Vegetable Pho



  • 6 quarts cold water
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 1 tsp each: ground star anise, clove, cinnamon, fennel seeds
  • 4 inches fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp yellow rock sugar. (*If you can’t find this, regular sugar or agave can be substituted)
  • 1-2 pounds ⅛-inch wide rice noodles (or “banh pho” noodles)
  • ½ pound of bok choi, sliced in half lengthwise

To Garnish

  • Onion, very thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh thai basil
  • Lime
  • Mung bean sprouts


In a large pot, over medium high heat, add star anise, clove, cinnamon and fennel seeds.

Toast for a minute or two, stirring frequently, until fragrant.

Add water, onions, ginger, hoisin sauce, salt and sugar.

Simmer for a minimum of 15 minutes. The longer you cook, the more flavor will develop, but, if you are in a hurry, 15 minutes will produce a more than decent soup. (For full flavor, simmer for 3 hours.)

Use tongs to remove onion.

 Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer.

Bring broth to a boil and add rice noodles and bok choi.

Cook 6-8 minutes until al dente.

Divide soup and noodles into bowls.

Add garnishes as desired.