Friday, March 5, 2010

Vegan Recipe - Vegetarian Pho

This month's recipe is one of my favorites. At first glance it might appear to be complicated but it actually comes together quite easily and quickly. It includes the exotic flavors of Vietnam and is ... well ... goodness in a bowl. I hope you enjoy it!

Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Broth (Makes 8 cups)

8 cups clear vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 small onion, diced
One 1-inch piece of ginger
Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 pods of star anise
2 large bay leaves

  • Put stock, soy sauce, garlic, and onion in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, char ginger on all sides over an open gas flame or in a small skillet. Add to the stock.
  • Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and bay leaves to the broth. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove solids with a slotted spoon or strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Return to pot and keep hot until ready to use in soup.

Pho Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
(Serves 6)

8 cups Vietnamese style broth (see recipe above)
1 pound rice noodles
One 8-ounce package seitan, drained
1/4 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (such as Napa cabbage)
1/2 cup tender greens, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced (both green and white parts)
3 Tablespoons chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges
3 fresh red or green chili peppers, seeded and cut into thin slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Make the broth as directed. When broth has been simmering for about 10 minutes, prepare rice noodles as directed on package.
  • Drain the noodles and divide them among six bowls.
  • Simmer the seitan in the broth until heated through, about 4 minutes. Remove the seitan with a slotted spoon and slice thinly into six portions. Add to noodles.
  • Assemble the soup by placing the bean sprouts, cabbage, greens, basil, cilantro, scallions, and optional peanuts on top of the noodles and seitan. Ladle the hot broth onto the noodle mixture.
  • Serve with a plate of lime wedges, sliced peppers, and salt and pepper for individual seasoning.

Notes:
  • We often substitute dried shitake mushrooms for the seitan, adding them to the broth for the entire cooking time.
  • Try cubed, firm tofu for added protein and variety.
  • Experiment with vegetables you might have on hand ... cut them thinly, similar to a stir-fry preparation.

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share with Reduce Footprints' readers, please send it to the email address listed in the side bar. We publish a vegan recipe on the first Friday of each month.


5 comments :

  1. I could go for some of that soup right now! I'm vegetarian - so much appreciated for sharing this recipe.

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  2. This sounds delish!! Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. I had to laugh the other day. GMR made a "vegetarian pot pie" - and I was so excited because I LOVE pot pie and rarely eat meat.

    So, later, he says something about the chicken broth he added - I said, "um I thought it was vegetarian!" he says "oh, you mean if it has chicken broth it's not vegetarian - I thought if it didn't have meat in it...."
    UM GMR!! chicken broth really is still meat *laughing*.......

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  4. That recipe sounds great. Maybe I'll try it sometimes. But since I discovered this insanely good and easy Pho product called Happy Pho that I can use to make pho from scratch in 15 mins I've found it hard to motivate myself to cook Pho without it. It's by a comapny called Star Anise Foods and the founder used a secret family recipe from her grandparents' restaurant from Nam Dinh where Pho came from to make the spice packet in the kit. You get a spice packet with all natural and organic spices, and brown rice noodles and just have to add some chicken or beef broth and fresh herb and mushroom or meat if you like. I was skeptical at first but now I completely LOVE them. I got mine from Noe Valley Whole Foods, you can get them online at amazon.com -- check them out here http://staranisefoods.com/find-us.aspx

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