One of Vietnam’s most famous dishes, pho is also its breakfast of choice. At its most basic, pho is a clear broth with rice noodles, herbs, and thin slices of meat. On a chilly morning, this is the perfect way to fuel up for the day.
For a vegan take on this pho recipe, use vegetable instead of chicken stock, soy sauce or tamari instead of fish sauce, and sautéed shiitake mushrooms and tofu in place of the chicken.
1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger
4 green onions, divided
1 garlic clove
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander seeds
1 star anise
2 in (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick
12 black peppercorns
7 cups (1.75 L) no-salt-added or homemade chicken stock
12 oz (340 g) skinless, boneless organic chicken breast
8 oz (225 g) dried rice noodles, either pad Thai noodles or vermicelli noodles
1 tsp (5 mL) fish sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) coconut sugar
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts
Fresh cilantro sprigs and fresh mint leaves, for garnish
1 Fresno chili or jalapeno, cut into thin rounds
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
Peel and slice ginger into 5 or 6 coins. Chop 3 green onions into 2 in (5 cm) lengths. Bruise ginger slices, green onion segments, and garlic clove by hitting them with the flat side of a knife. Set aside.
In large saucepan over medium heat, place coriander seeds, star anise, clove, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add ginger, green onions, and garlic to spices and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute until aromatic. Pour in stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Add chicken, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and allow broth to simmer slowly for 10 minutes. By now chicken should be cooked through and firm. Transfer chicken to plate and continue simmering broth, covered, for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Cut or shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Finely chop remaining green onion into thin rounds and set aside with chicken.
Strain simmered broth through fine-mesh sieve into clean saucepan and discard solids. Stir fish sauce and coconut sugar into broth before setting saucepan back on stove over high heat, bringing broth to a boil.
Divide noodles, chicken, and green onion among 4 serving bowls. Ladle hot broth into bowls before garnishing with carrot, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, slices of chili, and squeeze of lime, if desired. Serve immediately.