If you are a frequent diner in Japanese restaurants, you know that a bowl of hot soup is the best appetizer, specifically Japanese Clear Soup.
Japanese soups are excellent! As its name suggests, Japanese Clear Soup is clear seasoned broth with herbs and spices. It can be cooked with any meat, seafood, and vegetables.
What Is Japanese Clear Soup?
Suimono is the local term for Japanese Clear Soup. Sui-mono means “sipping things.”
Japanese Clear Soup is a broth-based soup. It is prepared by simmering meat broths and vegetables for hours to produce a deep rich flavor. When cooked, the vegetables are removed and what remains is the clear soup.
The Japanese Clear Soup can be garnished with scallions and topped with thinly- sliced mushrooms.
Japanese Clear Soup comes in many variations, the difference being in its ingredients, clarity, and color. For instance, chicken broth will make your clear soup have a more transparent appearance and a lighter flavor.
When you use meat broth, your clear soup will not have the same depth as when you use chicken broth. Your clear soup will seem not to be clear and light in flavor, too.
Some Japanese Clear Soup use mushroom broth instead of chicken or meat broth.
Reasons the Japanese Love to Drink More Soup
Yes, drink! When the soup is served in a small bowl, such as a clear soup or miso soup, it is typical to drink the soup from the bowl.
Japanese Clear Soup is a portion of easy-to-prepare comfort food, especially on a cold day. Soup is also good for the body. Whether it is a vegetable or broth-based soup, a warm cup of soup is good for your overall well being.
Here are some of the reasons soup is healthy food.
• Warms your Body
A cup of hot soup warms your body. If you are freezing because of the chilly weather, a cup of hot soup is the answer. Drinking warm soup increases your body temperature and, therefore, makes you feel warm.
• High in Fiber and Low in Fat
Most soups, except those that are cream-based, are packed with vegetables. Vegetables have high-fiber and low-fat content. This makes soups a remarkably healthy food.
When you cook soup, you preserve almost all vitamins and minerals because you do not throw away the water. In this regard, every time you drink soup, you are drinking a delicious and vitamin-packed broth.
• Hot Improves your Immune System
Do you often drink soup when you are sick? You probably do because hot soup increases your body temperature and helps fight sickness. Some soups also contain ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve the pains and symptoms of mild illnesses. Soups are easy to digest and highly nourishing.
• Helps you Lose Weight
Japanese Clear Soup contains simple ingredients. It is not precisely nutritious, but it is low in calories. This soup is an excellent appetizer for dinner or lunch when you are on a weight loss diet.
• Easy to Prepare and Cook
Preparing soup entails tossing all ingredients into a pot and leaving it alone to cook.
• Can be Refrigerated and Easy to Reheat
If you are conscious of leftovers, soups work well from the stovetop to the freezer and back to the stovetop or microwave. You can cook a large pot of soup and make it part of your dinners for the entire week.
Japanese restaurants prepare clear soups many days ahead and store them in the refrigerator. This allows flavors of the ingredients to seep in.
Miso Soup vs. Japanese Clear Soup
Miso soup is a Japanese soup consisting of miso paste and dashi stock. Japanese Clear soup consists of meat, chicken, vegetable broth, or in certain instances, mushroom broth.
Shirumono is a generic term for Japanese soup dishes that are served with rice. Other than miso paste, miso soup is flavored with soy sauce, soybean, and salt.
Japanese Clear Soup is a Sakana (a type of Suimono), accompanied by sake rice wine.
Miso soup and Japanese Clear Soup contain meat, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, eggs, and tofu.
Miso soup contains miso paste, and its seasoning gives the soup a brown color. Japanese Clear Soup consists of stock soup, salt, and soy sauce.
Miso soup is usually served in a wooden bowl, and you drink Japanese Clear Soup from a lacquered soup bowl. Conversely, you can also drink Japanese Clear Soup in a wooden bowl and Miso soup in a lacquered bowl.
Japanese Clear Soup Recipe
In Japanese restaurants and even in other restaurants, Japanese Clear Soup is cooked way ahead of time and refrigerated to allow flavors to sip deep into the soup.
Japanese Clear Soup is considered one of the best leftover dishes because it tastes better days after it was cooked.
- 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 piece Onion, large, peeled and in wedges
- 1(2inch) piece Ginger, fresh and sliced
- 2 pieces Carrots, large and cut into chunk-sized pieces
- 4 pieces Scallions, chopped
- 8 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
- 4 cups Water
- 10 pieces Button Mushroom, thinl ysliced ((optional) Salt to taste)
1. Place over medium-high heat an 8-quart stockpot.
2. Heat the oil.
3. Sear onions, garlic, ginger and carrots, caramelizing them but making sure garlic does not get burned.
4. Pour in chicken broth and water and let boil.
5. Lower fire and simmer soup for about an hour.
6. Separate vegetables from broth with a skimmer.
7. Add salt to taste.
Yield: 10 cups
With a ladle, fill ten bowls with the Japanese Clear Soup. Garnish the soup with scallions and mushrooms. You can also top your Japanese Clear Soup with clams and other seafood.
You can also opt to cool the soup and refrigerate to allow flavors to sip into the soup more.
If you are craving for a hot cup of soup on a cold night, the Japanese Clear Soup is one of your best options to satisfy your cravings.
Most Japanese restaurants often serve Japanese Clear Soup as an appetizer. You can make several variations of this soup. You can also tweak the quantities of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe, depending on your preferred taste.
It is easy-to-prepare and cooks soup. The nicest part is you can cook a pot-full of the Japanese Clear Soup and keep it in the refrigerator for days. The truth is, it tastes better when consumed days after it was cooked. The Japanese Clear Soup is a superb appetizer or a very light lunch without meat.