Vietnamese: Vegan Meals


What is Vietnamese Food?

Vietnamese food is distinct and unforgettable. The cuisine relies on a balance of salty, sweet, sour and hot flavours, achieved through the use of nuoc mam, a fermented fish sauce, cane sugar, the juice of citrus fruit or tamarind and chili peppers. Dishes use plenty of fresh herbs but tend not to be overly spicy, as chilli sauces are served separately

Vietnamese food is packed full of fresh herbs, it’s one of the things that makes the whole cuisine so tasty and full of flavour. Fresh herbs often come as a side, waiting for you to pick the leaves of basil, mint, coriander (both of the variety you might be used to but also Chinese Coriander) or maybe even the pungent fish tasting ‘fish mint’, and add them liberally to your food to get the flavour you want.

Let’s go to one of the most famous dishes: Pho.


Vegan Pho Recipe

A steaming bowl of vegan pho, packed with noodles, tofu and a powerful flavour kick from the fresh herbs added in after cooking, is one of the most satisfying things to eat (at any time of the day). You adjust the flavour to your tastes by adding whichever herbs you are more partial too and by throwing in as much chili as you fancy.

Toasty spices and veggies are simmered in vegetable broth and ladled over silky rice noodles and crispy pan-fried tofu before being topped with hoisin sauce and fresh herbs to make this restaurant-worthy vegan pho. The best part? It comes together in less than an hour!

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-6 whole star anise *
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps sliced
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
For Topping:
  • lime wedges
  • hoisin sauce
  • sriracha sauce
  • soy sauce
  • jalapeño slices
  • fresh cilantro
  • scallion
  • fresh basil
  1. Pour vegetable broth into a large pot and place over high heat. Bring to a simmer.
  1. While broth heats up, place onion and ginger onto baking sheet and place under a broiler. Cook until lightly charred on top, about 4 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Rotate and cook until charred on opposite sides. Add onion and ginger to the broth, along with cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and soy sauce or tamari. Allow simmering for at least 30 minutes, adding a bit of water if the mixture reduces too much.
  1. While broth simmers, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
  1. Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with oil and place over a medium heat. Add tofu cubes and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on multiple sides. Remove from heat and transfer to a paper towel.
  1. When the broth has simmered for at least 30 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove onion, ginger, and spices. Add shiitakes and simmer until tender, about 4 minutes. Add carrots and simmer until slightly tenderized and bright orange, about 1 minute.
  1. Divide noodles and tofu among bowls and ladle broth and veggies over top. Serve with toppings of choice (preferably all!).

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