This is a mild yet fragrant vegetable pho broth recipe. Who says you need meat to make everything better? This vegetable pho broth proves that veggies done well can taste spectacular!
Vegetable Pho Broth
I crave noodles almost daily. It’s been an obsession of mine for as long as I can remember.
During the summer as a kid, whenever the temperatures rose about 80 degrees, my mother would make somen noodles over ice with a tsuyu dipping sauce. Chilled thin rice noodles with a dipping sauce made of kombu, bonito flakes, soy sauce and mirin is something I still can’t get enough of.
I slurped the noodles with gusto and asked mom to top them with tons of scallions since I loved the combination of crunchy and chewy. I would end the meal by drinking the dipping sauce which would leave me thirsty for the rest of the afternoon!
Winter on the other hand was all about instant ramen noodles topped with a mountain of veggies and a drizzle of sesame oil.
My mother is the queen of turning cheap food into 4 star meals! Packages of Sapporo Ichiban and Umaka-chan occupied an entire shelf in our pantry which would need replenishing monthly since my brother, to this day, is a ramen worshipper.
Udon noodles were on the menu whenever we took a trip to Japan. My mother’s parents, who lived in Kurume, were good friends with their neighbors who owned an udon noodle restaurant.
The summers in Japan can get brutally hot and one way to beat the heat was to go next door for lunch.
Sitting on tatami mats, we would each order a plate of chilled udon noodles and an ice cold glass of barley tea. I can still hear the soothing sound of wind chimes sing as the fans lazily swung back and forth to provide us with some relief. Aah Japan, I love you so much!
I could go on forever about noodles but one thing to understand about noodles is that without a great broth or sauce, they cannot stand on their own.
Beef pho is a great example; not only do the noodles have to be cooked right (otherwise they will stick together, break and expand quickly), the broth must also be fragrant and delicate in flavor.
When the two parts are perfectly executed, they combine and make music together. When it comes to broth, making it from scratch is the way to go. Today, I’m showing you how to make an easy and delicious vegetable pho broth.
The reason I chose vegetables over beef or chicken is because a vegetable broth takes less time to make. Since I have a pretty busy life I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen and to let a good broth simmer for hours.
This vegetable broth recipe only takes one hour and the flavors are very reminiscent of a classic pho. You can taste the cloves, star anise and cinnamon and the color is simply stunning!
Dried shiitake mushrooms, cilantro stems, carrots and leeks make the base of the broth along with a dash of soy sauce for extra umami. All the ingredients are brought to a boil and then left to simmer for an hour.
The key to having clear broth is to strain it through a sieve that’s been covered with a cheese cloth. Voila! You’ve just made your own vegetable pho broth!
A good squirt of sriracha sauce never hurts either! You can adjust the taste by adding a little more soy sauce or a sprinkle of salt.
One thing to remember about noodle soup; you don’t want the broth to be too strong since you will be slurping a whole bowl of it. If the flavors are overwhelming from the first sip, you won’t be able to eat more than a few spoonfuls.
My advice is to keep the vegetable pho broth mild and adjust the flavor as you eat it.
Other quick and delicious noodle soup recipes:
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Vegetable Pho Broth
A heavenly pho broth made for vegans!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 65 minutes
- Yield: 6 cups
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 3-inch piece ginger (peeled and lightly smashed)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 stalk leek (white and green parts, chopped)
- 1 carrot (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled and lightly mashed)
- 3 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems (reserve the leaves to use as a topping for the pho)
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 cups water
- Turn the oven to broil and place the oven rack 6-8 inches below the broiler element.
- Line a cooking tray with parchment paper or foil and add onion and ginger.
Broil until the vegetables are charred and flip them over. Broil again until charred and take out of the oven.
- In a large pot over medium high heat and when the oil is hot, add vegetable oil, leek, carrot, garlic, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick cilantro stems.
- Stir and cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have soften and ingredients create a fragrant aroma.
- Add ginger, onions, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, salt and 2 quarts water (8 cups).
Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for 1 hour.
- Place a cheesecloth over a colander and strain the broth into a bowl.
- Let cool to room temperature and transfer to a container. Reheat before serving.
Keywords: recipe, soup, stock, vegan, plant based, vegetarian, gluten-free, noodle soup