Veggie Pho (Pho Chay)


Not only is this recipe healthy, but pho is also the perfect dish for cooler weather.

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Vietnamese food is renowned for being incredibly flavorful and complex while also being one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Chef Pat’s Veggie Pho, or Pho Chay, is made with a steamy, slow cooked vegetable broth chocked full of tofu, assorted veggies, and topped with crispy shallots. Not only is this recipe healthy, but pho is also the perfect dish for cooler weather.

Veggie Pho (Pho Chay)
Recipe Type: Soup
Author:Chef Pat Lee of PhoNatic| Austin, Texas
Serves: 8
  • For the broth
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of ginger
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 (2-3 inch) stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the pho bowl
  • 24 ounces fresh/frozen “Banh Pho” noodles
  • 1 cup straw mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups broccoli 
  • 2 large pieces of baby bok choy cut into fours
  • 1 pack medium hard tofu cubed
  • 1 cup sliced cilantro
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup sliced red onions
  • Garnishes and sauces
  • Beansprouts
  • Basil
  • Limes
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha chili sauce
  1. In a small wok or fry pan, roast cloves, cinnamon, coriander, star anise over medium heat until fragrant. About 5 minutes total. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, tie all toasted spices in a tea bag or cheesecloth. Place ginger and onion over open flame and char with tongs until both are soft to the touch. About 8 minutes over low heat.
  2. Bring vegetable broth to a boil, add spice pack, onion and ginger to broth, reduce heat to med low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add kosher salt and mushroom seasoning. Taste and add addition salt if needed. Simmer for another 5 to minutes.
  3. Remove spice pack, onion, and ginger with a strainer. Strain any loose particles that may be left in pho broth.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  5. To assemble bowls, take a fist full of noodles and put into boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove, drain, and pour banh pho noodles into a large bowl.
  6. Ladle pho broth into bowl until all of the contents are submerged. Top with green onions, red onions, and cilantro.
  7. Add beansprouts, basil, jalapenos, limes, hoisin sauce and sriracha chili sauce to your liking. Voila, you now have a delicious, steamy bowl of veggie pho!

Photo by Courtney Pierce

Chef Pat Lee is the owner and operator behind the popular Austin-based Vietnamese restaurant PhoNatic.

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