Everyone loves phở but if you are a vegetarian, you are missing out on a national treasure. Buddhist temples have been making vegetarian phở for a long time. This is a fruit based broth with phở seasoning that has a remarkable resemblance to the beef version. Vegetarian phở is also much quicker and easier to make for those days where standing over a bubbling pot for hours is not on the schedule. Enjoy this healthy and delicious phở anytime of the day.
This recipe is rated easy and takes approximately 1.5 hours to make.
1 large carrot
1 asian pear
1 bartlett pear (American)
1 fuji apple
1 yellow onion
Vegetarian soup base (can be found in Asian markets)
1 package of pho dac biet seasoning
1 package of fresh pho noodles (flat vermicelli) / Dry pho noodles if the fresh version is not available
1 tablespoon of rock sugar
Assortment of mock beef and ham or tofu depending on your preference.
1 lb of bean sprouts
A few stalks of basil
Prepare the broth:
In a 5.5 quarts capacity pot, add 12 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of rock sugar. Boil the water.
Peel the chayote, radish, carrot and casava. Cut them into large chunks.
Rinse the pears and apples. Cut them into large chunks.
Add the fruit to the stock and add 1 package of phở seasoning (in a mesh container).
Boil the stock for at least 1 hour. Continue to add water as the liquid will evaporate during the process. After 1 hour, remove the fruit and reserve the liquid.
Strain the liquid for impurities.
Season with 1 tablespoon of vegetarian soup base, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of sea salt.
Cut 1 stalk of leek into 3 parts and discard the bottom stem portion. Reserve the middle and white parts. Add the middle part to the stock and let the broth simmer while you prepare the noodles and toppings.
Prepare the noodles:
Boil a pot of water (enough to immerse the noodles). When the water is bubbling, add the fresh noodles and turn off the heat. The fresh noodles will be cook within minutes. Check for noodles consistency to be al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. If you are using dry noodles, the noodles will take much longer to cook.
Prepare the toppings:
Thinly dice the white part of the leek and cut up the mock ham.
Heat a pan with 1 teaspoon of oil and add 1 tablespoon of diced leek. Add the mock beefsteak and fry until crispy. Remove from the pan.
Heat the pan with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of diced leek. Add the mock ham. Season with ½ a teaspoon of soy sauce, ½ teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vegetarian soup seasoning and ½ a teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Optional: You can add firm tofu to the soup and season the tofu like the ham above. You can also add fried tofu to the soup if you do not like the mock meat. You can add any other vegetables that you like as well such as mushrooms, etc.
Plate and serve:
Add a handful of noodles to the bottom of the bowl. Ad your choice of toppings. Add the broth and serve with a side of bean sprouts, basil and lime.