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Kenchin Jiru (Japanese Vegetable Soup) served served as a Western-style soup.
Japanese Vegetable Soup (Kenchinjiru)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Pressing Tofu
30 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Japanese Vegetable Soup (Kenchinjiru) was originally a Buddhist dish. Root vegetables and tofu are sautéed and cooked in flavoured dashi broth. It is quite filling but you don’t need to worry about the calories.

If you use vegetarian dashi stock such as konbu dashi or shiitake dashi, it becomes 100% vegetarian.

Servings are based on a standard Japanese soup bowl. If serving as a Western style soup, it serves 2-3 bowls of soup.

Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: kenchinjiru, vegetable soup
Serves: 4
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • ½ pack firm tofu/momen tofu (about 200g/7.1oz)
  • 50g/1.8oz carrot thinly sliced to 3mm thick (note 1)
  • 70g/2.5oz daikon , sliced to 3mm/⅛" thick then into quarters or 1/6 pie shape (note 2)
  • 50g/1.8oz shimeji mushrooms , de-clustered to individual or a few tiny bunch of mushrooms
  • 100g/3.5oz taro , peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 125g/4.4oz konnyaku (1/2 pack)
  • 500ml/1.1pt boiling water
  • 1 stem shallot/scallions , cut to 2.5cm/1" long
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp oil
Dashi Broth
  • 800ml/1.7pt dashi stock (note 3)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Wrap the tofu in kitchen paper and place it on a tilted cutting board. Place a small cutting board or a container with a weight in it on the tofu. Leave it for 30 minutes or so. Do this step before preparing the vegetables.

  2. Cut konnyaku lengthwise into three equal strips. Then slice each strip perpendicular to the first cut to 5mm thick. Pouer boiling water over the konnyaku pieces. Drain.

  3. Cut the pressed tofu into half, horizontal to the cutting board. Cut the two layers of tofu lengthwise to half, then cut to 1.5cm thick perpendicular to the second cut.

  4. Add sesame oil and oil in a saucepan and heat over high heat.

  5. Put all the vegetables except shallots and tofu into the pan and stir fry until the vegetable pieces are coated in oil (1-1.5 minutes).

  6. Add tofu, then the Dashi Broth ingredients. Bring it to a boil, place a lid on and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. While cooking, remove the scum from time to time.
  7. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 15 seconds or so, then turn the heat off.
  8. Serve while hot.
Recipe Notes

1. My carrot was thin so I just sliced it to make a round shape. If your carrot is fat, cut it into half or quarters vertically, then slice it.

2. Depending on how thick the daikon is, adjust the size of the pie shape. The idea is to make it slightly larger than the carrot pieces.

3. For vegetarian dashi stock, please visit Varieties of Dashi Stock.

4. You can keep the soup in the fridge for a few days. If not serving, add shallots/scallions later to prevent discolouration.

5. Nutrition information per serving assuming 4 servings.

serving: 377g  calories:194kcal  fat: 9.7g (15%)  saturated fat: 1.2g (6%)  polyunsaturated fat: 2.6g  monounsaturated fat: 4.9g  cholesterol: 2mg (1%)  sodium: 801mg (33%) potassium: 678mg (19%)  carbohydrates: 15 (5%)  dietary fibre: 3g (12%)  sugar: 2.7g  protein: 11g  vitamin a: 42%  vitamin c: 12%  calcium: 13%  iron: 9.3%