Tonjiru (Miso Soup with Pork and Vegetables)

Tonjiru literally means "pork soup", so it goes without saying that pork is an essential ingredient in this recipe, but it's the addition of root vegetables that enhances both flavor and aroma.

Tonjiru (Miso Soup with Pork and Vegetables)
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Eiko Oba




Soups & Stews



Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 100 g pork belly (thinly sliced)
  • 12 cm gobo burdock root (60 g)
  • 4 cm carrot (50 g)
  • 5 cm daikon radish (150 g)
  • 1 wakegi Welsh onion
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 600 ml water
  • 3 tbsp miso



Use the spine of your knife to scrape off the skin from the gobo burdock root. Rotate the gobo as you whittle the end to make thin shavings (sasagaki). Rinse and drain. Cut the carrot lengthwise into quarters and then into 5-6 mm slices (icho-giri). Cut the daikon lengthwise into quarters and then into 8 mm slices (icho-giri). Cut the wakegi into thin slices (koguchi-giri). Cut the pork into 2 cm lengths.


Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Stir-fry the pork.


When the pork changes color, add the gobo shavings, carrots and daikon and stir-fry for about 1 minute.


Add the sake and water.


After bringing to a boil, slightly lower the heat and skim off the surface scum. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat.


Dilute the miso with some of the soup and add to the pot. Simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then turn off the heat. Add the wakegi Welsh onions.


Sasagaki (Shavings)

Make thin shavings by whittling a gobo burdock root as if you were sharpening a pencil.

  1. Hold the gobo in one hand and rotate it while whittling as if sharpening a pencil.
  2. Have the shavings fall into a bowl of water to prevent discoloration from oxidation.

Suitable ingredient:
Gobo burdock root

[Tips for making delicious tonjiru]
*Use pork and root vegetables to add flavor and aroma*
Pork has a rich umami flavor, while root vegetables impart a distinctive flavor and aroma. Pork belly is recommended because of its richness, and using at least three different root vegetables will create an incredibly fragrant soup. You can also add taro or lotus root for variety. Cutting the vegetables into thick slices will provide a nice texture.