Shital's-Kitchen: Vegetarian Phở

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Vegetarian Phở

Phở: We see this as a restaurant name very often in Northern California. I knew that it was an Asian dish which is pronounced as 'PH' and not 'FO'. But, little did I ever imagined that these restaurants would also serve a vegetarian version of the this dish. Maybe because of vegetarian/ vegan population in California, Pho is very popular here! 

While on a discussion with my friends few days back, we decided to go for Pho. It is a perfect winter comforting food. I said I have never had Pho, always very skeptical to go to an Asian restaurant as I am not sure of the broth or sauce they would use. The discussion made me very curious... I searched more on Pho from Vietnamese food bloggers, and I realized I love Pho! 

Pho is a rice noodle soup which I would normally have a my husband's cafeteria. In fact, I would specially go there to enjoy a hot bowl of hot noodle soup. They would refer to this as Soup Bowl. We could select the topping and with freshly boiled rice noodles and veggie broth, Pho was served in a large bowl. I would also add some chili paste to mine as I like it spicy :) 

Why did I not think earlier of making this at home?? I make veggie broth all the time for wonton soup and dumpling soup... so this would just be very easy.

Pho is a rice noodle bowl which is served with aromatic meat broth, slices of meat, and some veggies. I watched YouTube videos and found that people in Vietnam start their day with hot bowl of Pho. How comforting and delicious!!

So with my knowledge and style of veggie broth, I was on a mission to make Vegetarian Pho. The next part was selecting noodles...there were so many types. So while I stood in the Asian food aisle at Sprouts market, I started Googling for the rice noodles used in Pho. Check the links below. These bloggers have explained the Importance of Banh Pho. Pho means rice noodles and Banh Pho are flat noodles used in a bowl of Pho. 

"One can say that pho is not pho without the correct banh pho rice noodles in it." This sentence is from the website, Loving Pho:  Information about pho noodles

"How to buy Pho rice noodles?" Viet World KitchenTypes of Pho Rice noodles

Here is my recipe of making Vegetarian Pho:

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
5 cloves garlic
2 inch ginger
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks of Lemon grass
1 star anise
6 cups water
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp.oil

To serve:
Bean sprouts
Pho noodles (flat narrow rice noodles)
Chopped cilantro
Chopped onion greens
Sliced Serrano or Jalepeno
Baby Bok Choy
Sliced mushrooms
Pan seared Tofu
  • Finely chop veggies. Saute in a tbsp. of oil. Add lemongrass and star anise. Add 6 cups of water and salt, and simmer for for 45 minutes. Strain the veggies. Boil the broth before pouring in the Pho bowl and some pepper powder.
  • Soak some rice noodles in a bowl of water for an hour. This makes the noodles soft and cooking them will take very little time. 
  • Add soaked and softened noodles in a boiling water. Stir and let the noodles cook for 30-45 seconds.
  • Get all the water off the noodles. Place hot noodles in a large serving bowl. Since noodles are the main part of the dish, they should be plently.
  • Add toppings of your choice.
  • Bean sprouts, mushrooms, bok choy, onion greens, cilantro, lime, green chilies.  
  • Add tofu, brocolli, or veggies of your choice.
  • Pour hot veggie broth over the veggies and noodles and serve.
  • Add some spicy chili paste or sriracha.
 Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
To make veggie broth.
Finely chop veggies. Saute in a tbsp. of oil. Add lemongrass and star anise. Add 6 cups of water and salt, and simmer for for 45 minutes. Strain the veggies. Boil the broth before pouring in the Pho bowl and add some pepper powder.




Here is a pack of dried rice noodles. Soak some rice noodles in a bowl of water for an hour. This makes the noodles soft and cooking them will take very little time. 
Bánh Phở


Add soaked and softened noodles in a boiling water. Stir and let the noodles cook for 30-45 seconds.


Get all the water off the noodles. Place hot noodles in a large serving bowl. Since noodles are the main part of the dish, they should be plently.
Add toppings of your choice.
Bean sprouts, mushrooms, bok choy, onion greens, cilantro, lime, green chilies.  
Add tofu, brocolli, or veggies of your choice.


Pour hot veggie broth over the veggies and noodles and serve.


Here is my homemade spicy chili or schezwan sauce
http://shitals-kitchen.blogspot.com/2010/08/schezwan-sauce.html

Add some spicy chili paste or sriracha.
Squeeze some lime juice.



Enjoy this hot bowl of Phở!!

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