In Japan, miso soup is widely popular and is almost universally served with a Japanese meal as an accompaniment to rice. But of course, with miso soup being so popular it only makes sense that there are other types of miso soup besides the typical simple soup that comes served with every breakfast.
Tonjiru, or Butajiru, is a type of miso soup flavored with pork and vegetables. Buta and Ton are both different pronunciations of the same kanji character, 豚, meaning “pig”. And 汁, jiru, means “soup”.
Butajiru is a versatile dish that can be served as an accompaniment to a meal, or an entree in and of itself. It can be found in restaurants around Japan, as a pre-packaged soup in grocery stores, or home cooked in many Japanese kitchens. The ingredients vary, but Butajiru always contains pork, root vegetables (such as gobo, carrots, potatoes or sweet potatoes, etc) and konnyaku. Another common ingredient in butajiru is usuage- a type of fried and dried tofu. My recipe below features most of the ingredients that are found in a typical pot.
Tonjiru has a light taste and it is like a heavier version of miso soup. Like all miso soups, it should never be brought to a boil after the miso is added.