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Vegetarian pho soup served in a bowl with lots of toppings

Vegetarian Pho Soup

This vegetarian pho soup recipe is a great spin on the traditional meat based pho. We are adding lots of depth and flavor and spicy notes. Don't skip the toppings!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Soups
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Keyword: Vegetarian Pho Soup, Vietnamese Broth and Noodle Soup, Vietnamese Pho
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 portions
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Preeti Gupta


  • For the Broth-
  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 Onion large peeled and halved
  • 2 inch Ginger peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3 inch Cinnamon piece
  • 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 Flat rice noodles dried
  • More Veggies-
  • 50 grams Tofu
  • 1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 4-5 Button mushrooms diced into four
  • 1 cup Bok choy / Chinese cabbage / Broccoli 1/3 cup each or any two of the three 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
  • Cilantro / thai basil / mint a large handful of herbs
  • To Serve-
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha optional


  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Prepare the toppings as desired. You may tear or slice the cabbage and bok choy and steam the broccoli florets.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2509mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 23066IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 4mg