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Pho Chay (Vegan Pho)

  • Author: Tiffany Bui |
  • 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

Vegetable Broth

  • 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

Cooked Toppings

  • 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
  • Lime
  • Culantro
  • Bean sprouts
  • Thai basil
  • Jalapeño or thai chili peppers
  • Sriracha
  • Hoisin sauce


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Spray a frying pan with canola oil & heat on medium-high. Add mushroom medley of your choice with mushroom sauce.
  4. Bring a medium-sized half full of water to a boil. Toss in noodles for about 2-3 minutes. Drain water & set aside.
  5. 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