October 18, 2009

daring cooks october 2009 challenge | vietnamese pho

i was super excited when i saw that october's daring cooks challenge was pho for a couple of reasons 1) i love me some good asian broth...especially now that the weather is getting a bit cooler, and 2) i've been a reader of the challenge host's blog, jaden of steamy kitchen, for quite some time now. her website has many super easy and delicious asian recipes accompanied by beautiful pictures. her recipe for pho, from her new cookbook, was no different...and luckily very easy to veganize. the end results were so so good and comforting....definitely better than any veg pho i've tried before. :)

my list of ingredients...coriander seeds, cloves, star of anise, sliced red onion, veg chicken flavored broth, lots of ginger, soy sauce and sugar.

the secret step...roasting the spices to intensify the flavors and release their aromas.
next everything goes into the pot and simmers for 20 minutes....

and that's that....delicious savory broth ready for some rice noodles and all the fixins. so so easy!

the fixins...cilantro, mung bean sprouts, sliced jalapeno peppers, red onion and mint.

steve and i opted for some fried tofu, instead of veggie chicken meat, for our protein. on a side note: if any vegetarians happen to find themselves in the san gabriel valley (what you westsiders call "the boonies") you MUST make a stop at v.k. foods and try their home made tofu products....specifically the fried mushroom tofu! the best!! but anyway, back to the challenge...

our lovely bowl of pho...so so delicious with sriracha and hoison sauce.
vegan vietnamese pho
makes 4 servings

for the chicken flavored broth:
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 quarts of vegetarian chicken flavored broth
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
  • 1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
  • 2 tbsps. of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb. dried rice noodles (about 1/4 inch/6 mm wide)
  • 16 oz fried tofu
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, washed
  • fresh cilantro tops (leaves and tender stems)
  • 1/2 cup shaved red onion
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • sriracha chili sauce
  • hoison sauce
  • sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice
to make the broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning. in a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes. taste the broth and add more soy sauce or sugar, if needed. strain the broth and discard the solids.

prepare the noodles per the directions on the package. laddle the broth into bowls. than divide the tofu and soft noodles evenly into each bowl. have the accompaniments spread out on the table. each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients. enjoy!


  1. the mushroom tofu sounds amazing!

    i was intrigued about how a vegetarian or vegan pho would turn out - i'm glad you thought it was delicious!


  2. I've gotta try this! Sound yummy!!