Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its burst of flavors and sumptuous blend of spices. A bowl of Pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup, is a testament to that richness in flavor. Traditionally made with beef or chicken, this recipe turns that on its head and presents a healthier and more ethical alternative, vegetarian Vietnamese broths.
With the rise of vegetarianism and veganism, the demand for plant-based versions of popular dishes has never been higher. Authentic Pho broth relies heavily on animal protein to achieve its signature umami flavor. However, with this recipe, I show you how it’s possible to make pho broth without sacrificing the richness and depth that we love about Vietnamese cuisine.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to create a delicious vegetarian Pho broth that even meat lovers will be sure to enjoy. From the trifecta of spices – star anise, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks – that creates a wonderful aroma and taste to flavorful vegetables such as shiitake mushrooms, onions, fresh ginger, and garlic cloves, all of which add layers of flavors to this vegan Pho broth recipe.
So why not join me in this culinary adventure? Follow my lead as we delve into the world of vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine with this delightfully easy recipe. Get ready to prepare a perfect noodle soup to satisfy your cravings and impress your family and friends.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Have you ever tried Vietnamese pho noodle soup before? You may have thought that this amazing meal couldn’t get any better, but as a vegan or vegetarian, you might be looking for a meatless option. Luckily, this vegetarian Vietnamese broth recipe will become your new favorite!
One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is that it’s healthy and satisfying. Instead of traditional beef or chicken broth, this pho recipe uses vegetable stock with classic Vietnamese spices such as bay leaves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks to give it that authentic flavor. The shiitake mushrooms add extra umami that satisfies your cravings without any guilt.
Another great thing about this vegetarian pho recipe is that it is incredibly easy to make. Even if you are not an expert in the kitchen, you can still whip up this delicious meal in no time. It’s a one-pot wonder with simple instructions to follow.
Furthermore, this vegan pho vietnamese noodle soup is versatile and customizable to fit your preferences. You can use different vegetables like bok choy or tofu to provide extra texture and nutrients. Additionally, you can add or omit whatever spices you like based on your personal taste buds.
Finally, the best part about this vegetarian pho recipe is that it is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re having friends over for dinner or just cooking a quick weeknight meal for yourself or your family, this dish will never disappoint. The warm and comforting broth will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished every time.
Surely enough, with its health benefits, ease of preparation and versatility; along with its spicy-savory Vietnamese broth flavor; once you try vegetarian Vietnamese broth, it’s definitely gonna be hard to go back!
For this vegetarian Vietnamese broth recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
Vegetarian Pho Broth
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches in length
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Noodles and Toppings
- Rice noodles (follow package instructions)
- Bok choy or other vegetables of your choice
Note: For a vegan pho, you can substitute the soy sauce with another seasoning of your choice
The Recipe How-To
Vegetarian Vietnamese Broth Recipe
Let’s get started with the recipe! Here are the steps to make a delicious and flavorful vegetarian Vietnamese broth.
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 8 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp. of whole peppercorns
- 8 ounces of sliced shiitake mushrooms
- Bok choy (optional)
- Rice noodles
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the onion, ginger, and garlic on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly charred.
- In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the charred onion, ginger, and garlic, as well as the star anise, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Stir and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant.
- Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and peppercorns to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for at least an hour.
- Once done simmering, strain out all solids from broth using a large strainer or cheesecloth. Return broth to pot and add in sliced shiitake mushrooms. Let it simmer again for 30 minutes until mushrooms are soft.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions in a separate pot.
- To serve: In a bowl add rice noodles first then ladle hot liquid broth over it gently not ruining noodles placement followed by mushroom slices then bok choy if desired.
Enjoy your homemade vegetarian pho soup!
Substitutions and Variations
Looking to switch up your vegetarian Vietnamese broth recipe? Not a problem. Here are some simple substitutions and variations to make this dish uniquely yours.
First, let’s talk about the broth. In place of the vegetable stock, you could use mushroom broth for a deeper flavor or miso broth for a more savory taste. If you can’t find shiitake mushrooms, you could also use oyster mushrooms or portobello mushrooms.
If you’re looking for a vegan option, you can easily substitute soy sauce for fish sauce in the recipe. For a gluten-free option, be sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce.
When it comes to the protein options for this dish, tofu is always a solid choice. But if you’re feeling daring, try using seitan as a meat alternative or even some fried tofu for an added crunch.
As for the veggies in the soup, bok choy is traditional but feel free to add in any other leafy greens you enjoy. Some sliced carrots or chopped jalapenos could also add some depth and spice to the dish.
And finally, don’t forget about the noodles! While rice noodles are the classic choice, you could switch it up with some soba or udon noodles. Just be sure to cook according to package instructions before adding them into the soup.
Overall, this recipe is versatile enough that you can easily make it your own with these substitutions and variations. So go ahead and experiment!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you’ve prepared the perfect vegan Vietnamese noodle soup, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it. This dish is deliciously versatile and pairs well with a range of different ingredients.
Firstly, you’ll want to arrange your toppings. The traditional way to serve pho is with fresh lime, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce on the side. You can also customize your toppings according to your taste buds.
Now that you’ve got your toppings set up, it’s time to add rice noodles and ladle the fragrant broth on top. The result will be a bowl of steaming hot soup that’s perfect for any occasion.
But what do you serve this vegan pho alongside? Well, an obvious choice would be some crispy spring rolls or bahn mi sandwiches (a French-inspired Vietnamese baguette). These dishes perfectly complement the broth with their combination of textures and flavors.
If you want to make things even more authentic, serve some Vietnamese iced coffee or tea on the side – the sweet aroma will perfectly balance out the savory notes from the soup.
But don’t let tradition stop you from experimenting with other pairings. Some people like to eat their pho with additional protein sources like tofu or seitan, while others prefer a more vegetable-centric approach with bok choy or shiitake mushrooms.
Lastly, remember that pho is meant to be enjoyed in a communal setting with friends and family. So why not invite some loved ones over and share this warming bowl of goodness together?
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
This vegetarian Vietnamese broth recipe can be a great meal prep option as it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. The broth can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is important to let the broth cool down completely before storing it, and make sure that it is stored in a safe temperature range under 40°F.
To reheat the broth, simply pour it into a pot and heat until steaming hot. If you need to thin out the broth, add some more water or vegetable stock to give it the desired consistency.
If you want to freeze the broth, allow it to cool completely first then transfer it into freezer-friendly bags or containers. The frozen broth will last up to 3 months.
When ready to serve, thaw the frozen broth overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stove. You can customize your bowl of pho with your favorite toppings like sliced tofu, seitan or fried tofu for a vegan or vegetarian twist, and beef or other meats for non-vegetarian options. Add some rice noodles and bok choy for a complete meal.
This soup will taste equally delicious fresh or re-heated with a make-ahead nutritious base full of healthy ingredients such as ginger, shiitake mushrooms, onion and garlic cloves that gives its powerful aroma and flavor notes. Don’t hesitate to store portions of this soup for those days that you won’t have enough time to cook!
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure the best outcome for your Vegetarian Vietnamese Broth Recipe, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Use quality ingredients: As with any recipe, the taste of the final product is highly dependent on the quality of ingredients used. Be sure to use fresh herbs and vegetables, and don’t skimp on the shiitake mushrooms as they are key to this soup’s deep umami flavor.
2. Let the spices work their magic: The longer you simmer the broth, the more complex and flavorful it becomes. Allow the bay leaves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks to infuse their aromatics into the broth for at least 30 minutes.
3. Don’t overcook the noodles: Rice noodles cook quickly and can turn mushy if overcooked. Follow package instructions carefully and rinse them thoroughly with cold water after cooking to stop further cooking.
4. Go easy on soy sauce: Soy sauce adds a lot of saltiness to this recipe, so taste as you go and be careful not to add too much. Remember that you can always add more later but it’s harder to fix an oversalted soup.
5. Customize your toppings: Pho is all about customization, so feel free to play around with different toppings like bok choy or seitan strips for some added texture and flavor.
6. Make it ahead of time: This broth freezes incredibly well, so don’t hesitate to make a big batch ahead of time and freeze extra portions for later use.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to savor every bite of this delicious Vegetarian Vietnamese Broth Recipe without any issues.
As you prepare to make this Vegetarian Vietnamese Broth recipe, it is normal to have a few questions or uncertainties that may come up. In this section, we have put together some frequently asked questions, along with their answers and tips that will help you achieve a perfect result every time you make this soup. So let’s dive in and address any issues that may arise when preparing this easy, yet flavorful vegetarian pho broth recipe.
What is vegetarian pho broth made of?
For a delicious vegetarian pho, you’ll want to gather some key ingredients. These include star anise, cinnamon sticks, whole peppercorns, and cloves. Additionally, onion, ginger, and garlic are essential for giving your broth the signature pho aroma and flavor. Lastly, water is the preferred base for the broth rather than using vegetable stock.
Can you eat pho as a vegetarian?
When it comes to making pho, the classic recipe calls for beef and fish sauce as the main ingredients. However, as a vegan chef, I opt for a vegetarian substitute by using shiitake mushrooms instead of beef and tamari (or soy sauce) instead of fish sauce.
Why is pho broth so good for you?
Pho, a popular dish, contains ingredients that are beneficial for maintaining healthy teeth. It is said to be rich in essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and phosphorus, which can strengthen dentin and tooth enamel. Some experts even believe that it may promote the remineralization of teeth.
In conclusion, this Vegetarian Vietnamese Broth recipe is the perfect choice for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal. Whether you are a vegan or simply want to reduce your meat consumption, this recipe has got you covered. With a delectable range of ingredients including cinnamon sticks, star anise, and shiitake mushrooms, this vegetarian pho broth packs a flavorful punch for your taste buds.
Furthermore, the recipe is straightforward and adaptable to your taste preferences. You can easily substitute some of the vegetables involved or add some protein options like tofu or seitan to make it unique to your palate.
Additionally, this vegan pho soup is versatile and inexpensive, making it perfect for any occasion whether it is a quick weeknight dinner or a special gathering with family and friends.
Finally, don’t forget to pair this soup with some steaming hot rice noodles and fresh veggies like bok choy to complete the meal. With these simple steps, you can enjoy a tasty and nutritious dish that is sure to impress anyone at the table!
Vegetarian Vietnamese Broth Recipe
- 8 cups clear vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped coarsely
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 pods star anise
- 2 large bay leaves
- Put stock, soy sauce, garlic, and onion in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, char ginger on all sides over an open gas flame or in a small skillet. Add to the stock.
- Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and bay leaves to the broth.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove solids with a slotted spoon or strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Return to pot and keep hot until ready to use in soup.
Add Your Own Notes
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Jolo is a talented chef and food blogger with a passion for vegan and Caribbean flavors. From savory vegetarian dishes to tropical smoothies, Jolo’s Kitchen has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for meat-free meals or creative Caribbean recipes, Jolo’s Kitchen is the perfect place for you.