How to Make Benihana’s Onion Soup Recipe at Home

One of the best ways to start off a fabulous meal at my favorite Japanese steakhouse is with a fragrant and tasty bowl of Benihana Onion Soup. When it comes to soups, this is probably my favorite to enjoy.

We usually enjoy these meals with a large group, so for the few who want to pass on their bowls, they get passed down to the fanatics who want to indulge just a little more.

Until recently, I didn’t realize how easy this was to make at home, and it is now a weekly staple. Keep reading so you can see how easy it is, too.

Gather Your Ingredients

All the ingredients you need for this soup should be readily available in your local grocery store. All the vegetables used in this recipe are fresh and available around the year.

  • 1 large carrot or two medium carrots
  • 2-3 celery ribs
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic (fresh and chopped or minced)
  • 6 cups broth (chicken or a mix of chicken and beef broth)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce (any brand works)
  • 1 pack of pre-sliced mushrooms or whole mushrooms
  • 1 small pack of sliced green onions or 6 green onions sliced
  • 1/3 cup of fried onions
  • salt, pepper to taste and as needed

In order to add that earthiness to your broth, you will need fresh carrots and celery. Since these will not be in the soup when you serve it, any large carrot and a few celery ribs will work. They do not have to be pretty and you can choose the most affordable options in the produce section.

Get your Onions and Mushrooms right

While there, make sure you choose white onions for your soup. This is critical since white onions have a stronger flavor that is essential to this soup.

If you grab yellow onions, the Benihana Onion Soup recipe will be sweeter in flavor and not give you exactly what you are looking for in taste. While you are looking at onions, make sure to pick up a fresh pack of garlic cloves or minced garlic if fresh garlic isn’t available.

Mushrooms are also essential to this soup, and a small pack of white buttons mushrooms will do the trick. You can sub these out with Baby Bella mushrooms, if available, but you do not want to grab just any mushrooms.

If you are familiar with the different types of mushrooms, then you know that texture and taste will vary, and this soup needs that strong firmness that comes from the white buttons or Baby Bella varieties.

In order to add that earthiness to your broth, you will need fresh carrots and celery. Since these will not be in the soup when you serve it, any large carrot and a few celery ribs will work. They do not have to be pretty and you can choose the most affordable options in the produce section.

Venture to the Middle of the Store

There are a few things you will need to grab from the seasonings and condiments aisles in your market if they aren’t already in your pantry at home. If you don’t already have them in your pantry, a bottle of low-sodium soy sauce, chicken broth, and a bag of fried onions will be all you need before checking out.

Prepping Benihana Onion Soup

Now that you’ve made it home, gather the items from your kitchen to complete this recipe.

  • Large stock pot
  • Saute pan
  • Strainer
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable knife

Now that you have assembled everything you need, it is time to prep your veggies. All veggies should be washed thoroughly first before they are sliced.

You can run them underwater for a few minutes and make sure the dirt is removed. Celery usually has a lot of dirt built up at the bottom of the ribs. Mushrooms are usually carrying a little dirt with them in the pack. Take a paper towel and pat the mushrooms and other vegetables dry.

Begin slicing them so that they can sauté and be used in soup. You can do rough chops on your carrots and celery since they will be removed from the soup later. This is also true for the white onion and fresh garlic you may have picked up. Since half of the mushrooms will be stored for serving purposes, you want to do cleaner chops on that half.

Make sure you have enough broth to water for this soup. Traditionally, this soup uses six cups of chicken broth, but you can mix chicken and beef if you have both. Go ahead and start measuring out the broth and water that you plan to use, so it is available when you need it.

If you chop your green onions now, return them back to the fridge so that they stay fresh until you need them. You also need to put aside half of the chopped mushrooms to use as a topper later.

Time to Cook

Grab your sauté pan and some olive oil, and turn the stove on to medium heat. Once the oil is warmed up, drop in your sliced carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, and garlic for the soup.

You want to sauté these vegetables until the onions look almost clear or transparent and then remove them from the heat. You should have a great aroma coming from the pan, as well.

Gather the Broth

Now that the veggies have been sautéed, it is time to bring the broth and the flavor of the veggies together in one place. Add your sautéed vegetables to the stock pot first, and add your broth and water on top. Finish with a tablespoon of soy sauce to maximize the flavor.

Make sure you bring this to a quick boil by turning the heat all the way up. Once the soup is boiling, turn it down to a simmer and cover the soup. You want to let this simmer for between 30 and 45 minutes to break down the ingredients and blend all the flavors.

Straining Vegetables

Just like in the Japanese Steakhouses, the Benihana onion soup recipe should have the large chunks of vegetables strained out before it is served. Take your strainer and dip it down into the stock pot to collect the veggies.

You can dump them back into the sauté pan until you have them all removed from the stock pot. These vegetables will be a great addition to your at-home compost if you have one, or you can discard them if you choose.

Serving the Benihana Onion Soup Recipe

Head to the fridge and grab those sliced mushrooms and green onions. You also want to grab that pack of fried onions you picked up on your shopping trip.

After you scoop the onion soup into the bowls, sprinkle in some green onions, about six slices of mushrooms, and a scoop of fried onions right before serving. Your family or friends will truly enjoy this Japanese steakhouse experience in the comfort of your home.

Storing Your Leftovers

If you have any of the soup left over, you can store it in your refrigerator. Make sure you seal it in a tight bowl after it has cooled down. It can last in the fridge for up to four days before it is time to toss out.

When you are ready to reheat the leftovers, add them back to a soup pot or stock pot and turn the heat up high until it begins boiling.

Once the soup is boiling, turn it down to a simmer and let it cool for between five and ten minutes before serving. You can use any remaining green onions, fried onions, or slice mushrooms you have to give it the same full flavor as before.

Tips to Enhance the Flavor

If you want to make this soup have a spicier flavor, you can add some puréed ginger to the vegetables when they are sautéing to give a stronger flavor and aroma. You can also add soy sauce to the vegetables when they are cooking if you prefer a lot of soy sauce in this soup.

It is also a good idea to make double this soup for meal prep purposes so that you can have it daily for the next few days. If you want to get creative with your fried onions, try some of the different flavor options they have that will add a different profile to your soup once it is added at the end.

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