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5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Pho

This pho starts with a base of richly flavored and nutritious vegetarian "bone" broth that is then ladles over cooked rice noodles, shiitake mushrooms, and vegetables for a hearty, satisfying meal. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: main dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lindsey Rose Johnson


  • 2 quarts vegetarian "bone" broth
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or liquid aminos

For spice packet:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 teaspoons coriander berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 4- inch piece fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt to taste

For serving:

  • 8 ounces dried brown or white rice noodles or "sticks" any width
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms cut into thick strips
  • 1 medium bok choy trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts washed well
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced (green and white parts)
  • Fresh cilantro basil, and mint, for garnish
  • 2 limes cut into quarters
  • Thai bird chilies fresh, dried, or frozen
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha


  • Place in a pot with the vegetable broth and tamari. Bring to a simmer. Prepare spice packet by placing spices into several layers of cheesecloth and tying closed with kitchen twine, then place it in the simmering broth. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably longer to allow flavors to infuse the broth. Remove spice packet and discard.
  • Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to package directions and rinse well under cold water. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  • To assemble the pho, have ready four shallow, wide bowls. Divide the noodles between the bowls. Top with the thinly sliced mushrooms, bok choy, and carrots. Ladle the hot broth over the top. (It should wilt and soften the veggies. If you prefer more tender veggies, lightly saute them in oil before assembling bowls.) Top each with bean sprouts, a handful scallions, fresh herbs, lime wedges, and Thai bird chiles. Serve with shallow dishes of hoisin and Sriracha on the side along with chopsticks and broth spoons.


  • If preferred, sauté the bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and carrots in a little oil before adding to the noodles. 
  • Other leafy greens such as thinly sliced kale, napa cabbage, or collard greens can be used in place of the bok choy.
  • Feel free to add or omit other vegetables according to preference.
  • Rice noodles can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or online.
  • For a low carb version, substitute spiralized vegetables for the rice noodles.