Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese soup)


  • 4 star anise

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves

  • 10 cups water

  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1” chunks

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced in half

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • ¼ cup fish sauce

  • 4 scallions, finely chopped

  • 4 baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into quarters

  • 1 cup edamame

  • 8 ounces rice noodles


  • lime slices
  • mung bean sprouts
  • fresh basil leaves
  • chile sauce (sambal or sriracha)
  • cilantro


  1. In a medium pot over low heat, combine the star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cloves and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  2. Add the water, onion, garlic, ginger, and the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and return the liquid back to the pot.

  3. Slice the shiitake mushroom caps and add them to the pot along with the soy/tamari, rice vinegar, fish sauce and scallions.

  4. Simmer 30 minutes, then add the bok choy and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  5. In a pot of salted boiling water, prepare the noodles according to the package directions, cooking until al dente. Drain and rinse.

  6. Ladle pho into 2 bowls over the rice noodles. Serve with the lime slices, sprouts, basil, cilantro and chile sauce.