Tonjiru Recipe 豚汁

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Tonjiru (Pork & Vegetable Miso Soup) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

I’ve previously shared my Basic Tofu Miso Soup recipe and today I’d like to share my favorite miso soup recipe called Tonjiru (豚汁), literally meaning “pork (ton) soup (jiru)”.

Tonjiru (Pork & Vegetable Miso Soup) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Tonjiru is not as common as simple miso soup with tofu and seaweed, but some Japanese restaurants around San Francisco bay area do serve them and it’s one of popular miso soup in Japan. Tonjiru usually have gobo (burdock root) and other root vegetables such as daikon and carrots, in a pork based soup stock. The sauteed pork belly gives the soup nice umami flavor and the soup texture is different since it has so many ingredients. Since it’s very flavorful, you can replace Dashi Stock with water if you like. Personally I prefer dashi stock to add more flavor.

The weather in the Bay Area today is cold and cloudy/rainy so I hope a bowl of Tonjiru will warm you up a bit. Enjoy!

Tonjiru (Pork & Vegetable Miso Soup) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

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Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 5 cups dashi
  • ½ Tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ lb sliced pork belly, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp ground or minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 inch daikon
  • ½ gobo (burdock root)
  • 2 baby taro
  • ½ - 1 carrot
  • ⅓ block konnyaku (konjac)
  • 5 Tbsp. miso (I use awase miso)
  • ½ block tofu, cut into ½ inch cubicles
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  1. Make 5 cups of dashi stock. When dashi stock is ready, keep it aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cut all the ingredients into small pieces. If you are interested in Japanese way of cutting these veggies, you can follow Cutting Techniques page. Carrot and Gobo: Hangetsugiri (Semi-Circle) technique, Daikon and baby taro: Ichogiri (Quarter-Rounds) technique, Konnyaku: Tanzakugiri (Rectangles) technique, Onion: thinly sliced.

  3. In a frying pan, heat sesame oil on medium high heat and add the meat and ginger. Cook until nicely browned and set aside.

  4. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil on medium high and sauté onion until it is well coated with oil.

  5. Add gobo, daikon, baby taro, carrot, and other hard ingredients (like lotus root if you add any). Mix all together and then add konnyaku and soft ingredients (such as shimeji mushrooms if you add any). Stir until everything is well mixed.

  6. Pour dashi stock into the large pot.

  7. Add the meat and bring the soup to a boil.

  8. Right before it starts boiling, skim off the scum and fat from the soup. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes depending on ingredients you put.
  9. Add miso using a strainer. If you don’t have one, use a ladle so you can make sure all miso is completely dissolved. Taste the soup before you add more miso. If you add tofu, it will dilute the soup a little bit, so you might want to add ½ Tbsp. more miso.

  10. Add Tofu and stir gently without breaking up the tofu.

  11. When you are ready to eat, reheat the miso soup on medium high heat. And please remember: NEVER LET THE SOUP BOIL because miso will lose flavor. Add green onion and serve immediately.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: Pictures updated in June 2013.

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  1. Mmmm delicious for a cold night in~ I love the addition of Konnyaku ♥ I’ve made dashi-jiru a few weeks back and thanks to your dashi recipe too as part of my reading references 😉 Thanks again for sharing!

    • Thank you Min! But nothing will beat your fish stock! I still can’t believe you cooked the homemade fish stock for the paella… Very dedicated work! Thanks for stopping by. It’s 2am here and time to sleep. Have a great evening there. :-)

    • Hi Gourmantine! My mom used to pack and freeze parboiled spinach when we have leftover, and added in miso soup when we are missing green color in dinner menu. Just remember that now. :-) Thanks for your visit!

    • Hi Peggy! So nice your area is already warm. Here, it’s sometimes cold and then warm and back to cold.. going crazy! We drink a miso soup almost everyday if I cook Japanese food and each day different ingredients in it. Have you tried cold miso soup? It’s good too and my kids always prefer cold one.

  2. First of all, thank you for the cutting guide; that’s pretty awesome. I love, love, love the fact that you don’t shy away from pork. We love pork in our house. Hmm, pork and baked goods…oh well. Your soup looks wholesome and filling. Must check our teeny tiny international market for some of the ingredients. Love your sense of humor too:)

    • Strange – I did leave a comment before but I don’t see it. Anyway I leave it again. Thank you Sandra! I’m glad you enjoyed looking at Japanese cutting techniques. I have trouble explaining in English sometimes so I thought “visual” guide would help. :-) I know… now I have to think of people who don’t have access to Japanese ingredients when I make recipes. I’ll try my best! I’m reaallly curious what you can find in the teeny tiny international market!

    • Hi Mika-san! Eh? You don’t? I guess each region in Japan put different stuff… I’m pretty sure my mom put Tofu in it. Just extra healthy ingredient won’t hurt the taste. 😉

    • Thank you Adora’s Box! I actually drink just this soup in a big Donburi bowl and I’m happy. I don’t even need main dish or a bowl of rice!

  3. YUMMY, my favorite soup. Any way you make it if it has miso in it I love it :) I’ll need to make this :) but first I need to get a few of those ingredients 😉

  4. We love miso soup with pork as it is so hearty and tasty especially on colder days. Adding some konnyaku is a great idea. It looks so tasty and inviting. I would love to have some now with onigiri for my lunch. :)

    • Hi Biren! You are eating Onigiri!!! You are funny. I know you cook a lot of Japanese food, but still, I would never imagined you make Onigiri for your lunch! Now I’m hungry…

  5. I made this for a “starter” for a dinner party the other night because we were going have sukiyaki and I wasn’t sure our guests could have waited for something warm, having just come in from the Montreal cold. It was a real hit despite the absence of konyyaku, gobo and satoimo. All had seconds or thirds! Thanks Nami! Just wanted to let you know that ginger is missing from your ingredients list.

    • I’m happy to hear you adjusted recipe and you all enjoyed Tonjiru! I’m going to add the ginger in ingredient list. Thank you for letting me know!

  6. Vicki

    I am so glad I found this recipe! It is one of my favorite meals but never had the ‘guts’ to try it out and didn’t know how to make it..your post makes it work alright for me and beings it is cold and snowy here in Hokkaido I am going to enjoy making this! Now on to my shopping list for it! And Merry Christmas to you!

    • Hi Vicki! I’m happy you like this recipe. I need to re-take pictures for this post so that it’s more appealing. I really love Tonjiru and make it often too. Ohhh it’s so cold in Hokkaido now, but having a nice soup like this (with good local vegetables!) must be wonderful!! Thank you so much for writing, Vicki! :)

  7. donna mikasa

    Oh, this looks so good, Nami! I’m glad that I saw this today on Facebook!
    Hoping to make it one evening for dinner. Yum!

  8. Nami, I have made this numerous times and it has always come out fabulously! I have varied EVERYTHING on the list depending on what I had or could get, and it stays amazing. A very forgiving recipe, and an excellent method! Thanks for another winner!

    • Hi Angie! So happy to hear you enjoy this Tonjiru recipe! Yeah I also change things up based on ingredients I have in the kitchen. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  9. Linda

    Mmmmm! Pork belly, miso and root veggies–talk about comfort food! I will definitely try this recipe out soon. One question, though–can you give us an idea, please, as to where we should look for konnyaku in an Asian market? Would it be in the refrigerated section, like tofu, or on the regular shelves like a dry good? Thanks!