Phở Chay (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

What’s beautiful and loaded with vegetables? Phở. Especially this vegan version, which uses a shiitake broth as opposed to the traditional beef broth, and sliced portobello & hoisin glazed tofu as apposed to, well, more beef. And it’s better this way, if you ask me.

Phở is the national dish of Vietnam and since I’ve never been to Vietnam myself, I thought I would bring Vietnam to me. Or to my kitchen, to be a little more exact.

And I’m so glad I did.

The Phở Broth { serves 2 }

  • 1 white onion
  • 1/4 of a daikon
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 thumbs of horseradish
  • 2-3 thumbs of ginger
  • 1 handful of shiitake / soaked
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 liter of water / 4 cups
  • Flavourings / 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon rose peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1 cinnamon stick & 2 star anise.

Cut the onion in half and the horseradish and ginger in slices. Char on a high heat or preferably directly over a flame. Dry roast coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and star anise. Chop daikon and carrots. Add all the broth ingredients to a pot, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain and pour over 2 servings of noodles.

The Hoisin Glazed Tofu

  • 200 g of tofu / preferably non-gmo
  • 2 tablespoons of a good quality hoisin sauce
  • A bit of oil for frying
  • A pinch of salt

Cube the tofu and add to a slightly greased pan on a medium heat. Let the tofu cubes brown just a little before adding the hoisin sauce. Continue to cook for a few minutes. Add more hoisin sauce if desired. Season with salt.

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The final components of the Phở Chay;

  • Sprouts / Bean sprouts are the traditional choice, but you can also add sunflower sprouts, alfalfa sprouts or even pea shoots. Or use more than one kind.
  • Herbs / Lots and lots and lots of fresh thai basil, coriander and mint leaves. Add some lemon balm too if you want to take it to the next level.
  • Veggies / I love adding pak choi and sautéed portobello mushrooms.
  • Condiments / Lime wedges and sriracha & hoisin sauce on the side.
  • Noodles / You of course also need noodles. I like using rice noodles.

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