This Vegan Pho recipe is so comforting and it's packed with the amazing aroma from the herbs and spices used. Although Pho is traditionally not vegan it's definitely possible to make it without meat while retaining the flavorful broth. A big thank you to my good friend for showing me how to make this soup from scratch.
This pho stock is made from a combination of vegetables, fruit, and spices that gives the broth a complex flavor. One important tip is to toast the spices and a few vegetables until they char for a more flavorful broth. The broth is then simmered for an hour until all the vegetables have released their flavor.
As for the toppings, they are easily customizable; I'm using pan-fried tofu seasoned with salt here. Some of the recommended garnishes for pho include culantro (sawtooth herb), cilantro, Thai basil, mung bean sprouts, mint, thinly sliced onion, green onions, and lime wedges. Check out the recipe below and make some to share with your friends and family today! —WoonHeng Chia
1 hour 15 minutes
apple, cored and cut into big wedges
yellow onion, peeled and cut into big wedges
ear of corn, shucked
1-inch pieces ginger
carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
daikon, cut into round cubes
leek, cut into large chunks
medium jicama, diced into 2-inch chunks
dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
whole black cardamom pods
star anise pods
whole white peppercorns
whole fennel seeds
whole coriander seeds
umami seasoning of choice (such as Trader Joe's Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend), plus more to taste
kosher salt, plus more to taste
Toppings & Garnishes
extra-firm tofu, cubed, seasoned with salt, and pan-fried
rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the packaged
mung bean sprouts
lime, sliced into wedges
mix of Thai basil, culantro, mint, thinly sliced onion, cilantro, green onion
In a cast-iron pan over medium heat, toast spices until aromatic, about 1 minute, tossing frequently. Turn off the heat and let cool for a few minutes, then transfer the toasted spices into a spice bag and set aside.
In the same (now-empty) pan, toast daikon, onion, and ginger until charred on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes.
Fill a 5-quart pot with 12 cups of water. Place all the soup ingredients and the spice bag in the pot and cover it with a lid.
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an hour.
Once it's ready, strain the broth, and season to taste with umami seasoning, plus salt as needed.
Toppings & Garnishes
To serve, divide the noodles into four bowls. Top with a few ladlefuls of broth, then with herbs and other garnishes of choice. Don't forget to squeeze on some lime juice! Serve warm and enjoy.