Vietnamese pho

Vietnamese pho

Green Kitchen Travels

To get the most delicious pho in Vietnam you should stay away from fancy restaurants. Instead, look for the most popular street corner vendors, as they make the best versions of this soup. The secret behind any good pho is the stock. In Vietnam, most stocks are made from big chunks of meat and bones, so we have improvised a bit to get a delicious vegetarian stock with the same breadth of flavour. One of the main ingredients in the stock is the dry-roasted or char-grilled star anise, which gives it that uniquely Vietnamese flavour. You can eat this at any time of the day – in Vietnam you would just as likely be served it for breakfast as dinner. Regardless of when you choose to eat it, don’t forget to serve it with a load of fresh herbs, beansprouts and fresh lime to offset the richness of the soup.


Quantity Ingredient
2 large onions, peeled and halved
10 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 litres vegetable stock/broth
1 tablespoon organic, gmo-free soy sauce
2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
1/2 fennel bulb, halved
250g brown rice noodles
or 250g buckwheat noodles

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
350g organic, gmo-free firm tofu, sliced
1 head bok choy, sliced
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
a large handful beansprouts
fresh herbs, such as Thai basil, coriander and mint
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
or 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds


  1. Heat the oven to its hottest temperature. Place the onions and ginger slices on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes or until soft and with toasted edges.
  2. Place the remaining spices in a heavy-based saucepan and dry-roast until aromatic, stirring to prevent them from burning. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, fennel and roast onion and ginger. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour the soup through a strainer to remove all the spices and vegetables, then tip the stock back into the pan and reheat. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet directions.
  3. Prepare 4 serving bowls with cooked noodles, tofu slices, bok choy, broccoli, beansprouts, fresh herbs and lime wedges. When ready to serve, pour the hot soup stock over and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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