One of most famous Japanese soup is Tonjiru or butajiru. Tonjiru is a miso soup, which is more filling than normal miso soup because it contains a lot of different types of vegetables, pork, tofu and mushrooms. This soup is cooked in dashi and is flavored with miso paste. Usually, vegetables like taro potato, carrots, gobo, konnyaku and daikon radish are used in this recipe. It is a very comforting soup, which is very tasty as well as very healthy.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 4
Preparation time required: 20-30 minutes
Cooking time required: 30-40 minutes
1 spider strainer
1 muslin cloth
1 10-inch gobo (burdock root), thinly sliced
½ konnyaku, cubed
5 cups of dashi stock
2-3 satoimo (taro root)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 daikon radish, cut into cubes
600 grams of sliced komagire pork (cut into smaller pieces)
½ cup of shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup + ½ cup of tofu cubes
1/4th cup of sake
1 small carrot (thinly sliced)
6 tablespoons of miso paste
For the Dashi
2 litres of water
100 ml. of cold water
40 grams of dried konbu (kelp)
40 grams of dried katsuobushi (bonito) flakes
Method of Cooking
1. First, take a saucepan and pour 2 litres of water in it. Then put the dried kelp into the water and push it slightly to submerge it completely in the water. Let the kelp sit in the water for 2-5 hours so that it can open up completely and expand.
Once that happens, place the saucepan on the stove and light up the flame. Set the flame on high and wait for the water to come to a boil. Remove the kelp from the water just before it comes to a boil. Let the water boil for 1 minute and then turn off the heat. Put the dried bonito flakes in the water and let them stay there for 15 minutes.
2. While the bonito flakes are soaking in the water, prepare a bowl by placing a muslin cloth-covered sieve on it. Strain the dashi through the muslin cloth-covered sieve and then gather the ends of the muslin cloth in your hand like a pouch. Press the pouch a little to extract out the excess dashi from it but avoid pressing it too hard. Once done, discard the pouch and let the dashi sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
3. Next, take the burdock root and rinse it thoroughly under running water until all of the dirt is rinsed. Once done, peel off the skin of the burdock root with a sharp knife and then cut that into fine shavings, in the same way as you sharp a pencil.
The thin shavings of burdock root that you will get are known as sasagaki shavings. Once the entire burdock root is sliced, transfer the shavings into a bowl of water and soak them in the water for 5 minutes.
4. While the burdock shavings are soaking in the water, take the carrot and cut it in half lengthwise. Slice each half of the carrot in half through the opposite direction and then chop the carrot horizontally into small pieces. Once done, cut the daikon radish and the taro root in the same way, but make sure that you peel the taro root before you chop it.
Then take the pork and cut it into 3-4 smaller pieces. Then take the tofu and cut it into small cubes. Finally, take the shiitake mushrooms and snap off their stems. Then cut the mushrooms caps into thick slices.
5. Once everything is sliced, take a saucepan and fill it up with water. Place the saucepan on the stove and set the flame on high. Wait for the water to come to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, tear the konnyaku in half with your hands and then try to tear the halves into smaller cubes.
Once done, put the konnyaku cubes into the boiling water and parboil them for 2-3 minutes. Once done, strain out the konnyaku cubes and then set them aside.
6. Now place another saucepan on the stove and light up the flame to set it on high. Pour some water into the saucepan and let it come to a boil. In the meantime, put the taro root cubes into a bowl and sprinkle salt over them. Massage the taro potato cubes with the salt and then put them into the boiling water.
Boil the taro potato cubes for 2-3 minutes and then drain away the water by tipping the taro potato cubes into a colander. Rinse the taro potato cubes immediately under running water and then they will no longer remain sticky.
7. Next, set a skillet on the stove and light up the flame. Set the flame on medium and put 2-3 tablespoons of sesame oil into the skillet. Let the oil heat up and then put the pork slices in it. Cook the pork slices until they no longer remain pink.
Once done, put the parboiled konnyaku pieces, tofu cubes, daikon pieces, carrot pieces and the gobo shavings into the skillet. Stir and cook all the things until they turn tender. Once that happens, pour the prepared dashi over all the ingredients in the skillet and then add the sake.
8. Wait for the soup to come to a boil and then skim off the scum from the surface of the soup. Put a lid on the skillet and let the soup cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Once the time elapses, remove the lid from the skillet and add the taro root cubes and the shiitake mushroom slices to the soup. Cook the soup for 5 minutes more.
9. Next, ladle out 2-3 ladleful of the soup into a bowl and then dissolve the miso paste in it. Whisk the mixture to completely dissolve the miso paste and then add the miso mixture to the soup in the skillet. Turn off the heat at this point and then add the sliced green onions to finish off the cooking. Finally, serve the warm soup in individual bowls