When I think of my childhood, I think of my mom’s pho and the time and care she would put into making the most delicate and flavorful bowl of soup noodles I have ever eaten, still to this day. Traditional pho is made with chicken or beef broth, but this is a great and healthy vegan alternative that I make at home for my family that doesn’t compromise on flavor. It’s the perfect comfort food for any day of the week without leaving you feeling heavy. Learn the step-by-step instructions on how to make vegan Vietnamese pho below.
Tracy Romulus’ Vegan Vietnamese Pho
Recipe Type:Lunch or Dinner
Prep Time:30-45 min
Cook Time:1-1.5 hours
Total Time:2-2.25 hours
Pho Broth Ingredients:
1 large yellow onion (unpeeled)
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger (unpeeled)
5-6 star anise
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
10-12 cups water
1-2 leeks (cut into 2-inch sections)
1 daikon (peeled and cut into 4-6 sections)
2 jicama (peeled and cut into 4-6 sections)
1-2 corn on the cob (cut into 4 sections)
Pho Soup Ingredients:
2 packages of Vietnamese pho noodles (one package serves approx. 4)
8 oz. of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 package of firm tofu (cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes)
Garnishes: fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil), bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly sliced chiles (jalapeños), thinly sliced onions (green onions or white onions), sauces (hoisin and/or sriracha)
1. Make the broth. Fill up a large pot with 10-12 cups of water and heat uncovered to boiling. Place cut jicama, daikon, corn, carrots, and leeks into the pot. Meanwhile, roast the large yellow onion and fresh ginger with skin on until the skin is charred. You can do this directly on an open flame or inside an air fryer. Place them both whole into the broth. Heat the anise and cinnamon sticks in an ungreased pan for about 10-15 seconds and then place into the broth. Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for at least 1 hour. Strain out (and discard) the veggies and spices. Then finally, taste and season the broth with salt as needed. Continue simmering on low, uncovered, until ready to serve.
2. Cook the mushrooms and fry the tofu. While the broth is simmering, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced green onions, sliced mushrooms, and a dash of salt, and sauté for approximately 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from heat. In a separate pan, heat up oil (I like to use canola). Once hot, place the sections of tofu into the oil and cook until lightly crisp and golden on the outside. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Assemble. Boil a medium-size pot of water. Separate and add a handful of noodles into each individual serving bowl to measure out the serving size ahead of time (you will want to cook the noodles one bowl at a time). Place the handful of noodles into the boiling water and stir around for a few seconds until they have some movement, then quickly take out and place into the serving bowl. Place the tofu and mushrooms onto the noodles. Garnish with sliced onions and cilantro. Ladle the hot broth into the bowl, covering the noodles and toppings. Finish each bowl with bean sprouts and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
4. Serve immediately and top with Sriracha sauce to desired heat level and a teaspoon of hoisin sauce. For additional flavor and saltiness, add in a teaspoon of fish sauce. Finish with a dash of black pepper.
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