Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vegan Pho

About a year ago, my favorite Pho restaurant closed down. They served a vegan pho bowl, with the most delicately fragranced vegetable broth, fried tofu, and fresh vegetables. Once that place was gone, I thought pho was a thing of my past. Then I saw a post by Sarah Britton on her blog My New Roots that was a recipe for a pho inspired noodle bowl. I was so excited to try this dish at home and set out to find all the exotic spices it called for. I have made this soup several times since, while tweaking it each time to recreate the dish from that restaurant that my family adored.

Finally, I have my version that the whole family looks forward to. It does take some work, but on a rainy Sunday, I can't think of a better project ...or smell in the house.

Vegan Pho
This recipe does take several steps. You make the broth, and while that is simmering, you fry the tofu and prep the veggies. Finally, you prep the noodles and assemble your soup. It is totally worth the effort when it comes together, though so don't be put off by the steps.

Broth Ingredients:

12 cups water
3 pounds yellow onion, peeled and chopped (about 6 onions)
2 oz fresh ginger (3 or 4 1" pieces), washed and sliced with peel on
1 oz fresh turmeric root, washed and sliced with peel on
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp whole fennel seeds
5 whole cardamom pods
5 star anise
7 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds

1/4 cup soy sauce

Broth Directions:

Heat the water in a large soup pan and add all the broth ingredients, except for the soy sauce. Bring to a boil and let the broth simmer with the lid on for an hour.

Strain the broth into another large pot. Do not press the vegetables to get more flavor, as that makes the broth bitter. Just let it sit in a colander over the second pot and let it drain.

Add the soy sauce, taste and add more if you like. Keep the sauce warmed over a low flame until you are ready to eat.

Fried Tofu Ingredients:

1 14 oz block extra firm tofu, pressed (I put mine between two plates with a soup can on top)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

Fried Tofu Directions:

Slice the pressed tofu into small rectangles. Heat the sesame oil in a large non-stick pan, and add the tofu slices. Try to arrange the slices in a single layer if possible. Fry the tofu while stirring occasionally, as you want the sides to brown. When the tofu is browned on both sides, drizzle the soy sauce over it and stir to distribute. Take the tofu off the heat and put in a serving dish.

Soup Ingredients:

1 pound rice stick noodles

Optional toppings:

Sliced carrot
Sliced celery
Sliced bok choy
Sliced bell pepper
Mung bean sprouts
lime wedges
fresh jalapeño slices
thai basil leaves
fresh cilantro
sriracha hot sauce


Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Nest the rice noodles in the bottom of a large bowl. Pour the hot broth over the noodles and add the toppings of your choice. Add some fried tofu, let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavors of the fresh vegetables permeate the dish. A squeeze of lime, a dash of hot sauce, and a drizzle of soy sauce really make this bowl shine.

Makes 10 servings. Nutritional information from caloriecount.about.com

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 472 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 144%Vitamin C 101%
Calcium 19%Iron 13%
Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

No comments:

Post a Comment