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Herbivore's Kitchen

Pho Chay Recipe

Looking for that perfect vegan Vietnamese recipe? Look no further than this spicy vegan pho chay recipe!
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Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine vegan, Vietnamese
Servings 4 people


Vegan Pho Broth

  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass scored and smashed with a knife handle (see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger sliced into 1/4" coins
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 2 quarts water or low-sodium vegetable broth I like Pacific Foods Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
  • 1/4 cup light miso paste I like Sweet White Miso from South River Miso but it by mail order. Cold Mountain Miso can be found in most grocery stores. I would recommend their Yellow Miso for this recipe.
  • 1 tbsp organic turbinado sugar or other desired sweetener

Optional Additional Ingredients (the more, the better!)

  • 20-25 shiitake mushrooms washed, destemmed and cut to maintain even size; reserve the stems for the broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • 1 zucchini washed and spiralized
  • 1 carrot washed and spiralized
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage julienned
  • 1/2 bell pepper washed, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Baked Tofu with a Miso Glaze this is optional. You can find the recipe here.

Herbs & Spices (optional, but highly recommended)

  • 1 bunch fresh mint washed, destemmed and torn
  • 1 jalapeno washed, deseeded and sliced thin
  • 1 bunch fresh basil washed, destemmed and torn
  • 2 limes washed and quartered
  • sriracha sauce to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat a large, dry stock pot. When hot, add the onions and ginger coins. Allow to char briefly.
  • Add the star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Cook until fragrant. 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the water (or vegetable broth), mushroom stems & the lemongrass. Bring the broth to a low simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
  • While the broth is simmering, add the shiitake mushrooms and water to a sauce pan. Bring the water to a simmer and cook until the water has cooked off. Add the safflower oil and saute the mushrooms until they begin to brown.
  • Prepare the optional ingredients: spiralize the zucchini and carrots, julienne the purple cabbage and slice the red pepper.
  • Prepare the herbs and spices: wash and tear the mint and basil. Slice the jalapenos and quarter the limes.
  • When the ingredients are prepared, place a second stock pot or a large bowl in the sink with a large colander over the top. Strain the vegan pho broth to remove the larger ingredients. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the tamari. Then remove 1 cup of the slightly cooled broth into a small bowl and stir in the miso paste to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the broth.
  • To create your bowls, add the optional ingredients (the zucchini, noodles, carrots, red pepper, purple cabbage) to the bottom of the bowl and spoon over the hot broth. Season with the herbs and spices.


  • Don't forget that a lot of the flavor comes from the lime, herbs and spices added at the end of the dish. As I say in the blog post, I insist on the lime. It is not to be missed! Getting a nip of mint or basil in a bite really makes this recipe stand out as well.
  • Want to take this recipe up a notch? Try making it with my Baked Tofu with a Miso Glaze. It is super flavorful, makes the dish more filling and adds protein. 
  • Pho is better with noodle bowls and slurping spoons! I found some inexpensive, fun options on Amazon that make serving this dish all the more fun! 
Keyword miso glazed tofu, pho, pho chay, pho chay recipe, pho recipe vegetarian, spicy vegan pho, vegan pho, vegan pho broth, vegan pho recipe, vegan pho recipe easy
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