Kenchin-Jiru Chunky Chowder

Oct 8, 2021 | Autumn, Recipes

けんちん汁
KENCHIN-JIRU

Chunky Vegetable & Tōfu Chowder

When autumn evenings turn chilly, its time for a hearty, nourishing chowder.

The inspiration for this one, kenchin-jiru, is thought to be resourceful monks at Kenchō-ji Temple (建長寺) in Kamakura. Utilizing vegetable scraps and bits of tōfu in various forms, most temples in Japan have their own version of kenchin chowder.

Not only at temples, but nearly every household and casual eatery in Japan serves a similar soup brimming with vegetables and tōfu. Some will have a clear broth, others will be thickened and seasoned with miso.

Use this BASIC RECIPE to create your own house version of Kenchin-jiru.

Looking for more suggestions on how to take this master recipe and expand your soup repetoire? Look at the post to Kitchen Culture Cooking Club.

Kenchin-jiru can be kept strictly vegan by using either Kelp Alone Stock or a mushroom-enriched version called Sankai Dashi (literally Mountain-Sea Stock).

Or, if you prefer, use a Standard Sea Stock that includes smoky katsuo-bushi fish flakes in addition to kelp.

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