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Basic vegetarian pho recipe

Basic vegetarian pho recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Mushroom soup

Pho is a classic Vietnamese noodle soup that's packed with Asian flavours. I've just listed some options but there is no right way to season and garnish this dish. Be creative and feel free to add your own twist.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • Soup
  • 3L vegetable stock
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock granules
  • 5 whole star anise pods
  • Garnishes
  • 450g thin rice noodles
  • 225g beansprouts
  • 225g sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 limes, sliced, or as desired
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 30g fresh basil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • Flavourings
  • 4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chilli paste, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, or to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:10min › Ready in:1hr

  1. Combine vegetable stock, lemongrass, vegetable stock granules and star anise pods in a saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until flavours are combined, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove lemongrass and star anise with a slotted spoon and discard.
  2. Place rice noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water to soften, about 10 minutes. Drain and cut into shorter pieces with kitchen scissors; divide noodles equally between soup bowls. Fill bowls with hot stock to cover noodles.
  3. Place beansprouts, mushrooms, limes, coriander, basil and spring onions into separate bowls. Place teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, chilli paste and sesame oil in separate bowls. Serve soup alongside garnishes and flavourings.

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Vegetarian Pho Noodle Soup

Looking for the method to create the most flavorful vegetarian pho soup base? You’ve come to the right place.

Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, even spicy and pungent ingredients such as onion and garlic are not allowed. On the other hand, many Chinese vegetarian restaurants do serve eggs. And I’ve found quite a few people around me claiming to be vegetarian, but still eating chicken soup and food cooked in pork broth.

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m not a vegetarian myself. However, I started to cook vegetarian meals more often after moving to the US and gaining 20 pounds in the first year.

Neighborhood – Hearty Salads and Plant-Based Recipes from Home and Abroad by Hetty McKinnon. Hetty is a cookbook author, food blogger, and mother of three. She used to run Arthur Street Kitchen, where she made and delivered fresh salads to the local community. I got to know Hetty during the New York workshop and immediately fell in love with the beautiful vegetarian salads she makes.

I’ve also learned that she is a second-generation Chinese immigrant, having grown up in Australia in a traditional Chinese family. She’s been a vegetarian diet for over twenty years and shares plant-based recipes that are influenced by Asian, Middle Eastern, and French cuisines. It was fascinating to read the story about her family’s rejection of her conversion to a vegetarian diet.

The photo on the right is quoted from Hetty’s Blog Arthur Street Kitchen

When I purchased her cookbook, I asked Hetty what her favorite recipe from it was.

“The vegetarian pho salad”. She said without a second thought.

I immediately knew it was the recipe I’d try out as soon as I got home.

I love this broth so much, so I would make more and save it for use in other soups later on.

The original recipe uses a lot of veggies because it’s a salad recipe. I found that some tofu and one or two types of veggies make a great meal.

The quickest way is to boil the veggies in the broth after you remove the aromatics. But personally, I prefer to sear the veggies with some salt and pepper on the stovetop. You can also roast the veggies in the oven while you make the broth. Both ways create flavorful toppings.

It’s a type of tofu that is pre-seasoned and smoked. The best thing is, you can slice it and add it to the dish without having to cook it first. If you do not live close to an Asian market and can’t get five-spice tofu, you can use normal tofu on the stovetop or in the oven to create a crispy texture. It works just as well topped on the noodles.

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Pho

If you’ve ever made traditional pho from scratch, you know there’s nothing quick about it it’s a labor of love that involves simmering beef bones, slow-roasting onions, and steeping aromatic spices.

With that, you’re also quite aware that there’s nothing vegetarian about it.

This vegetarian pho is the farthest thing from a traditional pho in that sense, but the flavor profile is damn near the same and I think I did it justice for a quick fix phony pho for my fellow pescetarians/vegetarians.

How I fell in love with pho.

I first tried pho eight years ago. The hype surrounding it escalated very quickly—the same way it did with sushi a few years prior. All of a sudden, everyone in my circle of friends was talking about it. “Let’s grab a bowl of pho” quickly became the new “Let’s grab coffee”. We’d pull and slurp our noodles mid-conversation while drowning our woes in the comfort of the aromatic broth spiced with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise.

Mention pho, and the word euphoric comes to mind.

How pho came to be in the US.

I’m a bit of a food history nerd, and how pho came about in the US is truly a story about soothing one’s soul with a bowl of soup.

When refugees were fleeing Vietnam to escape communist rules and degrading economic conditions, the US was the country of choice thanks to the relationship between America and South Vietnam before the Fall of Saigon. Vietnamese refugees, feeling isolated in a new country, sought comfort in their own food—such as pho. Unfortunately, finding the right ingredients to create pho was a challenge in North America.

Years later, a few business-savvy Vietnamese imported these ingredients and started selling them at local Asian markets so that refugees could indulge in a cozy bowl of what tasted like home.

Having these ingredients available sparked a movement in opening pho shops and, as a result, US citizens were treated to a taste of Vietnam.

This is how pho was established in the US.

Anytime I see or eat pho, I reflect on this and the fact that people—no matter where they’re from or what they’ve been through—rely on finding comfort in food.

If there’s one thing we as human beings all have in common, it’s that.

The deal with this vegetarian pho.

Since pho isn’t pescetarian or vegetarian friendly, I needed to find a way to sate my craving.

One thing that stands out about pho is the aromatic broth. By toasting the spices and steeping them in a basic store-bought (or homemade) vegetable broth, you can totally get the flavor you covet. All that’s different is the lack of oiliness and richness from the bones, marrow, and fat. I guess you could consider this a lightened up broth.

Other than that, you’ve still got your silky rice noodles, punchy jalapeño, fresh basil and cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley for people like me who can’t stand cilantro), and whatever extra saucy fixin’s your little heart desires.

The best part? This pho takes a measly 30 minutes, if that, to make from beginning to end, as opposed to the six-ish hours it takes to make that bone broth. (Which is totally worth it if you’re an omnivore, though.)

I really hope this recipe brings the same comfort to others as it does to me. We all need easy comfort food for long days, for crummy days, and for lazy rainy days. I’ve got Ramen bowls for this too, y’all.

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations.

Want to share your own pescetarian recipes, photos, and experiences? Join our Facebook group!

Bubble tea, boba tea, milk tea &ndash it comes in many names. However you want to call it, though, one thing&rsquos for sure: it&rsquos addictive!

This insanely delicious beverage has taken the world by storm.

While it originated in Taiwan, many Asian nations also have their own version of the popular drink.

But essentially, it&rsquos a combination of sweetened tea and milk. The tea flavor is completely up to you.

You can use basic tea flavors such as jasmine or black tea, or make it fruity with honeydew or strawberry.

As delicious as the drink itself is, it&rsquos not complete without the sinkers.

Sticky, chewy tapioca pearls are what make bubble tea so iconic.

Stir-fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay)

by Lyli Pham

From many stunning Vietnamese Pho Recipes, today I would like to introduce Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle (Phở Xào Chay) for all who fall in love with this noodle. In Buddha days, my mom usually cooks many vegetarian dishes for all members of the family. Here is the best way to give a peace to our souls. Each month, we choose 15th in the lunar calendar for eating vegetarian food and this month we choose this dish. It is not only delicious but also easy for cooking.

Stir-fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay)

So, are you ready to discover one of amazing Vietnamese Pho Recipes with us? Trust me you will not regret this decision. When you feel free, welcome to follow my instruction below and let us start cooking right now.


Vietnamese Beef Pho recipe

Vietnamese Vegetarian Eggrolls Recipe (Nem rán chay)

Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay)

Vietnamese Vegetarian Curry recipe

Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle (Phở Xào Chay)


  • 200g dried pho noodle
  • 1 leafy green cabbage (Cải Ngồng)
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 slice tofu (50g)
  • Soya sauce, salt, sugar, pepper
  • 10g tamarind jelly (no sugar)
  • Roasted peanut, smashed well


Soak dried pho noodle in hot water until it is soft. Wash immediately through cold water and wait to dry.

Step 1 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) 1

Mix tamarind with a little hot water well. Filter to get its water and throw away seeds. Now, you alreay finished basic steps to prepare one of stunning Vietnamese Pho Recipes.

Step 2 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) 2

Clean and slice leafy green cabbage into short pieces. Peel off the cover of carrot, clean and slice fiber. Fry tofu until it turns brown yellow and slice fiber too.

Step 3 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) _3

Step 3 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) 3

Step 3 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) -3
Step 4:

Heat the oil (2 – 3 teaspoons), add sliced carrot and fry until it is cooked. Add more leafy green cabbage, tofu into pan and fry quickly. Season with 3 teaspoons soya sauce, salt and sugar.

Step 4 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) 4

Next, add pho noodle and fry with a little tamarind sauce in step 2. Season again to suit your flavor and turn off the heat

Step 5 Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay) 5

Finally, your dish is already served. How do you think? It is really tasty and easy for cooking, right? Before eating, sprinkle more roasted peanut on the face of food. If you want to increase its flavor, chili sauce or soya sauce is a great choice. Hope you have a good appetite and Good Luck for your Cooking. Do not miss our next Vietnamese Pho Recipes soon.

Stir fried Vegetarian Phở Noodle Recipe (Phở Xào Chay)

Asian Broth – How to make a Basic Asian Broth?

Asian Broth – How to make a Basic Asian Broth? If you are a fan of Asian cuisine then you must boomark it or save in your folder where you save all your favorite recipes.

If you have been following me for a long time, then you probably know that I am an ardent fan of East Asian cuisine, particularly Thai and Viet with a good mix of Chinese and Japanese. The Asian broth based soups and stews are a regular affair in my house for meals.

As a matter of fact, we go often to Thai and other Asian food inspired restaurants for family weekend dinners. Asian broth is just amazing – a perfect blend of spicy, sweet and tangy, bursting with the flavors of kafir lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal.

There is this restaurant called Ban Thai, near my town which serves the best Thai and other Asian food. If you go there for lunch, they serve you Broth based soup with tofu and other vegetables as a part of their Lunch deal.

If you ask me, I can dwell on this broth everyday. The aromas are strong and the flavors of all the ingredients can be distinguished delicately.

The best part about this Asian Broth is that you can make a large batch and store in refrigerator and use as desired. This broth can be used as a base for Asian Vegetable & Tofu soup. You may add noodles to it to make a more wholesome meal.

Asian Broth – How to make a Basic Asian Broth?

Some other Asian Recipes from theblog are – Kung Pao Tofu and Burnt Garlic Mushrooms , Vegetable Tom Kha , Vegetarian Tom Yum , Hakka Noodles , Soba Noodles Bowl with Curry Broth , Tofu in Orange Ginger Sauce and more.

Disclaimer – Please note that I do not take any responsibility to its originality or authenticity. I have developed this recipe over the period of time with many trials and errors to match the flavors that I am used to, as available in the local Asian restaurants here.

This is how a basic Asian Broth is made, as I make it at home!

I am a food blog

Hello Pho! To me there’s nothing better than a basic, great pho. I mean, I’ve seen fancy versions where there are whole marrow bones, truffle, and thinly sliced dry aged rib eye, but give me a house special any day and I’m a happy noodle. Pho dac biet, literally house special, as explained to me by Mike, is essentially the pho that has whatever the restaurant wants it in, like all Asian house specials. Usually that means some variation or all of: steak, brisket, flank, tendon, tripe, and meatballs.

Of course, you can order a bowl with just whatever your favorite meats are and call it your house special, which is what I did here. I made a basic pho stock then topped it off with what I consider all the good stuff: brisket, sliced steak, and meatballs! Are you guys familiar with Vietnamese meatballs or bò viên? They’re completely different from your typical soft and loose meatball, more of a chewy, bouncy texture. Asians love that bouncy texture in food and you’ll find it over and over again, in noodles, in meat or fish balls, and in dessert. Chinese people call it “qq,” Vietnamese people call it “ dai,” and Japanese call it “mochi-mochi.” Texture is a huge component of Asian food and is partly why pho is SO good. It has the slipperiness of the noodles, the dai of the meat balls, the tenderness of brisket, the freshness and crunch of bean sprouts, and on and on. Each bite is different, but harmonious.

I know, I’m waxing poetic about pho, but bear with me, I just love it so much. And really, it’s not so much effort to make a big batch of pho stock. All you do is: char some aromatics, hard boil some bones to get the gunk out, then simmer everything together in a big pot of water with spices for as long as you can. You strain everything out, prep your toppings and noodles and then you get to sit down to a bowl that you made from scratch. So satisfying.

Beefy noodle goodness, here you come!
noodles and soup,
xoxo steph

PS – If you can find Vietnamese meatballs, please do – they sell them at Asian grocery stores, in the fridge section or you might be able to convince your local pho joint to sell you some. To be honest, I’ve never made them, just bought them, but I think it might be a good project one day.

PPS – Mike is working on an InstantPot pho! I’ve had it’s first iteration and it’s fantastic so I can’t wait to share it when it’s perfected. Keep your eyes peeled!

Basic Great Pho with Brisket Recipe
serves 4
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 4.5 hours
total time: 5 hours

Basic Phở Gà Instant Pot (Chicken Pho)

1. In the inner pot, add chicken, daikon, onion, ginger, Pho spices filter bag, Quoc Viet Soup Base, rock sugar along with 7 cups of boiling water (or more to cover all ingredients). Select Pressure Cook/Manual, High Pressure, 8 minutes. Allow 5 minutes NPR then slowly release pressure by turning the knob to “Venting”.

2. Once pressure is released, open lid and pull out chicken, place in a colander and immediately flush it with cold sink water for about 2 minutes. This step stops the chicken from being overcooked and the skin from turning brown. Drain and set aside to cool. De-bone and shred chicken.

3. Discard onion and daikon. Add about 7 more cups of boiling water. Cancel “Keep Warm” and switch to “Saute” mode to bring the broth to a boil. Season to your taste salt, mushroom seasoning, soup base and/or rock sugar.

4. To serve, add cooked Pho noodle and chicken to a large bowl. Ladle the boiling broth over noodle and chicken. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and cilantro. Top with white onion and ground pepper. Serve with fresh bean sprout, basil/cultrano, hoisin and sriracha sauce. OPTIONAL: Make a quick dipping sauce for the chicken meat with lime juice, salt and pepper!

For the Vietnamese pho broth

  • 600 g onions, about 3 to 4 medium sized onions, split in half
  • 200 g ginger, about 12 cm long ginger, split in half lengthwise
  • 2.5 kg beef, shin + leg bone, cut into 2 cm thick slices
  • 1/2 kg beef brisket, cut into 10cm pieces (weighted after trimming)
  • 2 star anise, , 20 star points in total
  • 10 cloves
  • 10 cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 35 g salt, about 5 teaspoons
  • 60 g fish sauce, about 4 tablespoons
  • 30 g rock sugar

To serve:

  • 800 g pho noodles, divided into 8 bowls
  • 500 g sirloin, cut thinly against the grain
  • 1 onion, sliced paper thin
  • 3 stalk scallions, cut into thin rings
  • 3 sprigs coriander leafs
  • Ground black pepper

Garnishes arranged alongside the pho bowl:

  • 1 sprig spearmint
  • 1 sprig Thai basil
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 200 g bean sprouts
  • bird's eye chili, , cut into thin rings
  • 2 lime, , cut into wedges
  • 200 g fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha

The Verdict on Pho Chay

In truth, the real Vietnamese pho is an extreme prohibition for Buddhists. Not only is it meat-based, but it also banks on the strong smell of garnishes to liven up the taste of the soup. Aside from that, animal innards and organs are also strictly prohibited for Buddhists. Ironically, these are important ingredients that are usually a part of beef and chicken pho. Since the original pho contains not just meat but also especially prohibited ingredients, beef or chicken pho are certainly prohibited in chay eating.

A major reconstruction of the staple Vietnamese food was necessary so that pho will be acceptable to Buddhists chay practitioners. With the vegetarian pho, this was made possible, and before vegetarian pho was made available to the public, it was already and still is very commonly served at the Buddhist temples. Because not all Buddhists strictly follow the vegetarian diet on a regular basis, you'll find vegans and pho chay in abundance during the many Buddist holidays throughout the year in both Vietnam and in the U.S.

The subject of vegetarian foods, Buddhist vegetarian foods in general and Vietnamese vegetarian foods in particular, is a wide ranging subject matter with deep beliefs, practices and customs. This article does not pretend to be the authoritative source on pho chay. Rather, I hope it gives you a little more understanding about vegetarian pho and Viet chay foods in general. Please leave a comment about pho chay and your experience with pho chay below.

For a guide on some Viet pronunciation including "pho chay," read my post on "Pronunciation of Pho and Other Vietnamese Words and Phrases."