Vegan Pho (Taste of Hanoi)


When I first came to Vietnam to travel I couldn’t get enough of this Vietnamese breakfast staple. I had to create my own vegan pho!


Pho is a breakfast tradition in Vietnam. It is usually made up of a chicken broth, chicken meat, noodles, onion, chilli and lime. If you live in South Vietnam it also comes with a variety of local fresh leaves. 

When I first arrived in Vietnam I couldn’t wait to sample a bowl. The best pho is usually from a lady on the street. Nothing fancy, just a plastic chair and table with a reasonable price tag of 30,000VND (£1/$1.29). These women have been cooking up pho every day for years, some for decades! So you can imagine how well fine-tuned the recipe is. 

Slurping down a bowl of pho on the streets of Hanoi is an experience to be had and I’m glad I did before turning vegan. I’m happy to report you can now find vegan pho in Hanoi! Due to the vast amounts of expat teachers there, the vegan scene is currently buzzing. 

Recently, I moved to a remote town in Vietnam where finding a vegan pho is impossible. So, I thought I would make my own version with some slight changes from the traditional dish. Here it is:

My vegan pho – I’ve not quite mastered the art of taking photos of food yet…

Prep Time: 10min

Cook Time: 25min

Servings: 2-4 (depends how hungry you are)


To Cook:
  • 200g of firm tofu, cut into large cubes
  • 750ml of water
  • 1 heaped tbsp of good vegetable stock
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • A handful of your favourite mushrooms, sliced (how much is up to you)
  • 2 bunches of bok choy
  • 1/2 hot red chilli, sliced to cook
  • 1/2 inch ginger, peeled & sliced
  • 1/3 stalk lemon grass, sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Thick rice noodles (As many noodles as you like!)
To Serve
  • 1 lime diced into quarters
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh hot red chilli, sliced
  • Soy sauce (optional)


  1. Heat oil to a large pot and add onion, cook until soft and translucent.
  2. Add water and stock. Bring to boil.
  3. Turn heat down to simmer and add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, salt, lime juice, mushrooms and red chilli
  4. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, heat a pan with a good amount of oil and pop in the tofu chunks. Turn regularly to brown each side. Don’t take your eye off them!
  6. When the tofu chunks are done, put onto a plate with tissue paper to dry some of the oil 
  7. After the 10 mins is up, add bok choy and rice noodles to the pot and simmer until noodles are soft.
  8. Make up a small bowl of fresh red chilli, lime quarters, salt and pepper.

Tip: You could also bake the tofu chunks in the oven. Just give yourself enough time for the oven to pre-heat.

Let me know how it goes and send me some photos! 

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