Soups are an important part of Japanese food culture, but they are often overlooked. Here is an easy recipe for a ginger and onion spiced tuna, mushroom and onion dashi soup that's perfect for almost any season.

Traditional Japanese meals consist of a soup and three kinds of vegetables/proteins. This means that soup is one of the authentic Japanese food recipes. And it comes in a number of varieties – much more than just as miso soup. This recipe combines tuna, shiitake mushrooms, and dashi broth to make an umami flavor-rich dashi soup. With both onion and ginger added, it warms and nourishes the body. Use this easy-to-follow recipe and video to create a delicious tuna and onion dashi soup that’s sure to wow the whole family.

What Is Shiro Dashi?

This recipe uses shiro dashi, which is just one of the many kinds of dashi stocks commonly used in Japanese food culture. Shiro dashi is a katsuo dashi concentrate (the dried flakes of the bonito fish) with usukuchi (light) soy sauce, which helps to preserve and emphasize the original color of the ingredients. This versatile dashi is ideal for a variety of Japanese cuisine ranging from noodles and stew to donburi, nabemono (hot pots) and many more dishes.

We recommend using Yamaki Kappo Shiro Dashi concentrated dashi base for this authentic Japanese recipe. It uses select, premium-grade dried bonito as its primary ingredient. Rich with authentic flavor and umami, as well as a wonderfully enticing aroma, this light-colored dashi makes it easy to cook a variety of dishes with that distinctive dashi flavor. Just add water! The concentrate contains no artificial preservatives.

The ultimate guide to many varieties of dashi broth, here.

About Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms occupy an important place in Japanese culture and traditions. Eaten fresh or added dried to soups, the shiitake is a meat substitute that is packed with umami flavor. Although the shiitake has a long history of use in Japanese food culture, its powerful health benefits are only now coming to light. Adding shiitake mushrooms to soups instantly creates a medicinal, nourishing dish that fortifies the immune system and protects the body against toxins.

Using Tuna Japanese-Style

Tuna is one of the most popular meats used in traditional Japanese recipes, including sushi and sashimi. But not all tuna is created equal. Japanese people divide tuna into at least three different types, depending on the taste and flavor. If you visit a Japanese grocery or meat market, you may see even more categories of tuna available. Feel free to use any variety of tuna for this recipe. However, keep in mind that, in general, the fattier the tuna the sweeter and buttery the taste.

Cooking Tips:

  • After adding tuna to the soup, bring to a boil and skim off any foam.
  • Onions become sweeter when you cook them well. If you prefer, you can boil the onions first and then add tuna later. This will give the soup a bit more flavor at the end.