This vegan pho is packed with flavor and a perfect blend of spices with shiitake mushrooms and tofu. This is comfort food in a bowl!
Pho is a Vietnamese dish that is usually made with strips of beef simmered in a beef broth.
So of course we are doing something completely different with this vegan pho.
We use veggie broth as the base with charred onion and ginger for a rich roasted flavor, and shiitake mushrooms and tofu which collectively replace the beef. And that is simmered in a broth with delicious spices like star anise, cloves, cinnamon and cardamon.
Served with rice noodles and plenty of fresh herbs this is flavor packed to the maximum. It is also light and savory and totally gorgeous too.
How To Make Vegan Pho
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
Charred Onion and Ginger:
- To start with you want to peel and halve an onion and cut a roughly 3-inch piece of fresh ginger into halves.
- Rub the onion and ginger halves with sesame oil and place them onto a parchment lined baking tray with the cut sides facing up.
- Roast in the oven at 390°C for 35 minutes until beautifully charred.
- Now you want to prepare your spices.
- Add star anise, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods and whole coriander seeds into a spice infuser.
- Now your spices are ready.
- Add vegetable stock/broth to a pot along with sliced shiitake mushrooms and the roasted onion and ginger. Add in the infuser containing the spices.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes of simmering, remove the spice infuser.
- Remove the roasted onion and ginger from the broth.
- Add coconut sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sea salt and stir into the broth.
- Add cubed tofu and bok choy and stir in.
- Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now your broth is ready.
Assembling your Pho:
- Ladle the broth over cooked rice noodles in a bowl.
- Add fresh herbs and garnishes.
- You’re ready to serve!
It’s ideal to serve vegan pho over rice noodles and garnish it generously with fresh cilantro, basil leaves, fresh lime, sliced chili and chopped green onions (also known as salad onions, scallions, spring onions).
Squeeze a lime wedge over your soup before eating, stir in the fresh herbs and add some hoisin sauce to your bowl too if you fancy it.
Serve your bowl of pho with chopsticks and a soup spoon. So you eat your noodles and veggies/tofu with your chopsticks and use the soup spoon for the broth.
Make It Gluten-Free
This vegan pho is naturally gluten-free so long as you use a gluten free soy sauce or you can sub the soy sauce for tamari instead.
Make Ahead and Storing
This is ideal to make ahead as you can cook up the broth and the noodles separately and store them in the fridge and then reheat the broth when you’re ready and assemble your bowls.
Leftover soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated as you like. Either the microwave or stovetop are fine for reheating the soup. And then just ladle it over rice noodles and add your garnishes as usual.
More Delicious Asian Inspired Vegan Dinners
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Charred Onion and Ginger:
- 1 Medium Onion White, Yellow or Brown, Peeled and Halved
- 3 inch Piece of Fresh Ginger Halved
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 4 Star Anise
- 4 Whole Cloves
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 Cardamon Pods
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Coriander Seeds
- 8 ounces Flat Rice Noodles (226g) Dry Weight
- 1 cup Fresh Cilantro
- 1 cup Basil Leaves
- 2 Small Fresh Limes Quartered
- 2 Fresh Chilis Sliced
- ½ cup Green Onions
- Hoisin sauce
- Prepare the charred onion and ginger: Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
- Rub the onion and ginger halves with the sesame oil and place them onto a parchment lined baking tray with the cut sides facing up.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until charred. You will use this in your broth.
- Prepare the spices. Add the star anise, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods and whole coriander seeds into a spice infuser.
- Prepare the broth: Add the vegetable stock/broth to a pot along with the sliced shiitake mushrooms and the roasted onion and ginger. Add in the infuser containing the spices.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes of simmering, remove the spice infuser and then remove the roasted onion and ginger from the broth.
- Add the coconut sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sea salt and stir them into the broth.
- Add the cubed tofu and baby bok choy and stir in. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Prepare the noodles: Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions.
- Assemble the Pho: Ladle the broth over cooked rice noodles in a bowl.
- Add fresh herbs and garnishes as you like.
- Serve with a squeeze of lime.
- Gluten free – use a gluten free soy sauce or switch for tamari if you’d like to keep this gluten-free.
- Spring onions – are also called green onions or salad onions or scallions.
- Hoisin sauce – is optional but can be quite tasty added in to your bowl. Serve it on the side.
- Storing – leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days.