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Mushroom Pho

Mushroom Pho

Not all pho revolved around beef. This mushroom version is still “meaty” enough for a wonderful bowl of pho noodle soup and it has all the classic spices to give it lots of flavor. It’s a “fast pho” that uses pre-made broth so you have no excuse for not trying it. It’s a perfect option for a vegetarian pho dish.  


  • 3 pieces of cinnamon stick (2-inch)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 whole anise stars
  • 1 large onion, sliced in quarters
  • 4-inch chunk of ginger, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbs soy sauce


  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • 5 oz shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Lime slices or wedges
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh mint
  • Sliced green onions or scallions
  • Sliced jalapeno peppers

As with all pho recipes, you first need to start making up the broth. If you have time, use an open flame to char the onion and ginger. If not, just use them raw in the broth. Toss them along with the spices, broth and water into a large stock pot and bring it up to a hard boil. Reduce the heat, and let it simmer. Add the soy sauce at this point. Let the whole mixture simmer for at least half an hour to 45 minutes.

While it’s cooking, you can slice and dice up all your tasty garnishes. Also, thinly slice up the mushrooms while you’re at it.

As the pho broth is getting nearly done, it’s time to cook the mushrooms. In a pan, heat up the olive oil, and saute sliced mushrooms until tender and starting to brown. Also, heat up a pot of water to cook the rice noodles. Rinse and drain the noodles as soon as they are softened up.

When you’re ready to serve your mushroom pho, strain the spices out of the broth. Split the noodles up between 4 bowls, and top with sauteed mushroom slices.

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