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Warm up with a Vegan Pho Recipe

You won’t miss any flavor with this vegan pho recipe as it’s full of nutrition and savor.

What's not to love about a steamy hot bowl of Vietnamese pho? It's warm, spicy, and full of yummy vegetables and noodles. The only problem? It's most often also full of meat. Not exactly appetizing if you're vegan. But you can satisfy your craving with a delectable vegan pho recipe. While it may seem sacrilegious to the die-hard traditionalists, creating new cuisine is a budding tradition in and of itself.

Pho is all about the broth. It marries sweet and spicy with savory and umami. The vegetable kingdom offers many amazing flavors to replace meat and compliment the herbs and spices. Look for seasonal substitutes when making your pho broth as there are many to be had. This recipe calls on winter vegetables including turnips, celery root and carrots. In the summer, try adding green beans, spinach and even a few fresh tomatoes for a sweet flavor.

Enjoy this recipe for lunch or dinner.


Delicious Vegan Pho

Pho Broth Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts fresh water
  • 3–5 inches of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 2–4 whole dried chili peppers slightly scorched over open flame or in cast iron skillet
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3–4 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 celeriac or celery root, diced
  • 2 turnips, diced
  • ½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced, or ¼ pound dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 medium stalks of lemongrass, smashed and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves or ¼ teaspoon powder
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 large onion and 5 cloves garlic minced; 1 tablespoon coconut or organic cane sugar


Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a slow simmer, keeping the heat low and slow so the flavors really marinate. When the smell is so amazing that you simply can't stand it anymore (and it's been at least an hour), strain through a sieve or cheesecloth. Compost your scraps.


Vegan Pho Ingredients:

  • Pho broth recipe (above)
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, diced
  • 2 large carrots, julienne
  • 2 ribs celery, julienne
  • 1 small winter squash (butternut or kabocha are excellent) or 1 medium rutabaga or turnip, steamed and medium diced
  • 6 ounces organic tofu or seitan, cubed
  • ½ cup each: fresh basil, cilantro, chopped
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, finely minced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 pound rice noodles
  • Fresh mint sprigs and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • Optional: 1 small onion, diced, 3 cloves garlic, 1 cup frozen edamame or peas


pho_recipe_healthy_soup_ethnic_chopsticks_sprouts_picBring your pho broth to a boil. Add the ginger, carrots, celery, and whichever of the squash, rutabaga, or turnip you’re using (and garlic and onions if using). Let simmer about 5 minutes. Add peas or edamame and simmer one more minute.

In a separate pot, bring enough water to a boil for your noodles. Rice noodles will cook fast—in less than five minutes—so keep an eye on them!

When noodles are cooked, put about ¼ of them into each large soup bowl (you can get 4–6 servings total).

Top noodles with tofu or seitan, fresh basil, cilantro, and chili peppers. Pour several ladles full of veggies and broth over the mixture. Add bean sprouts, mint, and toasted sesame seeds to the top. Add sriracha or hot sauce for more heat. Slurp slowly and thoroughly.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Give this Thai salad a try too!

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