How to make Butajiru – Japanese Miso Pork Soup

The Japanese dish miso pork soup is one of the most popular foods in the world, and it is also a favorite with the vegetarian crowd. Unlike other types of miso soup, butajiru is a more substantial dish, with a more diverse list of ingredients. While miso is a central ingredient in this classic, it can also be found in many other dishes. Here are a few of our favourites.

Japanese Miso Pork Soup Recipes

Japanese Miso Pork Soup.
A bowl of umami delight: japanese miso pork soup.
How To Make Butajiru - Japanese Miso Pork Soup 1


This has quite a different tastethan ordinary miso soup. It is filled with seasonal veggies and pork miso. It’salmost like a stew. It’s among my favorite recipes to make, especially duringthe bitter months of winter.
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: butajiru, pork, pork soup
CookingStyle: Boiling
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 932kcal
Author: James Anderson
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  • 1/4 cup red or white miso
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 6 cups water filtered
  • 1 lb. cubed pork belly or pork butt
  • 1/2 sliced onion
  • 10” shredded burdock root gobo
  • 2 medium carrots peeled chopped
  • 8 oz. Japanese yam peeled cubed, (satsumaimo)
  • 1- inch ginger knob peeled, sliced
  • 4 sq. inch piece of wiped kombu kelp
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • sushi rice short-grained, cooked, hot, To serve


  • Bring large pot of filtered water to rolling boil and add pork. Stir for a minute or so. Drain meat in colander. Rinse well using cold water.
  • Add pork, ginger, 6 cups of water and kombu to separate large pot. Bring to simmer.
  • Cover. Cook on med-low until meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. This will take two hours or so. Remove ginger and kombu. Add yam, onion, mirin, gobo and carrots. Cook till carrots become tender. This will take 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Reduce heat to low and add miso. Stir well and dissolve fully. Do not mash the veggies. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Add green onions. Serve in individual soup bowls with separate rice bowls for everyone.



While miso soup does not use dashi as its base, it does have a rich umami taste thanks to the pork and vegetables. Traditionally, this dish is prepared with a dashi stock base and a dashi flavored broth. For a light lunch, it can be made with dashi and water. Then, you can add the miso by stirring the ingredients in the pot.
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Serving: 4servings | Calories: 932kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 1744mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 5203IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 4mg
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Alternative Preparation Method: Slow Cooker

Japanese Miso Pork Soup.
Garnish and enhance: adding green onions and sesame seeds.


  • 1 pound (450g) pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) miso paste
  • 6 cups (1.5 liters) water
  • 2 cups (480ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups (480ml) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup (240ml) bok choy or napa cabbage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz (225g) cooked ramen noodles, for serving


  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork pieces until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger for a few minutes until they soften slightly.
  • In the slow cooker, combine the seared pork, sautéed vegetables, soy sauce, miso paste, water, and vegetable broth.
  • Cover and cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours or until the pork is tender and the flavors are well blended.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add the sliced mushrooms and bok choy (or napa cabbage) to the slow cooker. Allow them to cook until they’re tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prepare the ramen noodles according to the package instructions.
  • To serve, place a portion of cooked ramen noodles in a bowl and ladle the flavorful miso pork soup over them. Garnish with fresh green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Tips for making Japanese Miso Pork Soup

Japanese Miso Pork Soup
Tantalizing your senses: sesame oil drizzle for extra flavor.

Cooking Tips

  • Select the Right Miso Paste: There are various types of miso paste available, such as white, yellow, and red. The choice of miso will significantly impact the flavor of your soup. White miso is milder, while red miso offers a deeper, earthy taste. Experiment with different types to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • Searing the Pork: When searing the pork, aim for a deep golden brown color. This initial step builds a foundation of flavors that will shine throughout the cooking process.
  • Low and Slow: Whether using the stovetop or slow cooker method, maintaining a low and slow cooking temperature is key. This gentle simmering allows the pork to become tender and the flavors to meld harmoniously.
  • Adjust Seasoning Carefully: Be cautious when adding extra salt or soy sauce. Miso paste and soy sauce are already salty, so taste your soup before adding additional salt.
  • Customize Vegetables: While carrots, celery, and mushrooms are common choices, feel free to personalize your soup with your favorite vegetables. Snow peas, baby corn, or spinach are great additions.

Serving Suggestions

Japanese Miso Pork Soup
Miso and more: experiment with different types for unique flavors.
  • Sides to Complement: Serve your soup alongside a refreshing Japanese cucumber salad or a simple steamed rice bowl. These sides offer a delightful contrast to the rich flavors of the soup.
  • Garnish Galore: Garnishes can take your soup to the next level. Top your bowl with chopped green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil for added depth and texture.
  • Beverage Pairings: Pair your soup with a chilled glass of Japanese green tea or a light, crisp lager. The tea complements the flavors, while the lager provides a refreshing contrast.
  • Variations on Serving: While a traditional bowl of soup is always a delight, consider serving it over cooked udon or soba noodles for a heartier meal. It’s a twist on the classic presentation.
  • Bowl or Bento Box: Serve your soup in a traditional Japanese lacquer bowl or a stylish bento box for an authentic touch.
Read  Soul-Soothing Japanese Vegetable Chicken Soup Recipe

FAQs about Japanese Miso Pork Soup

  • Can I use other meats besides pork in this soup? Absolutely! While the recipe traditionally calls for pork, you can experiment with chicken, tofu, or even seafood to suit your dietary preferences.
  • How can I adjust the spiciness of the soup? To add a spicy kick, consider including a dash of chili paste or flakes when you mix in the miso paste. Adjust the amount to control the heat level.
  • Can I prepare this soup in advance? Certainly. In fact, allowing the flavors to meld overnight often results in an even tastier soup. Simply reheat before serving.
  • What do I do if my miso paste becomes grainy when I add it to the soup? Don’t worry; this can happen if the miso is exposed to high heat. To avoid graininess, remove the soup from the heat before stirring in the miso paste.
  • How should I store leftovers? Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, and adjust the seasoning as needed before serving.

Indulge in Japanese Miso Pork Soup – an umami-rich delight! Learn the recipe and savor the depth of flavors. Your culinary journey begins here.

I'm James F Anderson, a noted sous chef from London and a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus. My career began in a Michelin-starred Parisian eatery, where my blend of classic and contemporary cooking, using seasonal ingredients, earned accolades. Recognized in culinary publications and on cooking shows, I’m committed to mentoring aspiring chefs and delivering memorable dining experiences, marking me as a standout talent in the culinary world.
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