From Chef To Chef’s

Easy Vegan Pho – Connoisseurus Veg

This vegan pho is made with tender veggies, silky rice noodles, and hoisin tofu in a savory broth that’s packed with warming spices. The best part? It comes together in less than an hour!

Bowl of Vegan Pho with a second bowl and bunch of cilantro in the background.

Have you ever had pho? It’s the most amazingly delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. Unfortunately, vegan pho seems to be in short supply. Most of the Vietnamese places I’ve frequented offer a meatless option called something like “vegetarian noodle soup,” which is not pho. I know this because I finally found some veggie pho, and it was way better.

Legit pho is all about the broth. Pho broth is infused with whole spices and charred aromatics. It has a distinctive flavor that will absolutely warm you up when it’s cold outside. This stuff isn’t any ordinary noodle soup!

Not only is this vegan pho delicious, it’s actually easier to make than traditional pho, which involves a long and involved meat cooking process. Obviously we don’t have to worry about that here! A brief thirty minute simmer is all we need to infuse our broth with loads and loads of flavor.

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Onion.
  • Fresh ginger.
  • Whole spices. These are essential. In some recipes you can cheat and use ground spices, but whole spices are necessary to getting the flavor of your pho broth right. You’ll need cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom pods, fennel, cloves, and coriander seeds.
  • Vegetable stock. I highly recommend using an unsalted or low sodium vegetable stock. This will allow you to season it with as much soy sauce as you’d like without risking oversalting it! I used Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted if needed.
  • Salt.
  • Rice noodles. Ideally you’ll want to use medium-sized flat rice noodles, though you can certainly make the recipe work with other types. I used Thai Kitchen stir-fry rice noodles.
  • Peanut oil. Another high-heat oil such as canola oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil could be substituted.
  • Shiitake mushrooms.
  • Tofu. The recipe calls for super firm tofu. You can substitute with extra firm tofu, but you’ll need to press it before cooking.
  • Hoisin sauce. Look for this in the international foods section of your supermarket.
  • Carrots.
  • Accompaniments. Toppings and accompaniments are an essential part of a pho dinner! They can include fresh basil (preferably holy basil or Thai basil), cilantro, scallions (also known as green onions), bean sprouts, lime wedges, hot peppers, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce. You don’t necessarily need to use all of them, but the more the better!

Tip: To keep this vegan pho recipe gluten-free, just use gluten-free tamari and make sure your hoisin sauce is gluten-free.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • The first step to making your broth is charring the onion and ginger. Quarter your onion and slice your piece of ginger in half, thickness wise.
  • Option 1: Open flame. If you have a gas burner or another open flame you can use to char them (such as a barbecue grill), use it! Grasp the pieces with tongs and hold them each one over the flame for a few minutes until it begins to char.
  • Option 2: Broiler. If you don’t have an open flame you can use, simply place them on a baking sheet and under a broiler until they darken.
Charred ginger and onions on a plate with tongs.
  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Give it a minute to heat up, then add your whole spices. Toast them for about 1 minute, stirring often and keeping an eye on them to avoid burning.
Whole spices cooking in a pot with wooden spoon.
  • Add your charred aromatics to the pot, along with the broth. Heat it up, bring the broth to a boil, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the spices and aromatics from the broth when it’s done cooking, then season it with some soy sauce.

Tip: Feel free to let your broth simmer longer for extra flavor, but make sure to add some water if the liquid reduces too much.

Pho broth simmering in a pot.
  • Cook your noodles while the broth simmers. You can refer to the package directions for how to do this, but most brands require just a few minutes of boiling.
  • Cook the shiitakes. Heat some oil in a medium skillet, then add sliced shiitake caps. Cook them for a few minutes, giving them just one or two flips so they get browned all over.
  • Take the mushrooms out of the skillet when they’re done.
Shiitake mushrooms cooking in a skillet.
  • Add a bit more oil to the skillet, then add cubed tofu. Pan-fry the tofu for a few minutes on each side, until browned and crispy.
  • Pour some hoisin sauce over the tofu, flip it a few times and let everything cook until the sauce forms a thick coating on the tofu.
Tofu simmering in hoisin sauce in a skillet.
  • Once your broth has finished simmering, divide the cooked rice noodles, tofu, mushrooms and julienne cut carrots among four bowls.
  • Ladle the broth over everything, then pile on the toppings and enjoy!
White wooden surface set with two bowls of Vegan Pho and a bunch of cilantro.

Leftovers & Storage

Ideally you’ll want to store each of the components of your vegan pho in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for 3 to 4 days.

The broth can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

More Vegan Noodle Soups

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Close up of a bowl of Vegan Pho.

Easy Vegan Pho

This vegan pho is made with tender veggies, silky rice noodles, and hoisin tofu in a savory broth that’s packed with warming spices. The best part? It comes together in less than an hour!


For the Broth

  • 1
    large onion
  • 1
    (4 inch) piece
    fresh ginger,
    sliced in half, thickness-wise
  • 2
    cinnamon sticks
  • 8
    whole star anise
  • 6
    cardamom pods
  • 6
    whole cloves
  • 1
    whole coriander seeds
  • ½
    fennel seeds
  • 2
    vegetable stock
    (Note 1)
  • 2
    soy sauce,
    or to taste
  • Salt,
    to taste

For the Soup

  • 8
    rice noodles
    (Note 2)
  • 2
    peanut oil,
  • 1
    (16 ounce or 454 gram) package
    super firm tofu,
    cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2
    hoisin sauce
  • 2
    shiitake mushroom caps,
  • 1
    julienne cut carrots


  • Lime wedges
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chopped scallions
  • Fresh basil
    (Note 3)
  • Bean sprouts


Make the Broth

  1. Char the aromatics. Option 1: Char each of the onion quarters and ginger halves individually by holding it over an open flame (such as a gas burner) using a pair of tongs (Note 4). Option 2: Place the onion quarters and ginger halves on a baking sheet, then place the baking sheet under a preheated broiler. Broil the aromatics for a few minutes on each side, until they begin to char. Place each piece on a plate when done.

  2. Place a large pot over medium heat. Give it a minute to heat up, then add the cinnamon sticks, anise, cardamom, cloves, coriander, and fennel seeds. Toast the spices for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  3. Add the broth and charred aromatics to the pot. Raise the heat and bring the broth to a boil.

  4. Lower the heat and let the broth simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Prepare the soup ingredients as instructed below while the broth cooks.

  5. Once the broth has finished simmering, remove the pot from heat and remove the spices and aromatics. Season the broth with soy sauce and salt to taste.

Prepare the Soup Ingredients

  1. While broth simmers, cook the noodles according to their package directions. Drain them into a colander and rinse them with cold water when done.

  2. Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place it over medium heat.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the shiitake mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a plate.

  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot, then add the tofu cubes.

  5. Cook the tofu pieces for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice to achieve browning on multiple sides.

  6. Carefully pour the hoisin sauce over the tofu and flip the pieces a few times. Cook the tofu briefly until the sauce thickens and coats the pieces. Transfer the tofu to a plate.


  1. Divide the noodles, tofu, mushrooms and carrots among four bowls and ladle the broth over everything.

  2. Serve with the accompaniments.

Recipe Notes

  1. For best results, use an unsalted or low sodium broth. This will allow you to season it with soy sauce to taste without risking oversalting it.
  2. Pad Thai noodles are just about the right size for pho.
  3. Use Thai basil or holy basil if you can get your hands on it. Italian basil works just fine if that’s all you can get your hands on.
  4. Be particularly careful with the ginger, as the peel can catch fire.

Nutrition Facts

Easy Vegan Pho

Amount Per Serving

Calories 350
Calories from Fat 118

% Daily Value*

Fat 13.1g20%

Saturated Fat 2.4g12%

Sodium 1299mg54%

Potassium 382mg11%

Carbohydrates 42.5g14%

Fiber 5.4g22%

Sugar 12.3g14%

Protein 19.4g39%

Calcium 250mg25%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Rate this post

Need to check our Shop? Check best places for that. Choose only with one you wanna be!