Kenchinjiru: the ultimate japanese vegetable soup

Love root vegetables? As someone who also enjoys them, this could soon be one of your favorite ways to cook them. Thanks to gobo (burdock root) this soups full of flavor, completely filling and perfect as a side or even as your main dish. Make sure to read through the end to get all my tips to make it.


  • 45 in. piece of daikon radish, sliced into half moon pieces, 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 1/2 cups gobo, (burdock root) rangiri*
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, rangiri**
  • 1 Tbsp olive or sesame oil
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pieces aburaage, (fried tofu skins, 2 x 6 in. each) sliced
  • 1/2 block konnyaku (3.5 oz), parboiled and torn with a spoon into small pieces
  • 1/2 block tofu (7 oz.), drained and cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 cups dashi
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsps sake
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce


  1. Using a large pot, add the oil and cook carrots, daikon, and gobo for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in the ginger, shiitake, aburaage, konnyaku, tofu, dashi, mirin, and sake. Cover partially with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the soy sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes partially covered.
  4. Serve with desired toppings as a side or with a bowl of rice for a complete meal! 



  • *For gobo, scrape off outside skin using back edge of knife to remove excess dirt. If not using immediately, soak cut pieces in a bowl of water to remove bitter flavors and prevent oxidation. 
  • **Rangiri (乱切りrandom cut), is a cutting technique where you rotate a round vegetable ¼ inch at a time and then cut it at an angle. This helps to increase the surface area for better flavor and even cooking. Visit for a mini video tutorial on this cutting technique.
  • Parboiling the konnyaku for 2-3 minutes helps to remove some of the unpleasant flavor and smell along with some of the water inside. Tearing the konnyaku either by hand or with a spoon helps to increase the surface area to allow for the broth flavor to be absorbed better.
  • For the aburaage, you can reduce some of the oil you eat by parboiling it for 1-2 minutes in water and then draining before using. The trade off is you’ll lose a little bit of flavor from the oil. If you do this, make sure to squeeze out all the water it absorbed before adding it to the soup.
  • When cooking the konsai (根菜 root vegetables such as daikon radish, carrot and gobo), consider allowing them to brown slightly for extra flavor and umami.

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