Sumashi Jiru vs. Osuimono: Japanese Clear Soup

In the previous post, I talked about how the Japanese soup dish suimono (osuimono) differs from miso soup.

As I wrote in the article, the primary difference between miso soup and suimono is; miso soup is a variety of shirumono served with rice, flavored with miso,

while osuimono is a sakana or an accompaniment for alcoholic drinks such as sake, typically made from dashi stock seasoned with soy sauce and salt.

Shirumono is the collective term for the Japanese soup dishes served with rice, flavored with seasonings such as miso, soy sauce, and salt.

In the category, miso soup is the quintessential miso-based soup dish, while regarding soy sauce-based, sumashijiru (すまし汁: sumashi soup)” is especially well-known.

Sumashi Soup vs. Osuimono 

Sumashi Souo

Sumashi soup, also called osumashi, is similar to the clear soup dish osuimono (suimono). But how do the two differ from each other? 


As I mentioned above, osuimono is a soup dish made from dashi typically seasoned with soy sauce and salt. But it may take on a browny hue using miso.

On the other hand, osumashi is also a soup dish made from dashi stock flavored with soy sauce and lightly salted.

Soup Bowl and Ingredients

Both suimono and sumashi soup are often served in a lacquered bowl and can use various ingredients, including seafood and meat, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, and eggs.

So they look like the same things, which is why many people can’t tell them apart.


Sumashijiru in Kaiseki Ryori

Actually, the primary difference between suimono and sumashi soup lies in classification.

Osuimono is a variety of sakana, eaten with sake or other alcoholic beverages, while osumashi is classified as shirumono, served with rice.

Therefore, in the traditional Japanese course dinner kaiseki ryori, suimono isn’t the soup for the basics “ichiju-sansai (一汁三菜: meaning one soup and three side dishes)”.

But it can be the side dish called “wanmori (椀盛り)” or “nimonowan (煮物椀)”.

In contrast, sumashi soup can be the soup of ichiju-sansai, served with rice in kaiseki ryori.

(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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