Vegetarian Pho

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Adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen -
See also Vegetarian Pho without Onions for a variation without onions. It requires slightly more effort than this one.
Serves 4

  • 4 tbs whole coriander seeds
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 three-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cups water + 3 pkg Georg Washington's Brown Broth (or 2 qts of vegetable stock but I prefer the brown broth)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, halved or quartered
  • 6-inch chunk of ginger, peeling and sliced into thick rounds
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and quartered
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 medium bok choy
  • 8 oz Morningstar Chik'n Strips (or 8 oz seitan, roughly sliced)
  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • cilantro (optional garnish)
  • Green onions, chopped (optional garnish)
  • thai basil (optional garnish)
  • mint (optional garnish)
  • limes, quartered (optional garnish)
  • bean sprouts (optional garnish)
  • Sriracha hot sauce (optional garnish)

Toast the coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks until fragrant being careful not to burn. It's really important to use the whole spices and cinnamon stick. It doesn't taste right if you cheat and use ground spices. Once the spices are toasted, set aside.

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the George Washington Broth, toasted spices, onion, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the bok choy stalk into 1/2" slices. Shred the bok choy leaves.

After the broth has simmered, strain the broth to get rid of the spices, reserving the onion and ginger. Chop the onion and mince the ginger and then add them back to the broth pot. Add the Chik'n Strips or seitan and soy sauce. 20 minutes before serving, add the bok choy stalks and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bok choy leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and then add the rice noodles and allow them to sit, fully covered by the broth, for about 10 minutes until they soften (double check package instructions). Rinse whatever combination of the garnishes you are serving (I recommend at least 2 herbs). There's no need to separate the herb leaves from the stem.

To serve: Place all the garnishes on a plate to be placed in the middle of the table. Ladle the Pho into bowls making sure an equitable amount of ingredients gets into each bowl. Once you get your bowl, grab some of the herbs, strip the leaves from their stems and place the leaves in your bowl. Add as many of the other optional garnishes and then finish your preparation with a squeeze of lime. Now you are ready to eat. Ted believes this should be eaten with chopsticks and a Chinese soup spoon. I just use a fork to grab the noodles and vegetables and a spoon to finish the broth (evil, I know).

Servings Per Recipe: 4