Crown Tournament 10/19/2019 - Tsuru no shiru 鶴の汁 (Crane Broth)

Tsuru no shiru 鶴の汁 (Crane Broth)
Picture Courtesy of Avelyn Grene (Kristen Lynn)

The samurai considered Crane soup a prized dish and a luxury. By the sixteenth century, it was a necessary served at formal warrior banquets. The recipe for the dish that was served in Iemetsu’s banquet closely resembles a recipe published in the Guide to Meals for the Tea Ceremony (Cha no yu kondate shinan, 1676), written by Endō Genkan (n.d.). Commoners were prohibited from eating crane and other fowl at banquets, it was a dish reserved for the elite.

The dish that was served at Crown Tournament is my interpretation from the Ryōri Monogatari. according to Endō Genkan, Crane soup could be prepared with crane that was fresh or crane that had been preserved in salt.  The most important aspect of the preparation was to ensure that each bowl of soup contained one or two pieces of the leg meat of the crane.

Tsuru no shiru 鶴の汁 (Crane Broth)

Add the bones [of the crane] to broth and decoct. Prepare with sashi-miso. The seasoning of the sashi are important. For tsuma, something seasonal is good. It is good to put in any number of mushrooms. Whenever you make it, put aside the sinew. For suikuchi: wasabi and yuzu. Alternatively, from the start you can even prepare in nakamiso. You can even use a suimono.

Crane Broth

1 ½ pounds Peking or Muscovy duck breast or skin on, bone in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice vinegar)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tamari or light soy sauce
8 ounces soba (buckwheat noodles) - Note: For feast shiritaki noodles were used
8 ounces sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed
8 cups water
2 medium leeks, white and tender green part, diced, about 2 cups
1/4 cup white miso or to taste - Note: Miso was omitted at feast
5 ounces baby spinach, about 4 cups
A few basil or shiso leaves, julienned

Place whole duck, or chicken into a pot and add ginger and garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer until meat is tender. Allow to cool over night.

Next day remove the fat from the broth. Remove meat from the bones keeping it in large chunks. Reheat broth to just under a boil, add water, mirin, sugar, and tamari. Taste broth and adjust for salt if necessary. Add miso to broth right before serving.

If using soba noodles, cook according to package directions in a separate pot. Shiritake noodles should be rinsed before serving.

Bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Add snap peas, mushrooms and leeks and simmer 1 minute, then drain and refresh with cool water. Leave at room temperature.

To serve, reheat broth to just under a boil. Dilute miso with a little hot broth and whisk into soup. Layer noodles, meat, peas, leeks and spinach into a bowl and ladle hot broth over it. Top with shiso or basil.


“Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan.” Google Books, Google,,+it+was+a+dish+reserved+for+the+elite.&source=bl&ots=5ulOnQbw98&sig=ACfU3U2qRbwtQs1Ys3JJshTELMJEBCEy-w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjEkPfs1t3mAhXULc0KHfRrBcoQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=snippet&q=crane soup&f=false.

C, Eric, and Rath. “EARLY MODERN JAPAN 2008 Banquets Against Boredom: Towards Understanding (Samurai) Cuisine in Early Modern Japan.” - Share Research,