Monday, December 12, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pho

I can't even begin to describe my love for pho. The Vietnamese staple is always best on those cold and rainy days. If you want to stay off the roads and make a homemade (vegetarian) version right in the comfort of your own home, try this recipe. For a non-Meatless Monday meal, feel free to throw in any protein of your choosing (ie. beef, chicken, shrimp, etc.). I love the simplicity of this recipe that still manages to pack a punch when it comes to the flavor factor :)


4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 (1/2 cup) large shallots (sliced)
1/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms
5 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
6 1/4-in. thick coins fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2-4 fresh basil stems (leaves reserved for soup)
2-4 cilantro stems (leaves reserved for soup)

4 oz. rice or vermicelli noodles
4 oz. tofu
1 cup soybean sprouts
1 cup watercress
2 (1/2 cup) green onions
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
pinch of cilantro
1 lime cut into wedges

To make your own broth, place all ingredients in a large pot with 5 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for one hour. Strain broth and return to pot. Discard solids.

Cook vermicelli or rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Divide among bowls. Ladle broth over noodles and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into soup.

Bon appetit!

[Recipe and Image via]

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