Tonjiru (Japanese Pork and Leek Miso Soup)

Good Morning Everyone!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you can probably tell that I love soup. All kinds of soups, really. The number one reason I love soup is a bit selfish. Back on May 10, 2014 I had gastric bypass surgery. Since then I have had to completely overhaul how I eat and what I eat. This lead me to starting my blog! One of the biggest things that I had to cut out was meat. For some weight loss surgery patients, meat isn’t a problem. I know my dad also had gastric bypass surgery and he can eat an entire piece of meat with no problem. But some WLS people really do struggle. I’m one of those people. Although you’ll find mouth-watering recipes of fried chicken on here, chances are that I have only eaten a bite or two before letting the family finish the rest.

Which brings me to this recipe. Pork. My husband loves pork. Being Filipino, eating pork for him is like eating oatmeal for me. It’s just something we’ve had our entire life. However, I didn’t want to make a soup that is loaded with meat. This pork and leek miso soup only has one (1/2 lb.) boneless pork chop in the entire pot. Yes, you read that correctly. One. Uno. Isa. Cut into thin little pieces the pork flavors the vegetable soup without being the star of the show. And wow is this soup flavorful! I love that I can enjoy the soup that is loaded with vegetables even though it has tiny pieces of pork. It is just enough to flavor the soup, but not so much that I am eating a ton of meat that will upset my stomach. Everybody wins with this soup!

Now I want to mention several things about this recipe:Β 

  1. This recipe calls for burdock root. I could not find burdock root so I used 1 parsnip grated instead.
  2. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of mushrooms. I used way more than that and used 2 packages of button mushrooms. Why? Because they are much cheaper than shiitake mushrooms and their juices really enhance the miso soup.
  3. This soup also calls for 4 cups of Fish Stock. I used 5 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of dashi + 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. This really gave the soup that seafood “pow!” that I was looking for.
  4. Lastly, this recipe calls for 1 sheet of fried tofu (abura-age). I can’t even find that at my local Asian market. So I opted for 1 block of extra firm tofu.

Here is the original recipe to follow. Y’all despite a few substitutions on my part, this soup was absolutely divine. Much like normal miso soup, it’s best when eaten fresh and hot with a nice bowl of rice on the side. It’s fast and easy to make. The downside is that it doesn’t reheat well for leftovers. But it’s so healthy that you can easily go back for seconds and not feel guilty! πŸ™‚ Enjoy this recipe everyone and keep on cooking! ❀


Tonjiru (Japanese Pork and Leek Miso Soup)

Yields: 6 servings

Courtesy of: Sarah Marx Feldner, “A Cook’s Journey to Japan”


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup (75g) diakon, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch (6mm) half moons
  • 1/2 cup (45g) burdock, scrubbed and shaved
  • 1/2 cup (30g) mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch (6mm) half moons
  • 1 3X5 inch sheet fried tofu (abura-age), rolled in paper towel to remove excess oil and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 lb. (150g) boneless pork chops, thinly sliced and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 4 cups Fish Stock
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced


  1. Add oil to a stockpot over medium-high heat and saute the daikon, burdock, mushrooms, carrot, and tofu sheet until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the pork and saute for 1-2 minutes longer.
  3. Pour in the fish stock and over medium-high heat bring the soup to a boil. (The pork should now be cooked. It will be white with just a slight hint of pink in the middle when cut in half).
  4. Lower to a simmer and whisk in the miso paste.
  5. Distribute the sliced onion or leek among four serving bowls. Top with the soup and serve immediately. Enjoy!




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