How to make Vegetarian Pho at home

Many of us know how delicious a bowl of pho is. When we are craving pho we normally head to a Vietnamese restaurant. Did you know you can easily make pho at home? You can also make it vegetarian style.

Some people think pho is too tricky to achieve at home:

“It must be so complicated to make.”

“I’ve heard someone say it takes them the whole day?!”

“You need so many hard-to-find items.”

We will let you in on a secret. Pho isn’t as hard to make as you think.  Most of the prep goes in at the start. Put all the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer away and work its magic. 

There are a few things you can do to enhance the flavour, so don’t skip those steps:

  1. Fry the spices on low heat until you smell the aroma (no need for oil). 
  2. Char the onions and ginger (this brings out the sweetness)


    For the soup



    • 2 large brown onions
    • 1 small knob of fresh ginger
    • 1 leak
    • 1 white radish
    • 2 pears or apples
    • 2 carrots
    • 1 ear Corn
    • 200 grams thinly sliced dried mushrooms



    • 6 litres of water
    • 500 grams rice pho noodles
    • Salt, pepper and sugar
    • Vegetable stock

    For garnishes


    • Wash the dried mushrooms briefly.
    • Soak the dried mushrooms overnight or a few hours in cold water. A quick tip from us: Place a plate on top of the mushrooms to ensure they are fully soaked in the water. Don’t drain the water afterwards. Use it to enrich the broth.
    • Boil water on high heat.
    • Slice the mushrooms into thin strips.
    • Marinate the mushrooms with oyster sauce, sesame oil (optional), salt, pepper and sugar.
    • While mushrooms are marinating, cut the leak, turnip, pear, carrots and sweet corn into chunks and toss them into the broth
    • Char the onions and ginger, then remove the onion skin. The aroma and flavour from the seared onions and ginger produces hints of sweetness for the soup.
    • Stir-fry the mushrooms until brown in garlic oil or normal oil (if you are not too keen on garlic). Transfer the mushroom into the stock pot.

    • Dry fry the cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, black pepper, coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a pan to bring out the aroma. Place them in the cloth bag before adding into the pot.
    • Simmer on medium heat for 1-3 hours. Season to taste using vegan fish sauce, salt, sugar, vegetable stock.
    • Fry the tofu in vegetable oil over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes each side until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to absorb the excess oil. This step is optional.
    • Blanch the fresh pho noodles for 2-3 minutes until cooked. 
    • In a bowl, add pho noodles, tofu and your preferred herbs like basil and mint. Ladle broth and veggies over top. Your restaurant-quality vegetarian pho is ready to serve!

    Final thoughts, I am absolutely amazed by the taste! 

    Initially, I thought there is no way vegetables can bring out the flavour as much as the beef or chicken bones. I was wrong. The tangy and luscious flavour primarily comes from the fried mushroom in garlic oil, spices, charred onion and ginger! All the ingredients blend well together to promote a balance in flavours.

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