Comfort food at it’s finest. I cant tell you how hard it was to be on the streets of Vietnam knowing that all that delicious pho was out of reach (until I found a vegetarian place of course)
To make vegetarian pho you need a good quality veggie stock. Check out my cooking 101 section on how to make veggie stock here: http://soulveggies.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/cooking-101-vegetable-stock/
If you are making the stock from scratch you can add the pho aromatics right at the beginning. If not then just add them to the already made stock. Here is the recipe:
2″ piece of ginger, skin on
1 lg shallot
1 sm onion
1 cinnamon stick
10-12 whole peppercorns
2 star anise
2 stalks lemongrass
lg freezer bag of frozen stock veggies, and water to cover them (see cooking 101 veggie stock link above)
or approx 8 cups pre-made stock (low sodium if store bought)
Step 1: Pho aromatics- roast the onion, shallot and ginger until they are almost black. You want some serious caramelization here. I did mine like this: put the broil on high and place onion, shallot and ginger on a baking sheet (to avoid dripping on bottom of the oven). Keep turning the ingredients for an even roasting. When they look almost done throw the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and peppercorns on the baking sheet for approx 5 minutes for roasting to bring out the flavors.
Step 2: add the pho aromatics to your soon to be stock. Bang the lemongrass with the dull end of your knife to get the flavours going and roughly chop it into a few big pieces. Throw that into your soon to be stock.
Step 3:Cook for approx 2 hrs, strain all veggie and herb matter out and discard that stuff leaving a nice brown coloured stock. If you are using pre-made stock cook for about an hour or until the flavors have infused into the stock.
The Rest of the Pho:
1/2 pkg md or lg dry rice noodles
2 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce (or if you eat it regular fish sauce)
2 tbsp ground palm sugar (palm sugar is a delightfully mild and flavorful sugar usually comes in a hard disk. You can mortar and pestle it, or bang it with a rolling pin in a bag to break it down.) if you cant find it try coconut sugar, jaggery, or brown sugar.
assorted steamed veggies of your choosing