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Vegetable Soup

Image of Vegetable Soup<br/>[Kenchin-Jiru]

4 ounces (115 g) burdock root
2 cups (500ml) cold water
1 teaspoon (5ml) vinegar
1 medium potato, pared
4 ounces (115 g) daikon, pared
1 large carrot, pared
2 to 3 large green onions
4 fresh medium Chinese black mushrooms
10 ounces (285 g) tofu
1 teaspoon (5ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (5ml) sesame oil
4 ounces (115 g) ground chicken
5 cups (1250ml) dashi
1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
Seven-spice powder or sansho powder


Serves: 4


1. Scrape burdock root with back of knife to remove all skin. Shave root diagonally into narrow, thin shavings, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Place shavings into mixture of 1 cup (250ml) cold water and the vinegar. Soak 3 to 4 minutes; rinse under cold running water and drain.

2. Cut potato lengthwise into quarters; cut quarters crosswise into thin slices. Place in remaining 1 cup (250ml) cold water; soak 5 minutes. Drain.

3. Cut daikon and carrot lengthwise into quarters; cut quarters crosswise into thin slices. Cut green onions crosswise into ˝ inch (1.3cm) lengths. Remove and discard stems from mushrooms. Cut caps into halves; cut halves crosswise into thin slices.

4. Place tofu in strainer; using fork, break tofu into pieces no larger than ˝ inch (1.3cm). Rinse and drain.

5. Heat vegetable and sesame oils in 3-quart (3l) saucepan over high heat 1 minute; add chicken. Sauté, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked, about 3 minutes.

6. Add burdock root, potato, daikon and carrot to chicken. Sauté, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Add dashi, soy sauce and salt to chicken mixture; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-high; boil gently until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Skim foam from soup if needed during cooking.

8. Stir mushrooms and tofu into soup; cook 2 minutes. Stir green onions into soup; remove from heat.

9. Ladle soup into soup bowls; serve immediately. Pass seven-spice or sansho powder.

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