Tonjiru is like an upgraded, meatier version of classic miso soup. It literally means “pork soup” and it’s a hearty soup that can be perfect for any kind of meal. It is especially good in the wintertime to warm up the body and give energy. The delicious flavor will be enjoyed by the whole family. The best things about tonjiru, though, is that it can be made at home easily. Let’s get started!
What Is Tonjiru?
As the name suggests, the main ingredient of this soup is pork belly. Unlike miso soup, which usually contains things like seaweed and tofu, tonjiru instead includes many hearty root vegetables. It also contains shiitake mushrooms, which not only have a nice flavor but are known for their many medicinal qualities. The pork belly adds a lot of substance and flavor to the dish.
Combining dashi broth and mirin, two of the most popular seasonings in Japanese food culture, just makes it richer. The root vegetables, including onions, potatoes, carrots, and daikon radish, make it healthy and they give you energy to power through the day.
The end result is a relatively simple soup that bursts with umami, the kind of tantalizing flavor that many traditional Japanese food recipes aim at capturing. This soup is both filling and hearty, as well as delicious and even healthy. It’s a great option for lunch or dinner or for making a large pot that can be warmed up again and again and consumed over many days!
- Cook the meat in the broth first, so the juiciness from the pork belly will make the broth tastier.
- Make sure to skim off the foam from the pot before adding vegetables.
- Add the miso at the very end and remove from heat as soon as miso melts. Overcooking miso will result in losing the fragrance and richness of miso itself.
Tonjiru Pork Soup
- ½ lb Pork Belly
- ¼ Daikon Radish
- ¼ Carrot
- 4 Shiitake Mushroom
- ½ White Onion
- 1 Yellow Potato
- ½ Leek
- Cut pork belly into bite sized pieces.
- Cut carrot and daikon radish into quarters. Then, thinly slice them (about 0.3 inch thick).
- Peel and cut potato and onion into wedges. Cut shiitake mushroom and leek into bite size pieces.
- Place dashi broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sake into a pot and bring to boil over high heat.
- Once boiled, cook pork belly until done over medium heat.
- Skim off foam from the pot and add vegetables. Keep skimming off any foam and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
- Once vegetables are soft, add miso using a ladle.