This Vegan Vietnamese Pho is easy to make and requires very simple ingredients. It is a warm and comforting recipe just like a taste of home. If you like Vietnamese cuisine, you definitely do not want to miss out on this recipe.
Pho is a traditional dish in Vietnam. It is made with bone broth, with a variety of spices such as star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon that makes it a signature dish. The key to having an authentic and flavorful pho lies on the broth. And no, you cannot just use regular vegan broth to make the dish. The broth requires certain spices combined together to bring out the flavors of pho itself. It is usually served with beef, but this recipe is made vegan with substitutions to make a vegan broth and vegan toppings such as mushrooms and tofu. Chay means vegetarian in Vietnamese so whenever you are out and see this word, the dish is vegetarian.
Growing up, Pho is a rotating dish in my home. My mom would make it a few times a month and it is always a hit for my entire family and relatives. She usually makes it on the day my dad has his day off from work. That way, we can have it for dinner together instead of him eating late at night when he returns back from home. He worked as a chef in Boston and didn’t usually return home until close to midnight in which all my siblings and I were in bed already for school the next day.
I’ll open the front door to our house and smell the aroma of pho right away. It is warm and comforting from the spices. When I turn to the right where the kitchen is, I can see the large pot of the pho, the broth boiling while my mom prepares a bowl for me to have for lunch. I would rush upstairs, get change and come downstairs with my stomach growling for some after a long day at school.
We would have the pho for the next couple of days because my mom usually makes a big batch. This also means my uncles and aunts would come over often so they can also have my mom’s home-cooked meals. I remember there was a time when I was home with my sister and one of my uncles came over looking for my mom, but she went out for an errand. I asked if he needed help with something and he said no, just wanting to drop by. I thought he would leave but like many of my other uncles and aunts, he would ask what we were eating that day and if he can have some. The answer is always yes since my mom always makes something new. Pho was one of the dishes they come over often for and my mom would always send them home with some.
I never thought I could make my mom’s pho because I always thought it has to involve beef, but I was wrong. I used the same spices as my mom but made a vegan broth with it instead and used mushroom powder to enhance the flavor of the broth. Needless to say, after you try this pho, you would not be able to tell the difference between the one made with meat and this one without.
So, are you ready to make this Vegan Vietnamese Pho with me? Let’s start cooking!