazing

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Foodie! Tonjiru is my and my father-in-laws favorite soup! It’s much less salty than miso ramen and much more creamy and light. If you’re strict keto, just make sure to limit the amount of root vegetables you use to avoid racking up the carbs. This soup is really good though! Wish more people knew about it!

  2. I had a craving for Ramen in this cold weather. I can’t wait to make this dish! Thanks!

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