Pho Yeah, I Made it Vegan!

Since leaving Seattle over five years ago I have been on a mission to recreate the vegan pho’s we became accustomed to while living there. In Salem there are a couple of places that offer it but the broth is simply glorified vegetable broth.

About a year ago I nailed a recipe and at this point I have made it enough times to really stand by it. I prefer to make it in an instant pot but have also done it on the stove top so I will explain how to do both.

In case you are unfamiliar with Pho it’s a Vietnamese style soup which is served with rice noodles and various other toppings. It typically come with a plate of basil, sliced jalapeño, bean sprouts, and lime which you may add according to your personal preference. My family swears by it when they have sinus issues because it seems to help clean them out.

This recipe is for the broth only. You may top with whatever you like. Pictured is pho with marinated, thinly sliced tofu which I fried. It was nothing special so I have not included the recipe.

You will need pho noodles (rice noodles) which can be purchased at your favorite Asian market. I recommend watching a video on how to prepare because there are so many different ways. My daughter also likes the broth with ramen noodles.


2 tablespoons refined coconut oil

4 small onions

1 fennel bulb

2 celery

2” ginger

1 small carrot

1 clove garlic

16 dried shiitakes

4 star of anise

6 cloves

1/4 teaspoon coriander

2 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon vegan fish sauce

2 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Beefless Broth

1 cinnamon stick

1tsp salt

1/8 teaspoon spirulina

8 cups water


Coarsely chop ingredients from onions to carrots. Place chopped vegetables and all other ingredients in Instant Pot or stock pot. Stir ingredients together.

If using Instant Pot, put lid on and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes with natural release. I leave it to warm afterward and let it sit for another 30 minutes.

If cooking on stove top put all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce to simmer. Cook for 2 hours.

Once the time is up with either method you need to strain the broth. I prefer to use a slotted spoon and to squeeze all the liquid out of the vegetables. You may toss the cooked veggies unless you have piggies like us because they love them.

It’s ready to serve at this point. You simply need to prepare the other ingredients. You will need a larger soup bowl.

Pho toppings we like:

Pho noodles

Steamed veggies like carrots, broccoli, bok choy, snow peas, and mushroom

Fried or baked tofu


Sliced jalapeño

Bean sprouts


I hope you like it as much as we do! I usually make a double batch and freeze the extra broth in pint size mason jars which makes an easy meal for our always hungry teen. She brings it to a boil and throws ramen noodles in the boiling broth.

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