Pho Bo soup is a popular Vietnamese rice noodle soup and with this recipe you can easily make the homemade vegan version without meat! Made of a hearty flavorful broth, gluten-free rice noodles, crispy tofu, and vegetables, this soup is not only delicious, but also very healthy!
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup – Vegan Pho
If you love Vietnamese cuisine, then you should definitely give this delicious rice noodle soup a try! Not only is it spicy, warming, filling and very delicious, but it’s also low in fat and calories. So it’s perfect as an appetizer, side dish, light main meal or just in between to warm you up.
While traditional Pho Bo, or Phở Bò, recipes are usually made with beef or chicken broth and meat strips, I made this vegan soup with only healthy vegetables, herbs, spices and tofu. And even though the meatless version is 100% plant-based, the noodle soup is perfectly spiced!
Homemade Vegan Pho Broth
To ensure the homemade vegan pho soup gets the typical hearty flavor, the spices and herbs are very important. Therefore, the ingredients list may look quite long, but the preparation is not difficult at all.
You can also keep the recipe simpler by cooking the broth in advance. Then, on soup day, all you need to do is prepare the soup ingredients, heat the broth, and enjoy your delicious smelling Vietnamese noodle soup! More information on storage is mentioned below.
Ingredients for making Vegan Pho
The soup ingredients are quite versatile, as you can use other vegetables to your liking such as soy or mung bean sprouts, leeks, scallions, cabbage or other mushrooms. Instead of tofu, you could also use edamame or another meat alternative as a protein source.
However, when preparing the Pho broth, you should follow the recipe exactly, as the ingredients are very important for the taste.
For the Pho Broth
- garlic cloves
- parsley root
- star anise
- cinnamon stick
- vegetable broth
- miso paste
- Tamari or soy sauce
- oil for frying
For the Pho Soup
- rice noodles
- shiitake mushrooms
- pak choi
- jalapeños or green peppers
- crispy tofu (optional)
How to make Vegan Pho Soup
As always, I recommend checking out these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook the pho broth
In a saucepan with a little oil, first sauté onions, garlic, and ginger over high heat for about 3 minutes. Then add carrots, parsley root, star anise, cloves and cinnamon and sauté for another 3 minutes or so until everything is fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and let soup simmer over low heat for 45 minutes or longer. (Meanwhile, you can prepare the tofu).
Then pour the broth through a fine-meshed sieve, reserving the vegetables and spices. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Step 2: Prepare crispy tofu
Wrap the tofu in paper towels, press very dry and cut into cubes. Mix the tofu cubes with oil and tamari first, then sprinkle with cornstarch and mix again.
Spread the marinated tofu cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 392 °F (200 °C) for approx. 25-30 minutes until golden brown, tossing after 15 minutes.
Tip: Alternatively, you can fry the tofu cubes in a pan for 7-8 minutes until crispy.
Step 3: Finish Vegan Pho Soup
Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Then rinse under cold water and drain. Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the shiitake mushrooms for 2-3 minutes over high heat. Then add to the pho broth along with the pak choi and bring to the boil again.
Add the rice noodles into bowls and pour the pho soup over them. Top with crispy tofu and garnish with jalapeños, cilantro, mint and lime wedges as desired and enjoy!
How to store and freeze Pho
You can make the broth ahead of time, then pour into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it in batches for up to 3 months. Then remove and reheat anytime you get a craving for Asian soup!
This recipe for vegan Pho soup is:
- Rich in protein
- Low carb
- Low in fat
- Perfect to make ahead
- Easy to put together
- So delicious!
If you try this easy vegan Vietnamese rice noodle soup recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your pho soup and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking! 😊
Vegan Rice Noodle Soup - Pho with Crispy TofuAuthor:
- 14 oz (400 g) firm tofu
- 1 tbsp sesame or peanut oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 7 oz (200 g) rice noodles
- 3.5 oz (100 g) shiitake mushrooms whole or sliced
- 2 pak choi bok choy, halved
- jalapeños or green peppers, sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch mint coarsely chopped
*Note: Feel free to check out the step-by-step instructions above!
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté over high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Then add carrots, parsley root, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon and sauté for another 3 minutes or so until fragrant.
- Pour in the vegetable broth. Add miso paste, tamari, and sriracha. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer over low heat for at least 45 minutes - the longer it cooks the more flavor it gets. (Meanwhile, you can prepare the crispy tofu).
- Pour the broth through a fine-meshed sieve into another pot, reserving the vegetables and spices. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 392 °F (200 °C) heat and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wrap the tofu in paper towels and press very dry. Then cut into cubes, pat dry again and place in a bowl. First mix the tofu cubes with oil and tamari. Then sprinkle with cornstarch and mix again until well coated.
- Spread the marinated tofu cubes on the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space between each cube and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, tossing after 15 minutes. (Alternatively, you can fry the tofu cubes in a pan for 7-8 minutes until crispy).
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Then rinse under cold water and drain.
- Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the shiitake mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Then add to the pho broth with the pak choi and bring to the boil again.
- Add the rice noodles into bowls and pour the soup over them. Top with crispy tofu and garnish with jalapeños, cilantro, mint and lime wedges as desired. Enjoy!
- The veggies for the pho soup can be varied in any way you like. You can also use soy or mung bean sprouts, leeks, scallions, cabbage, or other mushrooms. Instead of tofu, you can also use edamame or another meat alternative as a protein source.
- Storage: The broth can be made ahead and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- For more information on the recipe, read the blog post above!
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