My mom recently went to visit my sister, N, in Santa Clara. Yes, the San Francisco sister has moved a little further south toward San Jose! In any case, while my mom was out there, she came across a dry spice mix that is the base for a vegetarian pho broth. She excitedly brought it back to D.C. with her and we decided to try it out. Also, while we thought this pho base was super unique, turns out you can get pho bases at Trader Joe's and of course, on Amazon.
Our family loves pho, and during the cold weather months, it is the perfect dish to warm up with. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that at its base is made of an incredibly delicious broth flavored with anise and ginger. Then, once you get your bowl of this piping hot soup, you can top it with lime, jalapenos and all sorts of delicious toppings, which just add to the flavor of the soup. The best part is, even though we all might have the same pho, we each turn it into its own unique soup with how much we add into our bowls. For example, my mom loves adding extra limes to give the soup a tangy taste, while I love the heat from adding sriracha and jalapenos, and N loves the cool and crunchy texture you get from adding bean sprouts.
Try making your own unique pho!
Vegetarian Pho with Shitake Mushrooms and Bok Choy
6 green onions, thinly sliced
6 cups chopped bok choy
64 ounces vegetable broth or water mixed with a dry vegetarian pho spice mix (pho soup base)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Shitake mushrooms, tough stems removed (I personally like keeping them in, but to each his own)
14 ounces rice noodles, cooked per package instructions
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
hoison sauce, sriracha (rooster sauce), bean sprouts, lime wedges, jalapenos and Thai basil (to taste)
- In a large pot combine vegetable broth (or water + dry vegetarian pho spice mix) with grated ginger, soy sauce and green onion. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in the mushrooms. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in bok choy. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Place noodles in a bowl and pour the broth and veggie mixture over the noodles.
- Top with a handful of bean sprouts, two lime wedges, jalapenos, cilantro, sriracha and hoison sauce to your desired taste.