While in Paris, I had the chance to be introduced to pho, a popular type of Vietnamese noodle soup. On top of this, I was then guided through the bustling Asian district in the 13th arrondissement to a wonderfully authentic pho restaurant called Pho 14, which I fell in love with.
Having now come home to the UK to find an Asian supermarket snuggly tucked away two roads down from me, it’s no surprise that I’ve attempted my own, vegetarian pho inspired by Pho 14, but this time as a wholly vegetarian affair, with mushrooms in a rich hoisin sauce to supplement the meaty taste, and salad onions with ginger for the broth to give it a spicy kick – luckily for us, these are all in season too! And as a little idea for my vegetarian folk, if you’re stuck in a rut with the same vegetarian dishes, I’d highly recommend turning to Far Eastern cuisine, as meat is classically not as large a part of their diet as it is ours.
1 litre water
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 salad onions
1 tsp cooking oil
1 tbsp butter
200g sliced chestnut mushrooms
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 wholewheat noodle nests
2 handfuls of beansprouts
1 handful of spinach leaves
- In a large sauce pan, pour in 1 litre of boiling water and plop in veggie stock cubes. Stir and keep on high heat
- Chop the salad onions, grate the ginger and add to broth. Once boiling, turn down to simmering and pop on the lid
- In a frying pan, melt butter over a medium heat (add a tiny bit of oil if you’re unsure, as butter burns quickly and this will keep it from doing so!) and once frothy, add the sliced mushrooms to sauté, i.e. move them around in the butter every minute or so
- In a third pan, cook the two wholewheat noodle nests (no salt necessary as you’ll be adding it to the broth)
- Wash the beansprouts – I find this best in a sieve – and leave to stand.
- Once the mushrooms have shrunk, add the hoisin sauce and turn down the heat to finish off cooking
- Once the noodles are ready, put into two bowls, pour the broth over them, then add the beansprouts by hand and mushrooms too
- Serve with slices of lime and sriracha sauce if it’s to your taste!