Vegetarian pho soup served in a bowl with lots of toppings

Vegetarian Pho Soup

  • Author: Preeti Gupta
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese, Asian


This vegetarian pho soup recipe is a great spin on the traditional meat based pho. We are adding lots of depth and flavour and spicy notes. Don’t skip the toppings!


For the Broth-

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3 inch piece cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

For the Noodles-

  • 100 grams dried flat rice noodles

More Veggies-

  • 50 grams tofu
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 45 button mushrooms, diced into four
  • bok choy/ chinese cabbage/ broccoli-all prepared 1/2 cup each or any one of the two as desired

For the Garnishes-

  • 2 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 thai red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • a large handful of herbs- cilantro, thai basil, mint

To Serve-

  • hoisin sauce
  • sriracha(optional)


  1. For the broth: Heat oil in a pan and char the onion halves and the ginger until slightly blackened, about 2-3 minutes on both sides. You may even put them under a broiler for 5 minutes. 
  2. Broth: In a large pot, dry roast the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and coriander seeds over a medium low flame until aromatic. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots and the charred onions and ginger. Bring the broth to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot on the side till ready to serve.
  3. Noodles: While the broth is boiling, prepare the noodles. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water till submerged. Let stand for 20-25 minutes or until tender but still chewy (if soaking the noodles as above does not soften them enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds).
  4. Toppings: Prepare the toppings as desired. You may tear or slice the cabbage and bok choy and steam the broccoli florets.
  5. Tofu: Press the tofu in a couple of layers of paper towels for 10 minutes to drain the excess water. Slice and cook the tofu with the hoisin and sriracha for 2-3 in a frying pan.
  6. To serve: divide the noodles between both the bowls, arrange the toppings over the noodles and ladle the hot broth over. Serve with the garnishes and the sauces on the side.


  • Pho is best enjoyed while it’s still hot
  • Leftover broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days
  • To make this vegetarian pho spicier, add 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes to the broth while it simmers. But the thai red chillies add enough heat on their own
  • Pho is generally enjoyed with hoisin sauce or soy sauce on the side. In this case we’ve used that flavour by cooking the tofu with hoisin sauce.
  • If you want to check out a meat based authentic pho recipes, my friend Maggie has a great recipe for it.