I’ve never been to Vietnam, though I’d love to visit. For those of you who have visited Vietnam, I’m sure that at some point you tried some Pho. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, wide rice noodles (called Banh Pho), herbs, and typically, meat. Usually, it is prepared using beef or chicken. It is a popular street food in the country, though the dish is enjoyed worldwide.
I’ve attempted to recreate the flavors of this sumptuous dish in my own kitchen in Canada using tofu in place of meat, ginger and lemongrass to season the broth, and various garnishes including jalapeno peppers, bean sprouts, cilantro, onions, and lime wedges. As a vegan pho meal, I feel that it really captures the spirit of this traditional Vietnam dish!
Depending on how much spice you like, you may want to use additional Sriracha sauce on top. I cooked half of the jalapeno slices in the broth and used the other half as a garnish. The jalapenos that simmered in the broth really added some extra heat to the soup. Also, if you use a low-sodium vegetable broth, you might want to add some salt or Herbamare seasoning.
The first step is to chop up all of your veggies and your garnishes. As you can see, I’ve used carrots, ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and tofu. The lemongrass is used to flavor the broth and is removed before serving the soup. Not pictured here are the bean sprouts and the lime wedges.
Once you’ve prepped all of your veggies, you can bring your broth to a simmer. Add the lemongrass, ginger, carrot, half of the jalapeno peppers, a few sprigs of cilantro, and the tofu.
And if you’re like me, you’ll have a curious cat watching you cook! Chickpea loves sitting on the kitchen table, observing the entire meal preparation.
Prepare your rice noodles according to the package instructions before you simmer the broth. I cooked the noodles while I was chopping up all of the vegetables. Place the noodles in the individual serving bowls.
Once the soup has finished cooking, scoop out the lemongrass segments and pour the broth over top of the noodles. Add your various garnishes, and you’ll be ready to go! This soup is very easy to prepare and doesn’t take a long time to make.
Vegan Pho Recipe
12oz flat rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
1 large stalk lemongrass, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces and flattened
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes
6 green onions, thinly sliced
fresh cilantro sprigs
2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
salt or Herbamare to season
1. In a large pot, place broth, lemongrass, ginger, carrot, half of your jalapeno slices, tofu, and a few sprigs of cilantro. Bring to a simmer, and then cover and cook for 10 minutes. Season the broth if needed with salt or Herbamare.
2. Divide the noodles into bowls. Remove the lemongrass from the soup. Ladle the broth into bowls. Top with more cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapenos, and green onions. Serve with lime wedges and Sriracha on the side.
And that’s it! You’ve made yourself a delicious, warm, soothing bowl of Vegan Pho. Enjoy!