Miso Soup with Pork and Vegetables

It is common to use pork back ribs for tonjiru soup. Lard from the pork makes the soup rich in flavor.

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 blunt edge of a 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 cut 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 a minute.


Add the sake and water.


After bringing to a boil, slightly lower the heat to skim 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 a minute and turn off the heat. Add the wakegi Welsh onions.


Sasagaki (shavings)

Refers to making 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 to sharpen it to a point.
  2. Have the cut pieces fall in a bowl of water to prevent discoloration from oxidation.

Suitable ingredient:
Gobo burdock root

Enjoy the flavor and aroma created by the synergy of pork and root vegetables.
Pork has a rich umami flavor while root vegetables have a distinctive flavor and aroma. Enjoy the synergy of both in tonjiru: miso soup with pork and root vegetables. Pork belly is recommended because of its especially rich flavor. Use at least three different root vegetables for a richly fragrant soup. Try adding taro root and lotus root for variety. Cutting the vegetables into relatively thick slices provides a nice texture.