This Vegetarian Pho has been a favorite of mine ever since giving up meat. By switching out the typical meat with crispy tofu and using vegetarian bullion, I was able to make a pot of soup that even the carnivores in my household devoured. This soup may seem different than traditional, but once you get a taste you might find a new favorite to add to the mix.
Pho is a Vietnamese soup and it’s my total comfort food. Everything from shopping for the ingredients to the last drop of soup in my bowl makes me feel so good. I love making different variations of it for lunch or dinner, and since I have been air frying everything in sight, it only made sense to try to incorporate using the air fryer with making pho. Crispy tofu has been a go-to for me, so why not try it in some soup?
Making the Broth
Some people are intimidated by making pho because of the complexity of spices in the broth, but like always, my goal is to show you that you can easily make recipes in the comfort of your own home. My trick is to use the spice bags that already have everything you need in it: star anise, coriander seeds, cardamon, licorice, cinnamon and fennel seeds. It’s too much hassle to buy all of those separately, and buying it like this also gives you a spice bag so you don’t have to strain out the broth after making it.
I also added some thick vegetables to this Vegetarian Pho so that it can have some heartiness to it, without the need for meat. Quartered mushrooms and baby bok choy are perfect for this soup, not only because of how they taste, but also because they cook pretty fast, but feel free to add or switch out any other vegetables to your preference. I find that the chunkier the vegetables are, the better it is in your bowl. The contrast of a thick veggie, with soft rice noodles, with the flavorful soup is what I love with each bite.
- Broth Ingredients:
- Spice bag (star anise, coriander seeds, cardamon, licorice, cinnamon and fennel seeds)
- ¼ cup vegetable bullion
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 oz sliced ginger
- ½ large onion or 1 small onion
- 1½ oz rock sugar or 1 tbsp. table sugar
- large pot water
- Crispy Tofu Ingredients:
- 1 package tofu
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Other Ingredients:
- Rice noodles, blanched
- Bean sprouts
- Hoisin Sauce & Sriracha
- Broth Instructions:
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Scoop out onion, ginger and spices.
- Crispy Tofu instructions:
- Slice tofu and pat dry tofu with a paper towel.
- Air Fry at 374F for 20 minutes or bake at 400F for 22-23 minutes.
- For each bowl:
- Add rice noodles and crispy tofu to bowl. Add vegetables from soup and top with cilantro and bean sprouts. Fill the bowl with broth and add hoisin sauce and sriracha to taste.