Easy vegetarian pho is a simple take on the classic Vietnamese noodle soup made with spices, shiitakes & bok choy. Vegan & Gluten Free.
There are certain foods that I eat for dinner all the time that never make it here. My favorite thai coconut soup is a 5 minute walk from our house, and a hot slurpy bowl of mushroom pho is a short distance in the opposite direction. Both have been on my “to make some day” list for a long time. Well, friends, some day has arrived, and this recipe was way easier to pull off than I had anticipated.
First thing’s first – this is not an authentic pho recipe because (aside from eating a lot of it) I’m not exactly the most experienced in Vietnamese cooking. Also, I’ve simplified things here by skipping a few steps that were in the recipes that I consulted. I would have titled this “faux pho” if Jack had not rolled his eyes and insisted that the name would make for terrible SEO.
Authenticity aside, this a deliciously spiced hot bowl of noodles with hearty shiitake mushrooms and tender baby bok choy. A new favorite around here.
This recipe makes enough to fill two very large (and very cute) bowls. Double this to serve at least four.
For leftovers, double the broth and store it in the fridge. I would suggest adding the bok choy only as you’re ready to reheat and serve in order for it to retain its vibrant color.
Pictured: Soup Bowls
Easy Vegetarian Pho
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon whole cloves
- 5 cups water
- ½ small yellow onion, cut into 1” chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced in half
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
- ¼ cup tamari, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, more to taste
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into quarters
- ½ cup frozen edamame
- 4 ounces cooked rice noodles
- lime slices
- mung bean sprouts
- fresh herbs: basil, mint, and/or cilantro
- sriracha, sliced thai chiles, or sliced jalapeños
- In a medium pot over low heat, combine the star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cloves and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the water, onion, garlic, ginger, and the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and return the liquid back to the pot.
- Slice the shiitake mushroom caps and add them to the pot along with the tamari, rice vinegar, and scallions. Simmer 15 minutes.
- Add the bok choy and edamame and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Taste and season with more tamari for depth of flavor, and more rice vinegar for tang, as desired.
- Ladle the soup into 2 bowls over the cooked rice noodles. Serve with the lime slices, sprouts, herbs, sriracha, chili peppers, and more tamari on the side.
Special thanks to Anthropologie for providing the tableware items in this post!