We’ve been to Benihana a few times this year, and each time we eat there I can’t get enough of the onion soup that is served as an appetizer. The soup is very brothy but holds a lot of flavor. I was dead set on trying to replicate it at home. I think I hit the flavor dead on – but I definitely don’t claim that it is a low-sodium recipe!
Since the soup is pretty flavorful, I thought the crock pot might be the best way to replicate it, since it would allow the flavors to mingle and develop. This recipe was made in a 5qt CrockPot.
Benihana CrockPot Japanese Onion Soup
5 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes (I used 4 low-sodium and 2 regular, because that’s what I had. Adjust salt as needed.)
1 tsp salt
1 white onion
1/2 celery stalk
1 cup veggie oil
thinly sliced mushrooms
sliced green onions
Combine the water, bouillon cubes and salt in crock pot and turn on high. Cut the white onion in half and coarsely chop the half onion, half carrot, and half celery stalk. Add to the crock pot. Put the lid on and let it cook for 4-5 hours. I did two hours on high and two hours on low. After two hours on high the flavors seemed to be coming together, and the two more hours let everything mingle. Just taste as you go along to judge.
When the broth is done, set the crock pot to “warm”. Add the oil to a small skillet or sauce pan and very thinly slice the other half of the white onion, separating the pieces. Dip in the milk and then toss in the flour until coated. Fry a handful at a time in the oil till golden brown, then drain on a paper towel.
Strain the veggies out of the broth. Put around 1 cup of soup into a bowl, and add sliced mushrooms and green onions, and toss in a few fried onions. I add a bit more than they would add at the restaurant, because of an appetizer I make the soup a meal! :-)