Vegan Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Published on March 17th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Delicious Vegan Vietnamese Pho in a bowl

If you've ever had the pleasure of knowing someone from the beautiful country of Vietnam, have had the chance to visit the country itself, or if you're of Vietnamese decent yourself, you know they take their Pho VERY seriously in Vietnam. But, unfortunately, you've probably been saying the word wrong this whole time. It's pronounced "fuh?," but really like you're singing "fuuuuhhhh?". The question mark at the end is important to get the Vietnamese pronunciation exactly right. The sound at the end should be raised a bit like you are asking a question.

Typically, Pho is made from beef or pork bones and finished with fish sauce. However, the creation of this Vegan Pho or "Phở Chay" in Vietnamese, will bring you the same depth and flavors as meaty mushrooms. The thought of having a steamy bowl full of the most wonderful aromas, flavors, and depth would make anyone drool. 

Pho is a feel-good meal in a giant bowl. The broth contains aromatics such as cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, ginger & cloves that are all toasted to enhance their flavors and make your house fill up with the most wonderful smells of toasted spices. The vegetables that are used for the broth are yam beans also known as Jicama, white daikon radish, onions, mushroom seasoning powder for that umami flavor, rock sugar, sea salt for some added sweetness. For added protein there is vegetarian beef which is made from soy beans as well as slices of vegan ham made from jackfruit. All added to a large bowl with a mountain of rice noodles piled high, meaty mushrooms, topped with Thai basil, mung bean sprouts, cilantro, fresh lime, chillies & sliced onions. Let's not forget about the sriracha & hoisin sauces to swirl in at your heart's content. 

If you're looking for more plant-based recipes have a look and learn How to make Yam Pie, its filling and great for sharing.  

 

Author: Jennifer Dodd
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Time & Serves

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
100 mins
Total Time
130 mins
Serves
4-6

Ingredients

Vegan Pho Broth
  • 1/4 medium Yam Bean, peeled and diced into medium pieces. 

  • 1/4 small Daikon, peeled and diced medium. 

  • 1 finger of Fresh Ginger, sliced in 1/4 inch slices, leaving the skin on

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and cut in 1/4s 

  • 4 Whole Star Anise

  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

  • 10 Whole Cloves

  • 1 Black Cardamom Pod, cut in half

  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds 

  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

  • 1 tablespoon Rock Sugar

  • 3 liters Cold Water

  • 1 medium Asian Pear or Red Apple if Asian pear isn't available, peeled and medium dice

  • 2 tablespoons, Mushroom Powder Seasoning

Vegan Pho Garnish
  • 6 ounces Flat Rice Noodles, per person

  • 3 teaspoons Vegetable Oil 

  • 1 pound Oyster Mushrooms, or any mushroom of preference, washed, cut bite sized. 

  • 1 cup Mung Bean Sprouts, rinsed under cold water & dried

  • 5 stems Thai Basil, leaves picked off

  • 5 stems Fresh Cilantro, leaves pick off

  • 1 Scallion, thinly sliced

  • 1 Whole Fresh Lime, cut in half

  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons, Sriracha, or however much or little heat you can handle 

  • 1/4  Onion, peeled & thinly sliced. 

  • 36 pieces Vegan Beef Slices, covered and soaked in warm water to rehydrate for 15 minutes 

  • 10 Vegan Ham Slices, cut in half 

  • 4 cups Hot Water, for soaking the noodles 

  • 1 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce 

  • 1 Bird's Eye Red Chili Pepper, thinly sliced

Instructions

Vegan Pho Broth

Heat a cast iron pan to medium-high heat, place in the cinnamon, ginger and star anise into the pan to toast rotating them around for 30 seconds. Then add in the rest of the spices and toast for an additional 30 seconds. Add the aromatics into some cheesecloth & tie everything together using kitchen twine.

Cast iron pan with spices being toasted inside

Add cold water to a large pot & place it onto high heat on the stovetop. 

Large pot of water being heated up

Add in the yam beans, daikon, onion, and Asian pear into the pot. 

Diced vegetables being added to a large pot of water

Bring to a simmer and reduce to medium-low heat, cooking for 30 minutes. 

Vegetables being boiled in a large pot

Once the vegetable broth has simmered for 30 minutes, strain the broth using a fine mesh strainer, into another large pot, discarding the vegetables. 

Vegetables being strained from the broth

Add the cheesecloth containing the aromatics, rock sugar, mushroom seasoning powder and salt to the pot, simmer on medium heat for an additional 15 minutes to further infuse the broth. 

A pot of vegetable broth with aromatics tied in cheesecloth

Once the broth has simmered for 15 minutes remove and discard the cheesecloth. Keep the broth on low heat to stay warm. 

Aromatics being removed from vegetable broth
Vegan Pho Soup

Soak the rice noodles in hot water for 20 minutes using a large bowl. Strain & rinse the noodles using a colander.

Bowl with rice noodles being soaked in water

Place a large non-stick pan onto the stovetop setting it to medium-high heat. 

A pan with oil heating up inside

Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pan and add in the mushrooms, sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes to soften them. Add 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce at the end of cooking to season the mushroom. 

Mushrooms cooking in a pan

Place the cooked mushrooms into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. 

Bowl with cooked mushrooms cooling on a countertop

Place the pan back onto the heat adding 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan. 

Oil being added to a pan

Strain the water from the vegan beef slices, drying them off using paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.  

Add the vegan beef sliced to the pan, searing them on each side for 30 seconds per side, flipping them over using a pair of kitchen tongs.  

Vegan beef being cooked in a pan

Remove the vegan beef slices from the pan placing them into a medium-sized bowl. 

Vegan beef cooling in a bowl on the countertop

Repeat the same process with the vegan ham slices. 

Vegan ham searing a pan
Pho soup Assembly 

Portion the mushrooms and noodles evenly into the soup bowls. 

Noodles portioned in a soup bowl on the counter

Using a soup ladle, add the broth to each bowl with enough liquid to cover the noodles. 

Pho broth being laded into the bowl of noodles

Garnish the top of each bowl of soup with the vegan beef slices, vegan ham, mung bean spouts, Thai basil, cilantro, scallions, sliced onion, chillies & squeeze of lime juice.

Finished bowl of vegan Vietnamese pho with chopsticks inside

Add in a spoonful each of Hoisin and Sriracha sauce & enjoy this flavorful homemade bowl of Pho Chay.

Two ramekins with hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce
Jennifer Dodd
Author:

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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Keywords
Pho Chay, phở chay, vegan Vietnamese pho, authentic, soup, noodles, vegetarian, recipe, traditional, how to make

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