This easy Veggie Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) is comforting and flavorful thanks to spices and shiitake mushrooms. It’s a healthy, low-sodium alternative to takeout!
In college, Jimmy and I would brave the rush hour LA traffic to drive down to Culver City and eat at our favorite restaurant, Pho Show, nearly every day (and sometimes twice a day)! The waiter knew our order by heart: the fresh spring rolls and veggie pho for me every time.
Ever since, Vietnamese has been one of my absolute favorite cuisines. There’s so many light and aromatic dishes, but pho is the ultimate classic. If you haven’t tried it, you need it in your life. The best part? It’s typically gluten-free and packed with veggies!
When we traveled to Vietnam, we knew we had to take cooking classes to learn more about the herbs and spices to recreate authentic dishes like pho. The spices in this pho like star anise and ginger are amazing for your immune system. Anytime we’re feeling under the weather or need an immune boost, this is the dish I go for!
You can add any veggies you like to customize your pho. I definitely recommend including shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and broccoli. The shiitake mushrooms add the most delicious flavor to the broth, and mushrooms are just amazing for you. You could even make this mushroom steak and add it on top of the pho. Enjoy this flavorful, comforting soup with a cup of oolong tea!
This recipe is:
- vegan + vegetarian
- refined sugar-free
If you do not have star anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, white pepper, and coriander, you can instead use 2 tsp of five spice powder. I’ve found it’s the closest way to still get the flavor!
I love adding lime, cilantro, and jalapeño, but if you don’t like cilantro or spice then you can skip those! I definitely recommend squeezing a wedge of lime.
Yes! This pho is packed with so many nutrients thanks to tons of veggies, herbs, and spices. If you’re eating low-carb or are concerned about the glycemic index, I recommend glass noodles, zoodles, kelp noodles, or miracle noodles!
Vegan Vegetable Pho
- 6 cups vegetable broth low-sodium
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 inch ginger root minced
- 3 star anise* whole
- 3 cloves* whole
- 1 stick cinnamon* Vietnamese, or ⅛ tsp powder
- 5 pods cardamom*
- ½ tsp coriander* ground
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- ¼ tsp sea salt to taste, depending if broth has salt
- ⅛ tsp white pepper* optional
- 1 package rice noodles or glass noodles white, brown, or forbidden rice
- 2 bok choy chopped
- 1 head broccoli chopped
- 5 shiitake mushrooms sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1 jalapeño optional topping, sliced
- 6 sprigs cilantro optional topping, chopped
- 1 lime optional topping, juice
- ⅓ cup bean sprouts optional
- Prep all your spices and veggies. Add the garlic and ginger to a large pot with a splash of water over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring until lightly browned. Add star anise, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, and cardamom to the pot and continue to stir for 2-3 more minutes. (Tip: I like to add a stainless steel colander to the pot, then add the spices on top for easy removal)
- Add veggie broth, coconut sugar, rice vinegar, and coconut aminos. Bring to a boil, then stir, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. If you notice the broth reducing too much, you can add a bit more veggie broth.
- While broth is simmering, prepare your noodles according to the package. I like to add ours to a large bowl first, then boil water in an electric kettle and pour the boiling water over the noodles. Let cook until al dente (you want them to be cooked, but not too soft since we'll be pouring the pho broth over them).
- Steam the veggies you'd like to add (bok choy, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots) for 5-7 minutes, or cook for 5-7 minutes in a pan with a splash of veggie broth over medium heat.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove spices from the broth, or remove the colander if you used one. Test your broth and add salt and white pepper as needed.
- Assemble your pho bowls! Add noodles and veggies to a bowl, then ladle broth over it. Garnish with your choice of green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, bean sprouts… anything you like! I recommend squeezing juice from ¼ lime into each bowl.
- If you do not have those *spices* available, you can purchase 5 spice powder instead and use 2 tsp of that. 5 spice powder contains cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and white pepper, which will be a similar taste.