I LOVE Pho on cold days that take hold of Portland in the winter. The broth is VERY hot because it is supposed to finish cooking the rare meat that is served with the dish. It's hard to find a restaurant that will serve Pho with a veggie broth instead of the usual beef and chicken. They exist, of course (Portland!), but this was a fun experiment to cook at home.
For the broth:
This was a large meal for multiple hungry people so I used two 32 oz. boxes of vegetable broth and even a little extra water to start. Then I added in a handful of cilantro stems, basil stems, some green onions sliced the long way, two clusters of star anise, a cinnamon stick, and a dash of soy sauce. I realized that this is a long list, but the broth is what makes the soup!
I let the broth simmer for 15 minutes and then cooked a package of wide rice noodles according to the directions.
While the soup and noodles are getting cooked, I prepared the vegetables for people to add into their soup (all of these are optional, so fun!):
- Basil leaves, Cilantro leaves, lime wedges, Hoisin sauce (a thick, sweet sauce), Siracha (spicy chili sauce), bean sprouts, fresh jelepeño slices, sliced tofu or seitan (I might even add this into the broth for a couple minutes before serving so it becomes warm)