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What is Chicken Miso Soup?
Chicken miso soup, also known as Torijiru (鶏汁), is a type of miso soup that is made with chicken and many other ingredients.
Although Tonjiru (pork miso soup) is way more popular and well-known in Japan, chicken miso soup has been gaining popularity recently, and some now consider it even better than pork miso soup!
It should be noted that there is another regional dish called Torijiru in Oita Prefecture, but it is different from the chicken miso soup we’re talking about here.
How I Developed This Recipe
When developing this Torijiru recipe, I aimed to create a soup that highlighted the richness and flavor unique to chicken, setting it apart from Totonjiru.
I decided to fully utilize chicken skin to get the unique and rich chicken flavor into the soup.
Many people claim that Chicken Miso Soup tastes better than Pork. At first, I didn’t believe it, but now I might agree. I suggest that you try it yourself to experience the difference.
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Boneless Chicken Thighs with Skin-On: Skin-on is essential for this recipe, even if you decide to use chicken breasts instead.
- Garlic & Ginger: Finely dice to add fragrance and a significant depth of flavor.
- Vegetables: In this recipe, I used carrot, gobo (burdock root), daikon radish, Japanese leeks (naganegi), yellow onion, and enoki mushroom. I’ll suggest vegetable alternatives later on.
- Sesame Oil: I prefer to use Kadoya’s sesame oil for its subtle yet rich flavor in marinades.
- Dashi Broth: This is crucial for the dish’s base flavor. You can choose from simple awase dashi, vegan dashi, or instant dashi granules or packets for convenience.
- Sake: If sake isn’t available, white wine or dry sherry are suitable substitutes.
- Awase Miso Paste (Yellow Miso): This is the key condiment in this dish. While any miso can be used, I highly recommend Awase Miso for its balanced flavor.
- Soy Sauce: Kikkoman is a globally trusted and affordable brand. For more information on choosing the right soy sauce, take a look at my comprehensive soy sauce guide.
If you can’t get some of the vegetables mentioned above, here are a few substitutions you can use instead or in addition:
- Other types of mushroom (shiitake, shimeji, etc)
- Napa cabbage
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make The Best Chicken Miso Soup at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
Let’s do some prep work before we get to the fun part of cooking.
Torijiru uses a variety of vegetables, so chopping them up first will make things go smoother. Here’s how I prepared each one:
- Burdock Root and Japanese Leeks: Wash the leek and scrub the burdock root to clean off any dirt. Cut diagonal slices.
- Carrot: Slice them about 1 cm thick, and then cut those slices into half-moons.
- Daikon Radish: Go a bit thicker here, about 2 cm, and also cut into half-moons or quarters.
- Onion: Thinly sliced.
- Garlic & Ginger: Mince these finely. They’re going to add a lovely aroma to the dish.
- Enoki Mushrooms: Just remove the roots and bottom of the stems.
Now, let’s tackle the chicken.
If you’re using chicken thighs, the easiest way to peel off the skin is by hand; no knife required. For the meat, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Next, let’s render some chicken fat. Add oil to the pot and cook the chicken skin over low or medium-low heat until it’s crispy on both sides.
This chicken oil is the secret to the depth of flavor in this dish. Once it’s crispy, remove the skin and place it on kitchen paper.
Leave it to cool for a few minutes and then cut into thin strips. This will be used as a garnish at the end.
In the same pot with rich chicken fat, cook the chicken meat until sealed on all sides.
After that, add the garlic, ginger, onion, and salt. Continue frying until the onion is soft. This step really starts to build the flavors.
Once the onions are soft, add the root vegetables (carrots, radish, and burdock root) and stir-fry them for a couple of minutes.
Next, add the enoki mushrooms, leeks, dashi, and sake. Heat it over medium heat until it’s just about to boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
Cover the pot and let it cook until the daikon and carrots are tender to your liking. In my experience, this takes about 10 minutes.
At this point, you should already be able to see how rich this soup is- creamy and a little cloudy!
As soon as the carrots and radishes are slightly softened, turn off the heat. Stir in the miso paste and soy sauce, which brings the whole dish together.
Dropping miso paste straight into the pot will result in a lumpy soup with uneven flavor. For best results, place the miso on a mesh spoon or ladle, dip it in the broth, and whisk before releasing it into the soup. If you don’t have these tools, whisk the miso paste and a small amount of broth in a small bowl to loosen it before pouring it into the pot.
To serve, ladle the Torijiru into bowls.
Top it with finely chopped green onions and the crispy chicken skin that we cooked earlier. It’s the perfect crunchy finishing touch to this hearty soup.Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
How to Store & Reheat
Miso is delicate and spoils easily, which is why miso soups don’t have a long shelf life and reheating is not recommended. If you have leftovers, it should be thoroughly cooled before being placed in the refrigerator and consumed within 1-2 days.
Reheating tends to deteriorate the flavor and nutrients in miso, so heating on the stove is the best way to avoid boiling or overcooking (although some flavor loss is still expected).
If you anticipate leftovers, I recommend storing the soup without adding the miso. Without miso, this soup will last about 3 days. You can add fresh miso after reheating for a fresh flavor.
This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
Sake for cooking can be confusing. Sudachi uses pure sake without added salt (drinking sake) for all dishes. Adjust salt content if using cooking sake. For more info, refer to the Sake 101 post by a pro chef with 30+ years’ experience.
For this recipe, I used Awase Miso (yellow miso in English) paste. However, you can also use other types of miso, including white miso, red miso, or a combination of white and red miso. Keep in mind that the salt level may differ depending on the type you use. Therefore, I recommend adding it in small batches and tasting each time to ensure it’s not too salty or too weak.
Yes, you can make this with other parts of the chicken, but whichever part you choose, be sure to select skin-on chicken. This is because the chicken skin is a crucial element in this recipe.
I hope you enjoy this Chicken Miso Soup recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Soup Recipes
- Japanese Clear Soup (Osuimono)
- Ozoni (New Year’s Soup with Mochi)
- Corn Potage (Japanese Corn Soup)
- Kenchin Jiru (Traditional Japanese Vegetable Soup)
Want more inspiration? Explore my Japanese Soup Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty recipe ideas to spark your next meal!
Chicken Miso Soup (Torijiru)
- 300 g boneless chicken thigh(s) skin-on
- 1 tbsp cooking oil I used white sesame
- ½ yellow onion(s) thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic finely diced
- ½ tbsp fresh ginger finely diced
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 burdock root(s) skin scrubbed, thin diagonal slices
- 1 carrot peeled, 1cm slices, halved
- ⅓ daikon radish(s) peeled, 2cm slices, halved or quartered
- 1 bunch enoki mushroom(s) bottom stem/roots removed
- 1 Japanese Leeks (Naganegi) diagonally sliced
- 1 liter dashi stock
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- finely chopped green onion(s)
- Cut the vegetables and aromatics according to the notes on the ingredient list.
- Peel the skin off 300 g boneless chicken thigh(s) and cut the meat into bitesize pieces.
- Add 1 tbsp cooking oil to a large cold pot and add the chicken skin. Heat on low/medium-low to allow the fat to slowly render and the skin to become crispy on both sides.
- Once crispy, remove the skin and place it on a piece of kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
- Using the same pot, add the chicken pieces and increase the heat to medium. Stir fry until sealed all over.
- Once sealed, add ½ yellow onion(s), 1 clove garlic, ½ tbsp fresh ginger and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Fry until the onion is slightly softened.
- Add 1 burdock root(s), 1 carrot and ⅓ daikon radish(s). Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add 1 bunch enoki mushroom(s), 1 Japanese Leeks (Naganegi), 1 liter dashi stock and 1 tbsp sake.
- Mix and bring to almost boiling, then lower the heat to simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer until the root vegetables are softened to your liking.
- While the soup is simmering, cut the chicken skin into thin strips.
- Turn off the heat and add 1 tsp soy sauce. Place 4 tbsp miso paste on a mesh spoon or ladle and dip it in the broth. Whisk in the spoon until loose enough to incorporate into the rest of the soup.
- Pour into serving bowls and top with finely chopped green onion(s) and the crispy chicken skin from earlier.