Sanpei-jiru (Salmon Soup from Hokkaido, Japan) | Easy Japanese Recipes at


Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: salmon soup, seafood soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Author: Nami
A popular soup from Hokkaido, Sanpeijiru features salted salmon and a variety of root vegetables and cooked in kombu dashi broth. You'd enjoy this delicate and tasty soup on a cold day!



  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Sanpei-jiru Ingredients
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut salmon scraps into 2-3” (5-8 cm) pieces.
    Sanpei-jiru 1
  3. Cut the salted salmon filets in half.
    Sanpei-jiru 2
  4. When water is boiling, blanch all the salmon scraps and salted salmon fillets for 30 seconds. This will help get rid of fishy smell and remove some of saltiness. Read my blog post about the reason why this step is essential.
    Sanpei-jiru 3
  5. Drain and rinse each salmon piece with water and get rid of the fat, protein (white stuff), and sometimes scales. It’s important to get rid of the smelly oil. Read more about it in the post.
    Sanpei-jiru 4
  6. Put all the salmon in a large pot and add 4 cups (960 ml) water.
    Sanpei-jiru 5
  7. Add Kombu and cover with the lid. Slowly bring it to boil so that kombu has enough time to release its umami.
    Sanpei-jiru 6
  8. Meanwhile peel and cut daikon radish in quarters lengthwise. Then slice thinly.
    Sanpei-jiru 7
  9. Peel and slice carrot into thin rounds (or halves or quarters, depends on the size).
    Sanpei-jiru 8
  10. Cut Tokyo negi (or long negi or scallions) into ½ inch (cm) pieces diagonally. All the veggies except for the potatoes are ready to go.
    Sanpei-jiru 9
  11. When the soup is almost boiling, discard the kombu. Kombu gets slimy and release bitter taste in boiling water, so for Japanese cooking we discard Kombu right before boiling. Using a fine mesh sieve, scoop foam, fat, and any scum you see floating on the surface of the soup. This is very important process to achieve a nice clean flavor. Some people cook vegetables first and then add salmon, but I prefer cooking salmon first so it’s easier to clean the soup before adding vegetables.
    Sanpei-jiru 10
  12. Once the soup is clean, add the vegetables. Place the lid and continue to cook until vegetables are almost tender (80% done).
    Sanpei-jiru 11
  13. Meanwhile, peel the potato and remove the potato eyes (sprouts) if there are any.
    Sanpei-jiru 12
  14. Cut the potato into bite size cubes (I cut each potato into 8 pieces) and soak in water to remove starch.
    Sanpei-jiru 13
  15. When daikon is semi translucent and tender (no more raw hard part), add the potatoes, which take about 15 minutes to become tender (depends on the size).
    Sanpei-jiru 14
  16. With the fine mesh sieve, scoop more fat and foam if there are any.
    Sanpei-jiru 15
  17. Add sake and salt. Add more salt if necessary. Saltiness depends on the salmon, so you should taste the soup before seasoning. Serve hot and enjoy!
    Sanpei-jiru 16

Recipe Notes

Salmon scraps don’t have to be exactly 1 lb., but 1 lb. is what I recommend. Please read more about salmon scraps in the blog post.

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 and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.