Did you recently shift to a vegan lifestyle for either health or ethical reasons and now missing your favorite meat dishes? Or maybe you are tired of eating cold and bland salads or sandwiches and looking for some warm and flavorful food options? So, if you too have jumped on this vegan bandwagon and now looking for some hearty, delicious yet healthy food choices, then pho recipe is your savior. This simple, quick, and rich vegan pho recipe is a perfect alternative to its original beefy version.
Vegan Pho Recipe: Broth
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup made with beef bones and served with noodles, beef slices, vegetables, herbs, and sauces. The biggest challenge while creating its vegan version is the recreation of meat flavor and depth of the vegan pho calories. Traditionally the broth used in this soup is cooked for hours or even days to extract the richness and fat from the bones.
However, in this vegan variation, we will use a combination of dried shitake and oyster mushrooms along with tofu and vegetables. Use market brought broth or likewise make some at home from scratch using onion, ginger, carrot, and your preferred vegetables such as daikon radish, broccoli, and edamame beans, etc. The trick is to char the vegetables in a pan, especially onions and ginger, to bring out their caramelized flavor and aroma.
Vegan Pho Recipe: Spice
Spices are an indispensable component of Asian cuisine, given their abundant production in the region. Likewise, the secret to the deep and multidimensional flavor of pho soup, therefore, lies in the spice blend. Don’t forget to dry roast them in a pan before adding them to the broth as it will elevate their taste and give a nutty flavor. For this recipe you will need;
- Cinnamon 1 stick
- Cloves 1 tsp
- Cardamom 5 pods
- Star Anise 5 Flowers
- Coriander 1 tsp
- Fennel 1 tsp
Preparation and Cooking
- Cover the dried shitake mushrooms in water and soak for up to 8 hours.
- Peel of the vegetables and chop them into halves.
- Slice the oyster mushroom and sauté them for a few minutes or until caramelized.
- In a large pan, throw in all the dry seared vegetables along with mushrooms, salt, and moreover spices wrapped in cheesecloth.
- Add in 12 cups of water, and turn on the heat. Cook on high until the water starts to boil, then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for hours. The longer you cook, the stronger its flavor.
- Once cooked, remove the spices and vegetables.
- Add cubed tofu and cook for another 15 minutes.
- In a separate pot boil the rice stick noodles.
Serving the Pho
Now we will demonstrate the traditional way of enjoying the pho just like the Vietnamese do. Start by soaking the cooked noodles with broth in a bowl along with mushrooms and also tofu. Then sprinkle cilantro and Thai basil to let their flavor diffuse with the broth. Finally toss in bean sprouts, red onion, Thai chilies, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and lime squeeze. If your taste leans toward the spicy end of the spectrum, pour in some sriracha or hoisin sauce.