Vegetarian Pho

What is Pho??? I honestly had never heard of it, until recently. Our foodie friend, Ben, was coming over for dinner and suggested we make Pho. I was assuming it was a food item, but I really had no clue. He had to explain it:) Once he did, I was sold!

I am sure most of you know what it is, but in case you are unsure here is a little Pho 101. First of all, it is pronounced “Fuh.” It is is a traditional Vietnamese thinly sliced meat and rice-noodle soup dish. The broth is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices, taking several hours to prepare.

The spices generally include: cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander pods, star anise and cardamom. The noodles in Pho are typically rice noodles, dried or fresh. The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, cilantro, Thai basil, fresh Thai chili peppers, lime wedges, and bean sprouts. These items are usually provided on the side. Some sauces such as hoisin sauce and the Thai hot sauce, Sriracha are popular additions as well.

Is everyone feeling educated now? Most of you know we don’t eat beef and are probably wondering why I would try Pho. Well, there are many variations and Ben was nice enough to let us create a vegetarian version. Ben made a homemade vegetable broth for the base of our Pho. We bought the rice noodles and a Pho spice packet from our local Asian Market, you can make your own packets, but this was easier:)

For the veggie version, we steamed bok choy, green beans, broccoli rabe, and snow peas. We also used cooked cubed sweet potatoes. For our toppings we used bean sprouts, lime wedges, chili peppers, Thai basil, cilantro, and green onions.

This really was a fun dinner. I enjoyed trying Pho, even if it wasn’t technically the traditional version. The veggie Pho was outstanding. I loved incorporating so many vegetables into the soup and it was fun letting everyone choose their own toppings and flavors.

Would I make or eat this again? PHO SURE! Sorry there isn’t an exact recipe. If you have questions let me know. If you would like to try a traditional recipe, Steamy Kitchen, has a great one on her blog. 

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. LOL @ PHO SURE! Hehe.

    I made chicken pho at home about once a week during winter. It’s so good. Star anise makes it really authentic! My mother-in-law lived in Vietnam for several years so she makes a lot of Vietnamese food – I actually learned to make pho from her.

    Good job on your first pho! Looks super healthy!

  2. mmm. there are so many pho places near my house – i love it. i also have a few clients that are vietnamese and one of them made me some pho as a thank you for handling her case. it’s so delicious. i love it when it’s spicy!

  3. Wow Maria, that looks absolutely delicious! You know, I had heard of pho and thought it was a meat dish but didn’t know much else about it. I loved your explanation and the vegetarian version, sounds like something I will have to try 🙂

  4. I am always hearing about how great it is, and was never sure exactly what was in. Your version sounds wonderful!!

  5. Cool!! I’ve been going to make Pho all month (the beef kind) and haven’t gotten around to it yet!

    Your veggie version looks great!

  6. Wow, I love pho! It’s my favorite cold weather soup. I have yet to make it myself but when I go out for it I always get the veggie version. Your pho loks amazingly delicious and healthy. Love it!

  7. This looks great! I’ve seen SOOO much Vietnamese food lately, I really need to jump on the bandwagon I guess!


  8. wow, good thing i read your post. if i hadn’t and i wanted to order this somewhere, i would’ve made a fool out of myself asking for vegetarian faux. 🙂

  9. This looks scrumptious, warm and healthy all in one. I love this kind of cooking and, as you have proven, you can easily ad lib with this beautiful soup.

  10. finally! A good vegetarian pho! I can make this hundreds of times without feeling too guilty bcs of all that (animal) fat!.


  11. I love pho. Luckily, living in Southern California, there are a lot of Vietnamese restaurants where I can pick it up. Yours looks great! My favorite part are all the toppings!

  12. LOL…Pho sure! I adore this soup, the aromas alone make me so hungry. I still like my rare beef in there, tho.

  13. you’ll have to eat it w/the thin noodles to get a more authentic feel for it…it’s ok if you don’t eat beef, my mom would make the chicken version for me whenever i want sick, she’d just shred some chicken into it for me 🙂

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