Vegetarian Pho Noodle Soup | Gluten-Free | Vegetarian | Vegan | Vegetables | Vietnamese | Recipe | Asian
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Vegetarian Pho Noodle Soup

The most flavorful vegetarian pho noodle broth. Make sure to cook extra so you will have leftover broth to make soup with whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Calories: 273kcal
Author: Maggie


  • 3/4 pounds 350 grams thick dried rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7 ounces 220 grams five-spice tofu, sliced (*Footnote 1)
  • Topping options *Footnote 2
  • 1 pound 400 grams broccolini (or broccoli), trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 to 3 heads baby bok choy quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 pounds 180 grams bean sprouts
  • 1 pound white mushrooms trimmed and sliced
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Serving options
  • 1 cup Asian herb leaves Thai basil, cilantro, green onion, Vietnamese mint, or perilla
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Hoisin sauce and/or Sriracha
  • Optional Red chili or jalapeno for garnish
  • Soup
  • 2 onions peeled and halved
  • 3- inch 7-cm piece of ginger, peeled and halved lengthways (*Footnote 3)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 8 cups 2 liters vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
  • 6 carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste


  • Pho soup base
  • To char the onion and ginger, turn a gas stove or a grill to medium high heat and place the vegetables directly on the flame. Cook until the surface is slightly blackened all over. Alternatively, you can turn on the broiler (without preheating) and place the veggies on a lined baking tray. Cook right below the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the veggies so they don’t burn.
  • Heat a large pot over medium low heat. Add the cinnamon, white peppercorns, star anise, cloves, and coriander seeds. Toast and stir for about 30 seconds, until you can smell a strong fragrance.
  • Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, charred onion, and ginger to the pot. Cook over high heat until bringing to a boil. Turn to medium low heat. Simmer covered for 1 hour to 1 and half hours. Strain the broth and season with salt.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook rice noodles according to instructions on the package. Drain and rinse with running tap water.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook the broccolini, 2 to 3 minutes per side, until it turns tender and lightly browned.
  • You can cook the mushrooms and the baby bok choy with the same pan-fry method. Or you can boil them in the broth after you strain the broth, 5 minutes for the mushrooms and 3 minutes for the baby bok choy.
  • To assemble the bowls, add noodles into each serving bowl and pour the broth over them. Top with broccolini, baby bok choy, mushrooms, tofu, bean sprouts, and herbs. Serve hot with lime wedges, Sriracha, and hoisin sauce on the side.


  1. If you cannot find five-spice tofu, cook baked crispy tofu according to this recipe, or make pan fried crispy tofu with this recipe.
  2. It is perfectly fine to choose 2 to 3 toppings you prefer.
  3. My favorite way to peel ginger is using a small spoon. It gets into the uneven surface without peeling off too much of the meat.


Serving: 1of the 6 servings | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.4g | Protein: 12.1g | Fat: 6.6g | Sodium: 240mg | Fiber: 6.3g | Sugar: 5.2g