Translation: Hanoi Noodle Soup

Alternate Spellings: Pho Chay, Pho Rau, Phu, Pho Bo

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Region: Hanoi

Recipe Type: Soup

Average User Rating: 0.97 / 5

Vegetarian / Vegan: Vegan

Pronounced like "phua?", this soup is the national dish of Vietnam. This version uses tofu as a substitute for the usual thinly sliced beef steak or beef tendon. Traditional versions of pho broth contain ox tails, beef bones, sometimes chicken, and even such strange ingredients as peanut worms and water beetle pheromone extract (yep, you heard that right). We are obviously removing those things, so the authenticity level may not be quite the same, but at least you don't have to kill a whole barnyard to make it!

Note: Hanoians tend to put a little less greenery in their pho than their southern counterparts; this pho is more in the Hanoi style. Also, in central vietnam, chili pastes such as tuong ot (please don't use Sriracha - "real" sriracha is a Thai ingredient - we're looking for the real Vietnamese tuong ot, like tuong ot Quang Nam) are used in lieu of fresh chilies - feel free to use either.


8 cups vegetable stock
2" chunk of ginger, sliced (char the ginger in a broiler or grill before slicing)
1/2 white onion (charred in the same fashion)
1/2 T yellow rock sugar (sub white sugar)
4 fennel seeds
1 pod black cardamom (optional)
4 cloves
1/8 tsp. coriander seeds
3 star anise pods
1 3" cinnamon stick (Vietnamese (Saigon) cinnamon if possible)
2 cups fried tofu, diced
4 oz. thin rice noodles
1 TB soy sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh red chilis or tuong ot (Vietnamese chili paste), thinly sliced, for garnish
Thai basil leaves, for garnish
Culantro leaves (also called long coriander or ngo gai - sub Vietnamese cilantro if not available, but Western cilantro is too sharp for this dish)
Lime wedges, for garnish
Dash of black pepper, for garnish
White onion, very thinly sliced, for garnish


Heat stock, charred ginger and onion, sugar, and spices in a pot. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, covered. Strain stock to remove aromatics. Cook noodles in boiling water until soft. Place 1/4 of the noodles in each bowl. Top noodles with tofu. Add soy sauce and green onions to stock, stir, and ladle hot stock over noodles. Serve all garnishes on the side so everyone can pick and choose the perfect mixture for themselves (though we think you should put it all in).

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

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Reviews / Comments (4)  

This is an excellent recipe! Quick and easy and ohhhhh-wiiiieee! DELICIOUS!! A couple of side notes - heat the pre-bought fried tofu before putting broth over it (or else the broth cools down fairly quick). Also, I added enoki mushroom and snow peas to mine! YUM YUM!! Awesome! Thank you for the fabulous recipe :)

Recipe Rating: 5 Stars

User: Stacy
6:46 pm

Very authentic flavor, this is a great pho recipe! The herbs are a little hard to find, but worth it!

Recipe Rating: 5 Stars

User: Kathy
3:11 pm

Mmm I liked this pho!

Recipe Rating: 5 Stars

User: Elizabeth
1:36 pm

Probably the most authentic vegetarian recipe for Pho that I've ever seen. Very tasty!

Recipe Rating: 5 Stars

User: Trang
3:02 am

Vegetarian Pho Recipe - Average User Rating: 0.97 / 5 - 4 Ratings, 4 Reviews