The Recipe:

Pho-geddaboudit: Ordinary Vegan's Vietnamese Vegan Pho Noodle Soup

By:  Nancy  Montuori  Founder, Ordinary Vegan  August 11th, 2014

I live in Los Angeles where Vietnamese pho is all the rage. It is easy to understand because of all the many delicious components used to make a basic pho. You start with an aromatic stock, add noodles, followed by a mix of vegetables. The toppings can include basil, lemon and bean shoots and some chili for heat. That's it. It was quite simple to make a plant-based version by replacing the meat stock for vegetable stock and excluding the trimmings of chicken or beef. In my opinion, this vegan pho is as good as pho gets. Hope you enjoy this healthy plant-based recipe as much as I did. For more delicious vegan recipes visit me at

Vietnamese Vegan Pho Noodle Soup Recipe



  • 1-2 T chili oil (depending on amount of heat you like; I like 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños or fresno chilis, chopped (or more if you like heat)
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 stalks lemon grass, chopped
  • ½ cup ginger, peeled and chopped (or more)
  • 4 whole star anise (star-shaped spice) or 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves and stems
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves and stems
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 7 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 3 T low-sodium soy sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos)


  • 8 ounce package of rice noodles (or cappelini pasta)
  • 1 8 ounce package of cubed extra-firm organic tofu, grilled *
  • 2 cups sprouts
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (or any green of your choice)
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped and lightly steamed
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 serrano chilies, thinly sliced
  • 6 T chopped fresh basil
  • 6 T chopped fresh mint
  • 6 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


  1. Heat the chili oil in a large pot. 
  2. Add all the ingredients except the veggie broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and brown sugar. 
  3. Saute for about 3 minutes stirring constantly, adding a little veggie broth if sticking, until fragrant. 
  4. Add all the vegetable broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and brown sugar. 
  5. Cover and bring to a boil. 
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 1 hour. 
  7. Strain broth, and return to pot. Discard solids. Return to heat to keep hot.
  8. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. 
  9. Divide noodles, tofu, sprouts, spinach leaves, radishes, basil, cilantro and mint among bowls. 
  10. Ladle hot broth into bowls. 
  11. Place a lime slice inside of the bowl. Top with sliced green onions and thinly sliced chilis. 
  12. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

* To Prepare Tofu

Remove cubes from package. Wrap in a towel and lay something heavy on top like a cast iron pan for 15 minutes to remove moisture. Saute dry cubes in a non-stick pan until golden on both sides.


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Nancy Montuori

Founder, Ordinary Vegan

Nancy Montuori Nancy Montuori, aka Ordinary Vegan, is a health and wellness blogger who advocates a plant-based diet by sharing her recipes and tips for a more compassionate life.

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