BENIHANA’S | Onion Soup

with Mushrooms, Scallions, and Fried Onions

by RRR
Bowl of Benihana-style onion soup with thinly sliced mushrooms and fried onions on top, served in a traditional ceramic bowl.

The Sizzling Saga of Benihana: A Culinary Adventure

Diving into the world of Benihana is like flipping through a vibrant, illustrated storybook filled with sizzling teppanyaki grills, dramatic knife skills, and a dash of theatrical flair. Picture this: it’s 1964, and Rocky Aoki, a wrestler with dreams bigger than the sumo ring, decides to bring a slice of Japan to the Big Apple. Imagine him, fresh off the boat, with just a dream and the kind of guts that say, “Hey, why not?”

So, there he goes, launching the first Benihana in New York City. It wasn’t just about the food (which, by the way, was a mouthwatering spectacle of meats and veggies dancing on an iron stage). It was about the experience. Picture sitting at a table, not just any table, but one where the chef is the star of the show, slicing and dicing right before your eyes. It was dinner and a show, rolled into one, way before dinner theaters were a thing.

The name “Benihana” itself is a nod to the little safflower that could, blooming in the ruins of post-war Tokyo, a symbol of resilience and beauty rising from the ashes. Rocky saw his restaurant in the same light – a place of new beginnings and endless possibilities.

Fast forward through the decades, and Benihana has become synonymous with teppanyaki across the globe. It’s the go-to spot for celebrations, from birthdays where kids gawk at the onion volcano, to anniversaries where couples cozy up under the warm glow of the grill.

Each visit to Benihana is like stepping into a story where you’re both the audience and part of the cast, with chefs who juggle utensils like circus performers, ensuring that every meal is not just eaten, but experienced. And through it all, Rocky’s spirit – a mix of daredevilry, innovation, and a sprinkle of humor – lives on, making sure that a night at Benihana is always memorable, just like the man and his dream that started it all.

Benihana’s Onion Soup: A Prelude to Culinary Theater

The Benihana onion soup, a simple yet soul-warming prelude to the teppanyaki spectacle. It’s like that unassuming friend who walks into the party quietly but somehow leaves an impression long after they’ve gone. This soup isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill starter. Oh no, it’s a clear broth marvel, a whisper of simplicity amidst the clanging and flamboyance of the main show.

Imagine sitting there, the anticipation of the upcoming culinary performance tingling in your stomach, and then this bowl of clear onion soup arrives. It’s almost Zen-like in its simplicity, with its delicate slices of mushroom and those wispy, almost ethereal onions floating gracefully, accompanied by the subtle, comforting crunch of fried onions on top. The broth itself? It’s like a warm hug from the inside, a soothing concoction that’s both light and rich with flavor, whispering secrets of chicken and vegetables that have lent their essence to the water.

What’s truly magical about this soup is how it sets the stage for what’s to come. It doesn’t shout for attention but rather murmurs, “Prepare for the journey.” It’s the unsung hero of the Benihana menu, offering a moment of calm before the storm of culinary excitement that follows. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most profound experiences come in the simplest packages.

Sipping on that soup, you’re not just starting a meal; you’re embarking on an adventure. It’s a gentle nod to the traditions of Japanese cuisine, where every element on the table has its place and purpose, telling its own story. And as you delve into the layers of its seemingly straightforward taste, you realize that, much like the best stories, it leaves you wanting just a little bit more, setting the perfect tone for the feast to come.

Benihana’s Ginger Dressing Recipe

Bowl of Benihana-style onion soup with thinly sliced mushrooms and fried onions on top, served in a traditional ceramic bowl.

Benihana's Onion Soup

Serves: 4-6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 30 calories 1 gram fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • 1 large, sweet onion, large chopped
  • 3 large carrots, large chop
  • 3 large celery stalks, large chop
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup scallion, green part, thinly sliced
  • 8 tsp. granulated beef soup base
  • 8 tsp. granulated chicken soup base
  • ½ tsp. black peppercorns
  • 8 cups of water, divided (2 cups boiling)
  • 2 TBL. Soybean oil
  • Durkee’s fried onions, for garnish


In a very hot wok, or large soup pot, add the sesame oil.  When the oil shimmers, add the celery, onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté until caramelized (about 10 minutes).

Mix the granulated soup bases in 2 cups of boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Once the vegetables get a deep golden-brown color, carefully add the soup base mixture.  Simmer for 3 minutes.

Add an additional 6 cups of water and the peppercorns.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

Using a fine mesh sieve or Japanese skimmer, remove all the vegetables and peppercorns from the soup until the broth is clear.  Discard vegetables.

Add the mushrooms and scallions and simmer an additional 3 minutes.

Serve in soup cups and top with fried onions.


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