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Vegetarian Pho

Our Vietnamese Pho is a nourishing vegan and gluten-free soup that we make on our Vietnamese cooking courses. The base is a fragrant stock made with cinnamon, coriander and star anise, then augmented with tofu and oyster mushrooms for a healthy, warming one-bowl meal.

You will find Pho or hot noodle soup everywhere in Vietnam, particularly in the colder north. You can buy Pho from tiny little cafes that only serve Pho, with a small table and tiny chairs out on the street; you crouch down over a huge bowl of steaming broth bulked out with flat rice noodles. The protein is meat-based, but we have substituted slices of tofu along with loads of vegetables - we like to include pak choi, carrots, and broccoli, but feel free to use whatever you have to hand.

Vegetarian Pho Soup

Vegetarian Pho

Dietary: Vegan, Wheat Free if using tamari

Serves: 4-6

Broth Ingredients

  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • salt and freshly ground black peper

Pho Add-ins

  • mushrooms (oyster, crimini, etc)
  • pak choi, finely sliced
  • carrots, julienned
  • courgette, julienned
  • red pepper, thinly sliced
  • green beans
  • shredded cabbage
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • flat rice noodles
  • tofu, sliced into matchsticks


  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • beansprouts
  • red chillies, sliced
  • finely chopped fresh coriander, mint and/or basil
  • lime wedges


  1. Heat the stock up with the cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, star anise, soy sauce and tamarind. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and season to taste.
  2. Return the broth to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Taste and add more tamarind, lime, shoyu and sugar to your liking.
  4. Now add your vegetables in the order at which they’ll cook (e.g. add firmer vegetables like carrots first; add greens like spinach last).
  5. If adding noodles, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles al dente. Drain and divide among individual deep soup bowls.
  6. Ladle the hot broth and vegetables on top of the noodles and garnish with beansprouts, chillies and coriander.

For more inspiration, check out our upcoming Far Eastern Vegetarian Cookery Courses, including Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.

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