PHO! Is there anything better than slurping up a big bowl of delicious brothy noodles? The answer is no. Soupy, slurpy, full of gorgeous flavours from star anise, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger, topped with basil, mint, cilantro, and all sorts of other goodness. A total bowl of health. This baby will make colds run away in horror.
Traditional pho is supposed to take several hours to make, but let's be honest, I ain't got time for that. So I figured out a cheaters way (aka brilliant way) to make it in just 30 minutes. Not only that but you get to be all sorts of lazy and just toss everything in a pot and let it simmer. I totally have time for that!
Pho is all about the broth, and the broth is all about the right flavours. Pho's unique flavours can be attributed to the spices: star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Often used as a sweet combination, but pair them with onion, garlic, and soy sauce, and oooeeee is that the yummiest savoury, aromatic soup ever!
Then just decorate your pho with an endless combination of toppings. I love serving all the toppings on a large cutting board or in individual pretty little bowls, and then letting everyone top their pho to their own taste preferences. It makes for a great dinner party or just an easy weeknight meal.
To make quick vegan pho, just quarter an onion, roughly chop the garlic, and slice the ginger into coins. Add the broth, onion, garlic, star anise, whole cloves, ginger, and cinnamon to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Yes, you will have large chunks of stuff floating around, that's how it should be.
In the meantime bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook your rice noodles. Follow the package directions or if there are none, cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles cooking.
Chop up your toppings, and sauté the mushrooms or tofu if you are using either. Now I am pretty sure you know how to fill a bowl of soup, so I really don't need to do a step by step photo guide on this one, but just look how pretty it is...
Ahhhhhhhh.... This is the stuff of love.
Quick Vegan Pho
For the Broth:
- 2 L vegetable broth (8 cups)
- 3 cups water
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 whole star anise
- 3 whole cloves (the spice)
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into coins
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Soy sauce to taste
- 1 package wide rice noodles
For the Toppings (use whatever combo you like):
- Fresh basil (Thai basil is preferable if you can find it)
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh mint
- Fresh green onions
- Mung bean sprouts
- Hot peppers (I like Mirasol peppers, which are long, red, and not very spicy)
- Sautéed mushrooms (I like shiitakes)
- Sautéed tofu
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges
- Add the broth, water, onion, garlic, star anise, whole cloves, ginger, and cinnamon, to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Taste and add soy sauce as needed. The amount you need will vary a bit depending on your taste preference and how salty the broth you used is, I used 2 tablespoons.
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook your rice noodles. Follow the package directions or if there are none, cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles cooking.
- When everything is ready, serve by adding noodles to a bowl, using a ladle to collect the broth (leaving the onion and spices behind), and then top with garnishes of choice.
Feature Ingredient: Star Anise! 188 days, 69 Recipes to go.