Kenchin soup in the training (Tofu, Pork, and Vegetable Soup)

Kenchin soup in the training (Tofu, Pork, and Vegetable Soup)

Make it in a large pot. On the first day, eat it as it is. Make it into udon noodles on the second day, and lastly, on the third day, when all the ingredients are gone, use the remaining soup to make it into a delicious, comforting rice porridge!
I re-arranged the recipe with added pork and shiitake mushrooms.

Ingredients: Quantity for a large pot:

Sliced pork belly
400 g
Chinese cabbage
3 leaves
Daikon radish
Enoki mushrooms
1 packet (200 g)
Shimeji mushrooms
1 pack
Fresh shiitake mushroom
1 packet (about 6)
Burdock root
Taro root
2 slices
Japanese leek
1/2 block
Japanese dashi stock
1.500 ml
Soy sauce
3 tablespoons
Miso (the white and sweet variety)
3 tablespoons
Sesame oil
2 tablespoons


1. Cut the sliced pork belly into bite-sized pieces. Cut the Chinese cabbage into half and into 2 cm lengths. Slice the daikon into 5 mm quarter rounds and the carrots into 5 mm half-moons. Wash the enoki mushroom briefly, chop off the ends of stems, cut into half length-wise and loosen. Treat the shimeji mushrooms in the same way and break into small pieces. Slice the fresh shiitake mushrooms.
2. Cut the burdock root into half length, and slice diagonally. Peel the taro root, cut into half, then into 1cm slices. Rub with salt to remove the slime.
3. Cut konnyaku into a quarter, then slice before boiling briefly. In the same saucepan, dip the aburaage to remove some oil, cut into half, then into 5 mm width. Cut the Japanese leek diagonally.
4. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan, and fry the pork belly until the colour changes. Add the burdock roots and stir fry further. Continue with the remaining ingredients: daikon, carrot, Chinese cabbage, enoki, shimeji, shiitake mushrooms, chikuwa, and konnyaku until all the ingredients are well-coated in oil.
5. Add the stock, turn the heat up to high to boil. Skim the foam that floats to the surface, add sake, and when it comes to the boil again, turn down the heat to low, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Check intermittently to make sure all of the moisture doesn't simmer away. Add water if necessary.
6. Add soy sauce and miso, and simmer 10 more minutes. Tear the tofu into chunks by hand throw it in. Sprinkle in the chopped Japanese leeks. When it comes to a simmer, it is ready to serve.

Story Behind this Recipe

The kenchin soup that my grandmother used to make was more like tonjiru (pork-based miso soup). Still, it was very tasty. Sometimes, there were some baby scallops thrown in, and other times, chicken drumettes. I haven't surpassed my grandmother's yet. I am still an apprentice in this sense, but I will keep on trying to improve on it.