Easy Vegetarian Pho Recipe – Love and Lemons

Easy Vegetarian Pho


Easy Vegetarian Pho with Mushrooms & Bok Choy


There are certain foods that I eat for dinner all the time that never make it here. My favorite thai coconut soup is a 5 minute walk from our house and a hot slurpy bowl of mushroom pho is a short distance in the opposite direction. Both have been on my “to make some day” list for a long time. Well, friends, some day has arrived and this recipe was way easier to pull off than I had anticipated.

First things first – this is not an authentic pho recipe because (aside from eating a lot of it) I’m not exactly the most experienced in Vietnamese cooking. Also, I’ve simplified things here by skipping a few steps that were in the recipes that I consulted. I would have titled this “faux pho” if Jack had not rolled his eyes and insisted that the name would make for terrible SEO.

Authenticity aside, this a deliciously spiced hot bowl of noodles with hearty shiitake mushrooms and tender baby bok choy. A new favorite around here.


Easy Vegetarian Pho with Mushrooms & Bok Choy


For leftovers, double the broth and store it in the fridge. I would suggest adding the bok choy only as you’re ready to reheat and serve in order for it to retain it’s vibrant color.


Easy Vegetarian Pho with Mushrooms & Bok Choy


  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ small yellow onion, cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced in half
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • ½ cup edamame (or protein of your choice)
  • 4 ounces rice noodles
  • lime slices
  • mung bean sprouts
  • fresh basil leaves
  • chile sauce (sambal or sriracha)
  1. In a medium pot over low heat, combine the star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cloves and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the water, onion, garlic, ginger, and the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and return the liquid back to the pot.
  3. Slice the shiitake mushroom caps and add them to the pot along with the tamari, rice vinegar, and scallions.
  4. Simmer 15 minutes, then add the bok choy and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. In a pot of salted boiling water, prepare the noodles according to the package directions, cooking until al dente. Drain and rinse.
  6. Ladle pho into 2 bowls over the rice noodles. Serve with the lime slices, sprouts, basil, and chile sauce.

Special thanks to Anthropologie for providing the tableware items in this post!


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.