Japanese Noodle Soup | Vegetarian Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Japanese Noodle Soup

You can adapt this light, satisfying soup to your schedule. Done in about five hours, it can continue to simmer in the slow cooker up to four hours more without turning mushy. The broth just gets richer.



Ingredient Line: 
½ head garlic (6 unseparated cloves)
Ingredient Line: 
4 green onions, divided
Ingredient Line: 
2 5-inch pieces dried kombu or kelp
Ingredient Line: 
7 coins sliced fresh ginger (from 2-inch piece)
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup low-sodium tamari sauce
Ingredient Line: 
3 Tbs. mirin or sake
Ingredient Line: 
2 tsp. sugar, optional
Ingredient Line: 
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
Ingredient Line: 
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
Ingredient Line: 
4 cups (8 oz.) cooked thin rice noodles or udon noodles, or 2 8-oz. pkg. shirataki noodles, rinsed, drained, and snipped into spaghetti-length pieces
Ingredient Line: 
2 cups snow peas and/or thinly sliced napa cabbage
Ingredient Line: 
4 tsp. sesame oil for garnish, optional
Ingredient Line: 
2 tsp. sesame seeds for garnish, optional


1. Cut garlic head half through middle to expose centers of cloves. Place garlic in slow cooker. Trim white parts from green onions, and add white parts to slow cooker along with kombu and ginger. Chop green tops of green onions, and set aside.

2. Add tamari, mirin, sugar (if using), and 8 cups water to slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low 4 to 8 hours. Strain, and discard solids. Return broth to slow cooker, add mushrooms and carrots, cover, and cook 1 hour more, or until vegetables are tender.

3. Divide noodles among four large bowls. Top with snow peas, then ladle broth over top. Garnish with chopped green onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds (if using).

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
<1 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
59 g
0 mg
769 mg
5 g
8 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

Delicious! My 5-year old looked at me and said, "This one's a keeper!" Super easy with just a little bit of prep - great for a weeknight meal. I used soy sauce instead of tamari, which I would change for next time. The tamari would give a slightly deeper flavor and a little more sodium. Yum!

Really good soup. Made it this week and loved it. We personalized each of our bowls by adding a little more tamari and some chili paste, included snow peas and Napa cabbage. Was great reheated as well.

But you don't PEEL the half head of garlic first? I want to take all the paper off.

Is there a liquid ingredient missing? How do you get broth?

Barbara - Recipe says to add 8 cups water when you are adding other ingredients. Elizabeth - Yes, peel the garlic first.

This was really tasty, light and easy to make. I added firm tofu to the bowl with the noodles and snow peas (and threw the rest into my leftovers) and it made for a great lunch.

well, guys, about the garlic - it says "6 unseparated cloves" - so they are unpeeled, but when cut across is enough to extract the flavor. I don't do slow cooker, so will do it stovetop, I'm sure it will be splendid.

How could this recipe be adapted for a normal pot instead of a slow cooker? Should I just boil the broth for a shorter time (and obviously the vegetables too)?

Lori: one hour in a slow cooker is about 15 minutes on the stove top, so essentially divide the times listed by 4. I'd advise keeping an eye on things as you go, and don't boil but simmer the broth and veggies. Good luck!

Japaneses soup