Customizing a vegetarian pho recipe is a great way to tailor it to your preferences and dietary restrictions. The broth is a major part of the pho, and you can feel free to change the spice profile by adding or omitting spices like star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom if you prefer. You can also add other vegetables to the mix like celery, garlic, or dried mushrooms. Or, try using mushroom or miso broth instead of vegetable broth for a deeper umami flavor.
To make the pho heartier, adding a vegetarian protein source would bulk up the meal. Crispy tofu is a natural choice, but shelled edamame is a delicious and easy add-in. “I always have frozen shelled edamame on hand to add to soups, stir-fries, and grain bowls,” Hahn says. In this case, you can just add them to the hot broth when you add the mushrooms, carrots, and bok choy.
If you have other vegetables on hand, you can toss them in. Red peppers, broccoli, and bean sprouts are a nice complement. Pho typically uses a thin rice noodle, but any type of noodle will work here, such as a thicker rice noodle, soba, or udon.