How Suimono Clear Soup is different from Miso Soup

As you may know, miso soup and plain white rice make up the essential parts of Japanese cuisine.

In recent years, a variety of popular Japanese instant miso soups are available online outside of Japan, so you might have tried such ready-to-eat authentic miso soups before.

But have you ever eaten or heard of another common Japanese soup dish “Suimono (吸い物)”? which is also called “Osuimono (お吸い物)”.

Actually, as “Okashi (お菓子)” has the same meaning as “Kashi (菓子)”, in these cases, “O (お)” is just the Japanese prefix for making a polite expression.

The Difference: Miso Soup vs Suimono Clear Soup

Suimono Clear Soup

Let’s get back on track. Today, for those of you who don’t know much about the traditional Japanese soup Suimono, let me explain how it is different from miso soup.


As you know, miso soup has a brown color that comes from its main seasoning, miso soybean paste, while Suimono, or Osuimono, is a kind of clear soup.

The soup broth of Suimono is basically made from dashi soup stock seasoned with soy sauce and salt and is clear in color. Nonetheless, in addition, even miso can also be used as a seasoning in Suimono.


Both miso soup and Suimono clear soup can contain various ingredients ranging from seafood and meat to vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, and eggs, and the food in Suimono and miso soups is generally called “Mi (実)”.

Soup Bowl 

For miso soup, many of us Japanese use a wooden bowl, while the Japanese clear soup Suimono is typically served in a lacquered soup bowl.

But of course, miso soup can also be eaten with a lacquered bowl and Suimono can also be served in a wooden bowl.


Miso soup is a type of “Shirumono (汁物)”. Shirumono is the generic term for the soup dishes that are served with rice in Japanese cuisine and can be flavored with miso, soy sauce, salt, or a mixture of these seasonings.

On the other hand, the Japanese clear soup, Suimono is a type of “Sakana (肴)“, so it is considered an accompaniment for sake rice wine.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 汁物, 吸い物 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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