The day I tried pho was the day I realised that soup could be loved. There’s just something about pho that elevates it beyond its competitors. It’s rich and fragrant yet still light.
There’s a little vegan restaurant in Sydney that makes the best pho I’ve ever eaten. Even better than beef pho and I promise that’s not a lie. I used to live 10 minutes away from that little hole in the wall and it was heaven devouring a bowl of their goodness. Now that I’ve moved, said place is an hour away from home. Since my dreams started being all about that pho, I set out to recreate it at home.
For the broth:
2 brown onions, halved
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced
1 bulb garlic, skin removed
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
4 coriander stems
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 leek (white and green parts), roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1/4 head green cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 daikon, roughly chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast mixed with 4 tbsp water – sediment discarded
200g rice noodles, cooked
1/4 head green cabbage
1/2 head broccoli
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 daikon, julienned
2 heads bok choy
2 spring onions
Small handful coriander
1 lime, quartered
125g tofu, cubed and baked for 15 mins on 200 degrees C
Add halved onions and ginger pieces to a large soup pot over a high heat. Let sit until charred and almost burnt.
Add garlic, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, shiitake mushrooms, coriander stems and fennel seeds and let toast until fragrant. Mix a couple of times.
Then, add leek, carrots, green cabbage, daikon and mix until evenly coated with spices. Add vegetable stock and stir then bring to the boil.
Once boiling, reduce to simmer and add gluten-free soy sauce as well as nutritional yeast water (NOTE: do not add sediment). Simmer for 2 hours.
While simmering, prepare other ingredients for plating in bowls.
Once cooking time is complete and the broth is fragrant, strain through a sieve and discard solids. Then, pour the broth into prepared bowls and serve.