Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho

I’ve slurped down bowl after bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho) all over Melbourne. So I’ve been experimenting with making my own at home, it’s a lovely, relaxing and slow process to get the soup I love. This recipe serves about 4 people.

8 cups of vegetarian stock, preferably faux beef flavoured

3 cups of boiling water
4cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
2 star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick

8 garlic cloves (I love my pho with garlic)
4 cloves
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of tamari or wheat-free soy sauce
250g packet of dried rice stick noodles
1 pack of firm tofu, cut into small cubes or any way you wish
4 spring (green) onions, coarsely chopped
125g of fresh mushrooms (I used button)

2 carrots, cut into thin rounds
1 cup of fresh coriander leaves
1 handful of your favourite herbs, I used Vietnamese Mint and Thai Basil
1 large handful of bean shoots
1-2 small fresh red chillies, finely sliced (optional)
Hoisin sauce

Other vegies you could add to this eg. spinach, kale, bok choy, choy sum, snowpeas

1. Make the soup: Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves. Don’t add any oil, instead dry-roast the spices until they start to char slightly.
3. Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes.
5. Strain into a clean pot and discard the solids from the spices. Stir in the tamari and lemon juice. Taste the broth and add salt if necessary.
6. Add the mushrooms to the soup and keep warm over low heat.

7. Cook the rice noodles: Place the rice noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
8. Serve: Drain the noodles and divide among serving bowls.
9. Arrange the tofu and spring onion over the noodles. The hot soup will cook them in their bowl.
9. Remove the saucepan from the heat and ladle the hot soup over the tofu, onion and noodles.
10. Top with the fresh herbs and bean sprouts (and chilli). Sprinkle a little hoisin sauce over the soup and serve immediately.

SOURCE: Adapted from a recipe by Ellie May


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