Pho is a Vietnamese soup, which happens to be Vietnam’s national dish, and understandably so! Vietnamese people often start off their day with this soup, and consume it at any and all points throughout the day. Again, totally get it! 🙂 This soup is often consumed as street food in Vietnam. It became popular worldwide after the Vietnam war when refugees fled the country and settled abroad.
Pho soups originating from North Vietnam tend to be more brothy, whereas pho soups from the South tend to be heavier on the garnishes, which definitely makes our pho a Southern one.
This soup tastes delicate, aromatic and deeply flavourful. And although it requires many ingredients, it’s well worth the effort.
Note: This soup would be considered a side dish because it is only made up of grains and veggies. To make it a balanced meal, throw in some tofu or edamame beans.
Making this soup isn’t too difficult, so let’s hop to it! 🙂
Vegetarian Pho Soup
Yield: 2 large soups
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
- 1 star anise
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 small heads bok choy
- 10-12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1.5 inch-knob of fresh ginger, cut into chunks
- 4.5 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 227 grams of rice noodles, prepared according to the package’s instructions (usually this means soaking the noodles in boiled water for 8-10 minutes)
- 4 green onions, chopped, for garnish
- 2 limes, juiced, for garnish
- Thai basil, Asian chives and/or coriander, for garnish
- Place broth, hoisin sauce and tamari (or soy sauce) in a soup pan and heat on medium-high.
- In a pan, add sesame oil and char your onion and ginger.
- In a separate pan, fry your spices (without using oil). This will help bring out their flavour. This should take about 2-3 minutes and you will know this is occuring when the spices start to smell.
- Add sugar, fried spices, pan-charred onion and ginger, bok choy, mushrooms and bean sprouts to the broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook until vegetables are tender. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste (it should be quite salty already due to the broth, tamari and hoisin sauce).
- Add the cooked noodles to your 2 serving bowls, then top off with the soup.
- Top with the awesome garnishes of your choice. Add lime juice only at the end, as is tradition! 😉
Pho-nomenal (sorry, I had to…). If you’ve never had pho, you are definitely missing out 🙂