This easy vegan pho recipe is made with the most delicious rich broth and your choice of veggies (plus tofu, if you’d like). I highly recommend making a double batch while you’re at it!
PHO BROTH INGREDIENTS:
- 1 large white onion, peeled and halved
- 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
- 5 star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 8 cups good-quality vegetable stock (or mushroom stock*)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- fine sea salt, to taste
PHO SOUP INGREDIENTS:
- 7 ounces uncooked thin rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or any neutral-flavored oil)
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 heads baby bok choy, halved
- optional: 1-2 cups extra veggies (such as sliced carrots, broccoli florets, snow peas, etc.)
- garnishes: fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil), bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly-sliced chiles (Thai bird chiles or jalapeños), thinly-sliced onions (green onions or white onions), sauces (hoisin and/or sriracha)
- Char the onions and ginger. Turn the oven broiler to high, and place the baking rack about 8 inches away from the heating elements. Place the onion and ginger cut-side-up on a baking sheet, and brush with a bit of oil. Broil for about 7-10 minutes, until the tops of the onion and ginger are slightly charred. Remove and set aside.
- Prep the noodles. Meanwhile, as your broth is simmering, cook the noodles separately al dente according to the package instructions. Drain in a strainer, then briefly rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from continuing to cook. (I also recommend tossing the noodles with a drizzle of oil — such as sesame oil — to prevent them from sticking.)
- Make the broth. Meanwhile, heat the anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander to a large stock pot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant. Add in the charred onion, ginger, stock, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Strain out (and discard) the onions, ginger and spices. Stir the brown sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar into the hot broth. Then finally, taste and season the broth with salt as needed. Continue simmering on medium-low, covered, until ready to serve.
- Cook the veggies. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from heat. Then 5 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, stir the mushrooms, bok choy and veggies into the hot broth so that they can briefly cook.
- Assemble. And now…the fun part! Add a handful of noodles to each individual serving bowl. Ladle the hot broth and veggies into the serving bowls. Top each bowl with lots and lots of garnishes, and finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice.
- Serve immediately. Encouraging everyone to stir the garnishes into the soup so that they can flavor the broth, also adding in additional extra sauces if desired.
- Alternate mushroom option: If you would like to skip sautéing the mushrooms on the side, you are welcome to cook them directly in the simmering broth itself. They need at least 10 minutes to cook, although the longer they simmer in there, the more delicious your broth will be.
- Alternate charring option: Instead of broiling the onion and ginger in the oven, you can also just cook them cut-side-down in a sauté pan over high heat until charred.
- Double batch: Again, I highly recommend making a double batch of this recipe while you’re at it! To do so, you will need a large stockpot (at least 5 quarts) to handle the quantity of broth.