Isn’t it amazing how terrible 2016 was? There were so many things that just melted our brains from Brexit to Trump, police brutality to Aleppo, devastating natural disasters to Orlando & more. Congratulations on making it to 2017, but I regret to inform you that it’s not looking up all that much. Okay, forget the whole negative introduction because we can’t fight bollocks with hatred & pessimism. Let’s start this new year at Tiffany Bee on a more positive note: how I convince people to hang out with me i.e. if you feed them, they will come. Last year, I made poké for my friends & they loved it. This year, I’m finally sharing my recipe. For those of you out of the trendy food loop, poké is a Hawaiian dish consisting of seasoned raw fish that is complemented by a variety of accoutrements including rice or vegetables. It is an incredibly fresh & healthy dish, depending on its seasoning & accoutrements. If made in the comforts of your own home, it is easily more affordable & tastier than a restaurant. California’s been sprouting poké restaurants everywhere, you’d think they weren’t in a drought. Bad pun, I’m sorry Cali, forgive me. While it’s raining poké in Cali, Boston has only grown one poké restaurant & FFS it’s not even in Boston Proper, it’s in Somerville. That’s okay though, because where Boston is slacking, I GOT YOU COVERED WITH THIS RECIPE SO SCROLL DOWN, LOOK @ MAH PICS, & CLICK ON THE RECIPE LINK 2 FALLINLURVE.
Wow, Tiffany, a “pho pun”, how original. I know, right? Have I devolved into dad jokes? Never, because I’m too hilarious for that. I just had to, because I’m finally publishing my 100% vegan pho recipe. Told you I’d never forget you. I took a really long hiatus, but I’m present, I promise. I even added a bunch of new albums in the gallery – granted half of them are from last year. It’s been a busy year, get off my back, y’all!! I’ll get around to my European photos by the end of this month…I hope.. Anyway, back to the pho: whether you’re a meat eater or not, it’s a scrumptious recipe, so you can take your reservations & judgment & shove it right up your hairy nose holes. Pho is pronounced “fuh?” not “foe”. Source: I’m Vietnamese. There’s a question mark to indicate that you’re supposed to raise your voice as if you’re asking a question. In Vietnamese, pho has two question marks on the “O”, so trust me & lower your inquisitive eyebrow. If you’re an avid meat eater & think the idea of pho being vegan is absurd, you better swipe left right on out of here. Vietnam is known as one of the least religious countries in the world as its main “religion” aka folklore/cultural beliefs is heavily influenced by Taoism, Confucianism, & Buddhism. Many Buddhists are vegetarian/vegan, thus the meat-free versions of Vietnamese cuisine is 1 trillion times better than any quinoa kale salad you’ve ever had. There are lots of great vegetarian restaurants in Vietnam, so open your minddDdddD.
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The best bowl of pho (pronounced: fuh? NOT foe) you’ll ever have is right in the kitchen of an amazing Vietnamese mom. My mom has always made the best bowl of pho ga (chicken), but since I no longer consume land creatures, I actively claim that I make the best bowl of pho chay (vegan pho) you’ll ever have. Unless of course you’ve been to Au Lac in Fountain Valley, CA…then I’d say it’s comparable. The protein you choose to use is completely up to you. I made my own seitan using this recipe from Vegetarian Times. It’s a lot of work, so unless you’ve got a lot of time, I wouldn’t recommend making a block of seitan just for a pho recipe. You can also use pre-made seitan at the grocery store or skip it altogether & just stick with tofu (deep-fried or baked extra firm tofu is the best, but that’s up to you), mushrooms, or extra veggies. Since pho is actually considered breakfast, I like to add an egg to my morning bowls.
If there’s absolutely one thing you take away from glancing at this recipe, it should be that any recipe that claims to be vegan pho but is just vegetable soup broth & rice vermicelli noodles is NOT pho. Vegetable broth & rice vermicelli noodles = NOODLE SOUP. Pho is a very specific type of noodle that looks like this. It can either be thin, as thin as Pad Thai noodles because they’re pretty much identical, or really thick. Pho noodles are never clear (bean thread; also called mien), yellow (egg or wonton noodles), round (think of the noodles in fresh summer rolls), & they’re most definitely not the same noodles you eat in ramen. Pho noodles are flat, always. Even if they’re thick, they’re flat.
Lastly, the reason bland vegetable noodle soup is not pho is simply that what makes pho unique is its usage of very specific Vietnamese spices: cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, clove, fennel, ginger, & star anise. If any recipe for pho doesn’t mention any of these spices, throw that garbage out. It’s trash. NOW ONTO THE RECIPE.Print
Pho Chay (Vegan Pho)
- Total Time: 110
The best bowl of vegan pho you’ll ever have.
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled
- 2 thumbs ginger, peeled & halved lengthwise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 black cardamom pods or 2 tsp cardamom
- 1 Tbsp coriander
- 3 star anise
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1.5 tsp clove
- 1 Braeburn, Fuji, or Gala apple, peeled & roughly chopped
- 14 cups water
- 1 large carrot, peeled & halved widthwise
- 1 small daikon radish, peeled & halved widthwise
- 1/4 cabbage head, roughly chopped
- 2 cups dried shiitake mushroom
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar, agave, or raw honey (honey isn’t technically vegan!)
- 1/3 cup Healthy Boy Mushroom Sauce or tamari
- salt to taste
- 4 cups mushroom medley, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp Healthy Boy Mushroom Sauce or tamari
- 1 package extra firm tofu, drained & cubed (optional)
- 3 sheets dried bean curd, roughly crunched into broth (optional)
- Seitan (optional)
- 3 packages pho noodles (Banh Pho Tuoi or dried rice stick noodle)
- Scallions, chopped
- Cilantro, stems removed & roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion, halved & thinly sliced widthwise
- Bean sprouts
- Thai basil
- Jalapeño or thai chili peppers
- Hoisin sauce
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray a small baking sheet with canola oil or pour & spread about 2 tsp of canola oil on the sheet. Place onion, ginger, & cinnamon on the baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or until onion begins to blacken a little. You can also lightly dry roast the other spices on a dry pan on the stove for 5 minutes if you want extra smokey spiced flavors. Alternative method: roast the onion & ginger separately on your gas stovetop until charred.
- Fill a muslin or tea bag with spices, leaving out the cinnamon sticks. Fill another muslin/tea bag with chopped apple & ginger. In a large stockpot, fill 3/4 way with water or vegetable broth (~14 cups). Bring water to a boil on medium high heat & toss in the apple ginger tea bag, cinnamon, shiitake, & onion. Bring broth down to a simmer & cook for an hour, uncovered. 30 minutes prior to serving broth, add the other spices bag in the broth. Remove the bag after 30 minutes. DO NOT OVER STEEP THE SPICES. Salt to taste. Scoop out onion, carrot, & radish. You can either slice everything up & eat it in your pho or toss it.
- Spray a frying pan with canola oil & heat on medium-high. Add mushroom medley of your choice with mushroom sauce.
- Bring a medium-sized half full of water to a boil. Toss in noodles for about 2-3 minutes. Drain water & set aside.
- To serve, place noodles in a large soup bowl, ladle in the broth, & top with cooked mushrooms. Top with additional herbs.
Optional ways to cook tofu
- stir-fry the tofu with about 2 tsp canola oil for about 15 minutes, then add in mushrooms.
- bake the tofu for an hour at 425º F with light oil & salt
- deep fry cubed tofu
- All toppings are pretty much optional since culantro is very difficult to find unless you have a Vietnamese supermarket near you. I highly recommend the holy five: cilantro, scallions, Thai basil, lime, & onion.
- Refer to Viet World Kitchen’s blog on what pho looks like in its packaged form. The fresher noodles will be found in the refrigerated section, often in a pink or blue package. The dry noodles that are ideal in Pad Thai are a great substitution too.
- The apple ginger teabag you create can stay in the broth until you serve. The other tea of spices must be taken out after 30 minutes of steeping.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 80
- Serving Size: 8
- Calories: 295
- Sugar: 11
- Sodium: 96
- Fat: 9
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Unsaturated Fat: 7
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 38
- Protein: 20
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: pho, vegan, chay, vegetarian, best pho recipe, vietnamese, noodles, asian, soup, noodle soup
How to Properly Eat Pho
Use a Chinese soup spoon & chopsticks. Soup spoon goes in your non-dominant hand & the chopsticks go in your dominant hand. Grab noodles & toppings with chopsticks, place in soup spoon, & dip your spoon into the broth. Shove in your mouth. Enjoy every bite. Hoisin sauce + Sriracha make a great combo of flavors you can dip the tofu/seitan/whatever protein in!
If you’re not already following me on Snapchat, you should (@tiffanybeeee)…if you want to see my food pics as they happen &/or my soaping process. Very seldom I’ll post a selfie, because look, I’m not a psychopath. That’s right. Haven’t you read the study that says if you’re a man & you take a lot of selfies, you’re probably, maybe a psychopath? Yep. So, if your Snap Story is mostly of your face, I’m gonna assume you’re a narcissistic, friendless, jerk psychopath. Or maybe you’re just feeling yourself everyday, who’s to say? I used to have friends I played with on the weekends & now I just “chill”, so my weekend snaps aren’t the UNCE UNCE UNCE they used to be. Welcome to your late 20s, I guess. Anyway, let’s not be a Debbie Downer. There are enough problems in the world happening right now, so let’s take a moment to salivate rather than cry that your life is slowing slipping away from you as wrinkles form underneath your eyes. Speaking of Snapchat, my friend Laura asked me to post this recipe when she saw me snap this, so you can thank her for requesting it. This recipe can either be pescetarian friendly or vegan friendly, depending on whether you use traditional fish sauce (nước chấm) or the vegan “fish sauce”. There’s really nothing too difficult about this recipe & it’s pretty filling if you get yourself a big fat ole eggplant, but you can use Chinese eggplants if you prefer.
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One of the most physically annoying things about aging is not the wrinkles & fine lines visibly showing–get on those anti-aging serums, stay out of the sun, use sunblock, moisturize daily, get ahold of some Asian genes, etc–but that agonizing pain in the back of your mandible. You know the pain I’m talking about, right? That jerk wisdom tooth who’s popping up to say, “hey gurl, sup?” & your response is, “BYE FELICIA, DISAPPEAR.” That pain. Yeahhhh, so since I can only pop so many pills of Motrin before I destroy my liver & overdose, all my food choices have been solely categorized under, “can I feed this to a baby?” and “cannot feed to baby.” Thank goodness for my random craving for cháo (also known as congee or rice porridge) a few weeks ago because it’s so easy to make & I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, it falls under the, “10/10 can feed this to a baby.” I mean, it’s not exactly healthy to be exclusively eating it because rice is not going to fulfill the essential vitamin spectrum for a healthy body, but look, my mouth hurts to chew so I’m going to choose to slurp on rice porridge. That’s where the versatility comes into play though! Dressing up porridge with your favorite ingredients will help you get over the general boringness that is porridge.