Tofu Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

So you burned your fingers making lasagna. No big deal.

The lasagna is finally done cooking. …and it’s the worst thing ever. No worries. Just breathe.

You cat has just decided that now would be the perfect time to run across the counter and get cat hair in your worst-lasagna-ever. Just breathe.

He also knocked over your water glass in the process and spilled it across your laptop. Breathe.

The computer still works. Count your lucky stars. Remind yourself to never again leave it near a glass of water. And breathe.

I know you’ve been here. I know you’ve stood in this exact spot in your kitchen looking at a dinner failure and wondering what the heck to do now.  Lucky for you it’s time to reboot and make this yummy pho instead. Things are about to get better, promise.
 
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that is full of flavor and, in this version, veggies! It is typically accompanied by Thai basil, lime wedges, mung bean sprouts, and chili peppers for an extra punch. I love making it in the winter because it’s hot and satisfying as well as a great one-bowl meal.

Now, let’s get to it. Gather these yummy ingredients and get ready to make a rich, flavorful broth.  Leave them to simmer for a bit.  Now you’re off to better things. 

Like tofu!  We’re gonna cube this up, toss with a little oil, and bake until just crispy on the outside.  Yum.  That’s heaven right there.

Alright, time for those rice noodles.  Get ‘em out.  Get ‘em soaking. 

 

We’re almost there now.  Steam some veggies.  Assemble it all.  Top with your favorite garnishes… and breathe.  You just made pho. 
 

This recipe serves two, but you can definitely double or triple it to serve more.  I like to make a big pot of the broth over the weekend so it’s ready for quick weeknight dinners.  In my broth I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce because it’s gluten-free.  If you are not concerned about gluten, feel free to use soy sauce instead.  And if you are avoiding soy, this soup can easily be made without the soy sauce and tofu. 

Tofu Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
Adapted from The Kitchn
Serves 2

Broth
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups (unsalted) vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)

Other Ingredients
1/2 block tofu, cut into cubes
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or another oil suitable for medium-high heat cooking)
1/2 pound dried, flat rice noodles
1.5 cups broccoli, chopped
2 heads of baby bok choy, chopped
1/4 cup snow peas, chopped

For serving, optional
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 large sprigs of Thai basil
1 jalapeño, sliced
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
sprinkle of red chile pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot over medium heat, dry roast cinnamon stick and star anise for one minute.  Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and carrots. Saute for about 5 minutes, until frangrant, stirring to prevent sticking.  Add the stock and Liquid Aminos.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.

Toss tofu with oil and lay flat on sheet pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes, until tofu is crispy on the outside.  Set aside. 

Place noodles in a large bowl.  Cover with hot water and soak for about 8 minutes.  (The soaking time depends on the width of your noodles.  I used 1/16″ noodles which require little soaking time.)  The noodles should be firm, but not hard.  Drain and set aside. 

While broth is simmering, tofu is baking, and noodles are soaking, lightly steam your veggies for 5 minutes.  They should be bright green and crisp, but not tough.

Assemble:  divide noodles, tofu, and vegetables into two bowls.  Top with broth.  Serve lime, basil, peppers, mung beans, and red pepper flakes on the side and add into your soup, if desired.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you, Sonnet! I’m making pho tonight and this is giving me some tips I can still do this time (red pepper flake garnish) and some tips for next time, like roasting the spices first and sauteing the garlic, ginger, etc. before simmering the broth.

  2. says

    Hi Sherri,

    I just found your blog and really enjoy this post. I LOVE pho and will certainly be trying this recipe soon–It will be a good detox from the holidays :) I have a question about Liquid Aminos. I have seen those around, but don’t really know what I think. How are they different from soy Sauce? Why do you choose to use them? I would love to get your opinion!

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Natalie,
      Great question! I do use soy sauce occasionally, but I find it really, really salty. I typically opt for liquid aminos because there is no salt or preservatives added and I know that the soybeans used are non-GMO. Bragg has some more info about this on their website if you are interested: http://bragg.com/products/laFAQ.html

      Hope this answers your question! :)

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