30-Minute Vegetarian Pho

30-Minute Vegetarian Pho
The first time I went out to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant with my family, I was very unsure of what to expect. I had the misconception that the meal would be your run-of-the mill greasy, heavy food, requiring a great deal of extra sweat time at the gym. I was surprised and delighted when I ordered pho soup and was presented with the largest bowl of fresh and flavorful ingredients I had ever happened upon in public.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) soup is a classic Vietnamese dish. A typical pho includes rice noodles in broth, a combination of raw and sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, and rare sliced steak. Since we’re making this meal meatless, we left out the steak and added in meaty sautéed shiitake mushrooms. I sautéed the shiitakes in butter and hoisin sauce, but you can easily switch out the hoisin for soy sauce or liquid aminos.

30-Minute Vegetarian Pho
The broth for a traditional pho usually involves a whole lot of spices and a whole lot of simmering–sometimes for up to 3 hours if you’re making the stock yourself! I wanted to make a pho that was doable for a weeknight meal, so I simplified things by making a quick ginger broth instead. I usually serve my pho with store-bought hoisin sauce and chili garlic sauce so that people can mix and match sweet and spicy flavors as desired.

30-Minute Vegetarian Pho
You can easily add your favorite vegetables to this 30-Minute Vegetarian Pho too. Since it is spring time, you can throw in asparagus, snow peas, fennel, or sliced radishes; for summer, try thinly sliced zucchini or yellow squash or green beans. Tofu, seitan, or cooked slices of tempeh can be added to up the protein in this recipe too. Pho is highly customizable, so everyone can assemble their own bowls with their favorite add-ins. Who doesn’t love that kind of dinner?!

30-Minute Vegetarian Pho

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

30-Minute Vegetarian Pho

A streamlined version of pho with a simple ginger broth base and shiitake mushrooms to make it meatless!

Ingredients

  • 64 ounces homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 14 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onion, grated ginger, and salt. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  3. Divide the rice noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth. Add bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and cilantro and serve with lime wedges, hoisin, and chili garlic sauce.
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About Julia

Julia Mueller writes the food blog, The Roasted Root, and is the author of Delicious Probiotic Drinks and Let Them Eat Kale!. A Lake Tahoe native, Julia loves to play outdoors, and enjoys developing recipes that are nutrient-dense and approachable to make any night of the week.   Read more from Julia →

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Comments

  1. Ann says

    Sounds just as delicious as it looks! I will try, since all my children are in collage Ive been adventurous in cooking.

    • Julia Mueller says

      Yes, yes, yes! Give it a go! It’s so easy, tasty, and fast – a perfect pho fix without the huge time investment :D Thanks, Jacki!

  2. says

    Mmm, a nice bowl of Pho sounds awesome right now. The basil and cilantro combo have always been a fave of mine. Pacific Foods makes a vegetarian Pho broth that I found to be pretty good and had appropriate fennel and star anise flavor going on… if one was planning on buying broth anyways, this one is worth a try.

    • Julia Mueller says

      I love a lot of fresh herbs in pho and feel you can’t go wrong with an easy peasy recipe like this. Enjoy!

  3. says

    This looks delicious Julia! My sister-in-law was in Vietnam last year and kept telling me how delicious the Pho was. Every time I’ve gone to a Vietnamese restaurant in hopes of trying Pho, it always has meat and fish sauce. I’m so excited to make this at home and finally try pho! Great recipe for a quick week night meal :)

    • Julia Mueller says

      I’m envious of your sister-in-law – It would be amazing to travel to Vietnam and enjoy authentic pho! Happy to hear you’re bringing the pho takeout in! :D

    • Julia Mueller says

      I’m a big fan too. I love how filling it is, yet how healthful it is at the same time. I’m always so pleased with meals that are big in flavor and have lots of variety. Hope you enjoy!

    • Julia Mueller says

      I have no qualms about making this recipe over and over and over. It’s so fun, easy and quick!! Have a great weekend, Grace!

    • Julia Mueller says

      Yeeeeeah! You and me both! I can always go for a steamy bowl of pho. Let us know if you give ‘er a go!

  4. says

    I made my first veg pho this past year and it has got me hooked! Your ginger broth sounds much more lovely than the five-spice-based broth I made. Want to slurp up this bowl so bad!

    • Julia Mueller says

      So glad you like the idea, Joanne! A 5-spice broth sounds brilliant too – I’ll have to try that out next time I make pho :)

    • Julia Mueller says

      Isn’t veggie pho the best?! Let us know if you try out the recipe and I hope you had a great weekend!

    • Julia Mueller says

      I’m so happy to hear it, Tara!! There’s nothing like a huge bowl of noodles in broth with sauteed shiitakes. It’s all about the small things in life, right? Thanks for trying out the recipe and for giving us your feedback! :D

    • Kiersten Frase says

      We know that. This is a vegetarian food blog–do you really think we’re going to make the broth with bones? If you’re looking for an authentic pho recipe, there are hundreds of them on other websites.

  5. says

    I have been looking for a recipe like this one for a while, cannot wait to try it! Thank you for all of the beautiful recipes :)

    • Julia Mueller says

      Awesome, Emily! I’m so glad you’re excited to try the pho. Let us know what you think and thanks so much for your kind compliment!!

  6. Jessica says

    This was absolutely delish! My 4 year old scarfed it down! This was the very first recipe I found and made on this site and it was a huge success. We are trying to go more vegetarian and recipes like this make it easy for a family that is used to eating meat every night. Highly recommend!

  7. Delea says

    I made this last night. I don’t like mushrooms so I just drizzles some oil and hoisin into the broth as it was boiling. To compensate I added raw chopped carrots and broccoli when I poured the broth over the noodles (I like the veg crispy like they are in the Vietnamese restaurant near my house). I found my noodles didn’t soften enough so I microwaved it for one minute and it was perfect! I kept my noodles, broth and veggies separate for lunch so it wouldnt go soggy and it is delicious today too! Great recipe!

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