Soup is usually way more than the sum of its parts. From ramen to wonton soup to miso soup and tom kha (and all stops in between), these delicious and popular Asian soup recipes are easy to make and taste like home – no matter where you’re from!
Take a Culinary Journey With These Asian Soup Recipes
The time I spent working in Tokyo, Bangkok and Singapore presented me with opportunities to seek out everything from savory and delicate miso soup – to fiery noodle soup – to curry based soups – and elegant clear broths.
And I think I’d be hard pressed to remember a soup I didn’t enjoy at least a little bit. In my mind soup is kind of like pizza: even a mediocre slice of pizza is still a pretty good thing. Well, even a merely decent bowl of homemade soup follows the same general rule – with one major advantage:
Soup is endlessly customizable. Feeling like the finished product could use a savory boost? Add some fish sauce, dashi powder or a plain old pinch of salt. Need a bit more heat? Add some chili crisp or gochugaru. Voilà: perfection.
Hot soup on a hot day? Summers in Asia are scorching. And AC isn’t always an option, especially in hawker centres and outdoor restaurants. A great tactic to beat the simmer heat:
- Eat hot soup. This predictably causes you to sweat.
- The breeze (or a well aimed fan) hits your sweaty brow.
- As the sweat evaporates, your body cools down.
Most of these delicious and easy Asian soup recipes can be prepared at home in a short amount of time. So don’t be intimidated! Here are 18 reader favorites.
The Best Miso Soup (みそ汁)
This may be one of the best known Asian soup recipes of all time. And while there aren’t many steps to making this easy umami miso soup at home, you will definitely taste the difference from the store bought packets – or the instant stuff that gets brought out with the edamame at many corner sushi spots. This is my mom’s recipe, so it’s made with love – and tastes like home. Be sure to watch the video! My mom taught me the best technique for properly dissolving miso paste into broth. And I’m excited to share it with you!
Miso Soup Recipe Video
Easy Homemade Wonton Soup (馄饨汤)
There’s something so comforting about pillowy wontons in savory broth. And I’ve got detailed instructions on making both from scratch. While the wontons and the soup are both vegan, if you follow a plant based diet, you’ll want to make sure the dumpling wrappers don’t have egg in them. And you can obviously use the protein of your choice if you love the more traditional versions of this iconic Chinese soup!
Miso Kimchi Ramen
Mix the smokiness and umami of miso paste with the bright, pungent funk of kimchi – and you’ve got a winner on your hands! This Korean influenced Japanese noodle soup recipe gets a serious boost from homemade toasted garlic and scallion oil. Top with bean sprouts and sweet corn for a homemade ramen experience you’ll come back to again and again.
Baby Bok Choy Soup With Garlic and Ginger
A wonderful thing happens when you mix garlic and ginger with a savory broth. This fragrant rice noodle soup has a deep umami flavor from broth (perfumed by dried shiitake mushrooms) that permeates both the noodles and the bok choy. I use baby bok choy for its pliant crunch. This is my go-to Asian noodle soup in the summertime. Will it be yours too?
Jjamppong (Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup)
Briny, spicy and smoky perfection in a bowl. This Korean seafood soup gets its fiery, red color from gochugaru (dried Korean chili powder). Shrimp, clams and squid work in tandem with the marine flavors of dashi (the sea stock I love using in many Asian soups) – but would also work well with chicken broth. Best part: you can use Korean jja-jjang noodles, but ramen noodles and Chinese egg noodles work well too. Use what you’ve got handy!
Korean Seaweed Soup (Tofu Miyeok-Guk)
This light Korean soup has a clear broth and one of the milder, nuanced flavor profiles of some of the more assertive Asian soup recipes on this list. But don’t mistake it for being meek! Korean seaweed and dashi meld with soy sauce and funky fish sauce – creating some real depth. I’m using enoki mushrooms and tofu in place of the more traditional beef to keep it nourishing and cleansing.
Shoyu Ramen 醤油ラメーン
When a ramen craving sets in, I’m going to have to scratch that itch! And, while almost any ramen will do the trick, shoyu (soy sauce) ramen is typically the first place my brain goes. It’s simple enough to whip up at home, but tastes like you spent money at the ramen shop. I love adding chopped scallions, menma (bamboo), nori (toasted seaweed sheets) and a ramen egg. Load a bowl up with your favorite toppings to truly make it yours!
Tom Kha Soup (Thai Coconut Soup)
This aromatic Thai soup has all the flavors. Galangal, lemongrass and coconut milk meld with Thai staples like fish sauce, bird’s eye chilis and a touch of sugar. Chicken is a popular addition to this iconic soup – but I used mushrooms and cauliflower to keep it meatless. Oooh, don’t forget the cilantro for a soup that tastes like a trip to Southeast Asia!
Vegan Tantanmen ビーガン たんたんめん
Tantanmen is a Japanese adaptation of Chinese dan dan noodles. And while the Chinese original tends to be dry noodles tossed in a fiery sauce, the Japanese version is milder and soupier. I’m using mushrooms in place of the traditional pork. The umami from the mushrooms plays super nicely with the nutty, savory, sweet and spicy broth. This plant based Japanese noodle soup recipe is a winner!
Cabbage Soup With Kombu Dashi
If you’re not a fan of long ingredients lists, this is the soup for you! Three ingredients is all it takes. This is, without a doubt, one of the easiest Asian soup recipes of all time! Kombu dashi is a vegan soup base made with an edible kelp called kombu. You can grab a powdered form here on Amazon. Just simmer with napa cabbage and carrots for a light, invigorating plant based soup that won’t weigh you down.
Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣汤
If one soup reminds me of childhood, it’s this one. Every time my family and I went to the Chinese restaurant in our town, I ordered hot and sour soup without fail. So even now, a spoonful of this silky, gooey Chinese soup sends me back in time. The secret (as far as I’m concerned) is white pepper – which is hot and floral. To get that perfect takeout texture, whisk an egg in the hot broth and thicken with cornstarch. Easy!
Japanese Egg Drop Soup (Kakitamajiru)
Similar to the Chinese original, the Japanese version of egg drop soup calls for dashi instead of chicken stock. I also find the texture of this Japanese soup to be slightly thinner in consistency. Cooking sake introduces just the faintest hint of sweetness around the margins. Add spinach for a light and delicate soup that will still fill you up.
Champon is just plain fun. Now, in Japan, you’ll find the best champon in and around Nagasaki. They are known for perfecting the art of simmering pig and chicken bones for hours to create a broth that is milky white and loaded with savory goodness. That broth is then poured over thick noodles, seafood, pork and veggies. It’s like a hodge-podge of flavors and texture in a steaming bowl of noodle soup. I’m using dashi and chicken stock for the broth – and imitation crab sticks for the protein. It’s lighter than the Nagasaki original, but just as fun. Btw, don’t skip the bean sprouts!
Basic Udon Soup (基本うどん)
Need a noodle soup fix? You only need 15 minutes to make this easy udon soup recipe. Now, when it comes to Japanese noodle soups, I tend to crave udon even more than ramen or soba. And it’s those thick, chewy wheat based noodles that pull me in. I’m powerless to the slippery, supple chew. One of the most iconic udon toppings is kamaboko (fish cakes). But my personal favorites are tororo kombu (shredded kelp), nori and a (pasteurized) raw egg yolk.
Red Coconut Curry Soup Recipe
Hot, smoky, sour and sweet! If you like rice noodle soups with a legendary amount of flavor, you’re gonna love this one. You can shorten your ingredients list significantly by using a Thai red curry paste as a base of flavor. Then you build from there. Peanut butter, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and coriander stems all contribute to the greatness of this soup. And trust me on this one: shred some iceberg lettuce to serve on top of each bowl. It absorbs the flavors of the soup as it wilts and introduces a pliant crunch in the process.
Wakame and Vermicelli Soup
Need a quick snack in soup form? This easy Asian soup is ready in 10 minutes from start to finish – and will invigorate without busting your gut in the process. Wakame is yet another form of kelp. It expands in a savory broth of chicken or vegetable stock, soy sauce and sake. Use rice vermicelli noodles or saifun bean thread noodles – and finish with a dash of spicy chili oil or nutty toasted sesame oil. Your choice!
Curry Udon (カレーうどん)
Ever had Japanese curry rice? Well, it’s pretty common to serve Japanese curry in both ramen and udon noodle soups as well. Dashi and tsuyu are both common additions to thin out – and further flavor – the curry broth. Udon noodles are springy, chewy and supple in texture. I eat this one year round. It’s truly a food match made in heaven.
Ozoni – Japanese New Year Mochi Soup (お雑煮)
Now, if you’re a traditionalist, you’ll probably only make this Japanese mochi soup once a year: on New Year’s Day. It’s a soup where each ingredient truly represents a hope for the year to come (for example: mochi represents longevity because of its stretchy texture). But this ornate and delicate soup is simple enough to whip up at home, you may find yourself making it whenever you need a mochi (Japanese rice cake) fix!