Made with fluffy eggs, tofu, and wakame seaweed, this comforting Japanese Glass Noodle Soup (or Harusame Soup) will be your go-to favorite quick soup. This easy recipe can be made in less than 15 minutes! Enjoy it as a fabulous lunch or a light dinner.
I’m all for a quick soup meal that’s easy, healthy, and nourishing. This Japanese Glass Noodle Soup called Harusame Soup (春雨スープ) is a perfect recipe that will keep you belly warm and satisfied.
It uses simple, everyday ingredients such as egg and tofu, as well as pantry ingredients like chicken broth/stock, dried cellophane noodles, and dried wakame seaweed. You can make the soup vegetarian-friendly with vegetable stock or kombu dashi.
What is Japanese Glass Noodle Soup
Called Harusame Soup (春雨スープ) in Japan, this Japanese glass noodle soup is made of some kind of stock (chicken, vegetable, or dashi), harusame (cellophane noodles), a simple protein, and vegetables.
Typically, fluffy eggs, tofu, and wakame seaweed are included in the quick soup because they are everyday ingredients in a Japanese kitchen, but you can make so many variations of it. I’ve shared a kimchi and pork version in the past.
Harusame or cellophane noodles are called “glass noodles” in English as they become translucent when they are cooked. These glass noodles are made of mung bean starch, so they are gluten-free. We often use harusame noodles to make Harusame Salad or as part of the filling for Harumaki (Japanese spring rolls).
One thing to note: Harusame Soup is a soup-forward dish, with a small portion of glass noodles in it. Its English name—Japanese Glass Noodle Soup—made it sound like a noodle dish like Udon Noodle Soup, but it’s not. You can always add more glass noodles if you want to make it into a hearty noodle dish.
How to Make Harusame Soup
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Dried glass/cellophane noodles made of mung bean starch; or Japanese harusame or Korean dangmyeon made of sweet potato starch
- Stock (chicken or vegetable)
- Wakame seaweed
- Green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Seasonings: sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, white pepper powder, black pepper
Overview: Cooking Steps
- Prepare ingredients: beat the eggs, cut the tofu and green onions, and rehydrate the wakame seaweed.
- Prepare the soup and cook the tofu and dried glass noodles.
- Drizzle the beaten eggs and add green onion and wakame seaweed. Serve and enjoy!
3 Important Cooking Tips
- Rehydrate dried wakame seaweed in water before adding to the soup. Dried wakame seaweed contain salt (from the ocean), so we usually soak in a separate water (not the soup) to hydrate and remove the salt. However, if you want to speed up the process, you can add the wakame seaweed but you might need to cut down on the salt later.
- Adjust the ratio of the chicken stock/broth to water if needed. If you prefer a more savory, strong flavored soup, increase the amount of the stock/broth and use less water. I typically start with a 1:1 ratio.
- Make sure the soup is simmering (at a very gentle boil) when you add the beaten eggs. Slowly pour a steady trickle of the beaten eggs into the soup in a circular motion, starting from the center and spiraling outward. Don’t pour on top of any egg that you’ve already added to the soup. DO NOT OVERCOOK the eggs. Let the eggs sit without stirring for 20-25 seconds until they’re fluffy and just cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use other kind of noodles?
Sure! If you’re using wheat noodles, you will need to cook the noodles in a separate pot of boiling water. Wheat noodles release starches while cooking, and you don’t want to cloud your clear soup.
The closest substitution would be the Chinese glass/cellophane noodles, or fěnsī (粉絲). They are slightly thinner than Japanese harusame. You can use the Korean varieties (dangmyeon) but they are made with sweet potato starch and on the thicker side.
What other vegetables can I use?
I’ll keep it simple, but thinly sliced carrot, spinach, shiitake mushrooms are great!
Can I add meat?
Of course! This recipe is very flexible. Cook the meat first until it is no longer pink, and then add the white part of the green onions.
Do we need to use white pepper powder?
In Asian cooking, white pepper is often used as it is said to have a more complex flavor profile. I like the smell and flavor of the white pepper used in Japanese-style Chinese dishes (Chuka Ryori).
White pepper is made from fully ripe pepper berries. They are soaked in water for about 10 days, leading to fermentation, and then their skins are removed. As a result, white pepper has a different flavor and heat component than black pepper.
You can certainly substitute black pepper for white pepper, noting that the black specks will show. Start with less black pepper than the white pepper called for and adjust the flavor as you go.
What Main Dishes to Serve with Harusame Soup
The glass noodle soup is wonderful on its own as a light low-calorie meal. To make it a more rounded meal, you can serve it with:
- Chukadon (Chinese-Style Rice Bowl)
- Beef and Green Pepper Stir-Fry (Chinjao Rosu)
- Fried Chicken with Scallion Soy Sauce (Yurinchi)
- Twice Cooked Pork (Hoi Ko Ro)
- Mapo Eggplant
- Gyoza or Vegetable Gyoza
- Pork Shumai (Steamed Pork Dumplings)
Japanese Glass Noodle Soup (Harusame Soup)
- 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
- 2 green onions/scallions
- 3.5 oz medium-firm tofu (momen dofu) (¼ block for 4 servings)
- 2 Tbsp dried wakame seaweed
- 2 tsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 cups Chicken Stock/Broth (homemade or store bought) (use vegetable stock for vegan/vegetarian)
- 2 cups water
- 1½ Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for GF)
- 1 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt) (adjust based on your chicken stock as some brands can be salty; add ½ tsp first, then add more after tasting)
- ¼ tsp white pepper powder
- 1 oz dried glass/cellophane noodles (harusame) (glass noodles are just one of many ingredients in this nutritious soup; you can add more noodles if you'd like a more noodle-forward dish)
- 2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Beat the eggs in a measuring cup or in a bowl with a spout.
- Cut the white part of the green onions into thin round pieces. Then, thinly slice the green part diagonally. Set them aside separately.
- Cut the tofu into ½-inch (1.3 cm) cubes.
- Add the wakame seaweed to a small bowl of water and rehydrate for 5 minutes. Then, drain and squeeze the water out. Set aside.
- Preheat a medium pot over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the sesame oil, then the white part of the green onions.
- Stir-fry for 30 seconds until the green onions are well coated with the oil. Then, add the chicken stock and water.
- Add the soy sauce, salt, and white pepper powder.
- After mixing the soup well, cover the pot with a lid and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the tofu and glass noodles.
- Cook the glass noodles according to the package instructions. Stir the noodles in the beginning so they don't stick to each other or the bottom of the pot.
- After the noodles are cooked, adjust the heat so the soup is simmering (a very gentle boil). Slowly pour a steady trickle of the beaten eggs into the soup in a circular motion, starting from the center and spiraling outward. (Don't pour on top of any egg that you've already added to the soup.) Place cooking chopsticks at the edge of the bowl/measuring cup while pouring so the egg will drizzle down the chopsticks in a thin stream. Let the eggs sit without stirring for 20-25 seconds until they're fluffy and just cooked.
- Add the rehydrated wakame seaweed, green parts of the green onions, and sesame seeds. Remove the saucepan from the heat to prevent overcooking.
- Transfer the glass noodles to individual bowls with a pair of tongs. Then pour the soup and other ingredients over the noodles. Serve hot.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The glass noodles will continue to absorb the soup; therefore, it's best to store the glass noodles in a separate container from the soup.