vegetarian pho

So, the weekend that Faith left for Ghana, I decided I wanted to cook a meal for her and her mom.  Well, after a long period of indecisiveness, we finally decided on Pho.  However, Faith is a vegetarian, so it had to be vegetarian pho.  Traditionally, Pho has meat in it so finding a recipe wasn’t that easy.  But, below is the one we used.  Everyone seemed to enjoy, even I.  And, if you can’t find star anise, use normal anise seeds.  Search for the equivalency rate though; I don’t remember it off the top of my head.

Vegetarian Pho


  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 large shallots, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 c. dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 12 thin coins of fresh ginger (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 5-6 fresh basil stems, leaves reserved for the soup
  • 5-6 cilantro stems, leaves reserved soup


  • 8oz. pkg. rice noodles
  • 8 oz. pkg Asian-flavor baked tofu, thinly sliced (maybe more)
  • 2 cups soybean sprouts
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lime

To make Broth: Place all ingredients in large pot with 8 cups of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain broth and return to pot. Discard solids.

To make Pho: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Divide among 6 large soup bowls. Ladle broth over noodles, and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress, and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into the soup.

290 CAL; 16g PROTEIN, 5.5g TOTAL, 3g FIBER

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