Inspired living

Pho Chay Recipe

Vegan, Healthy and Gluten-free Pho Chay Recipe for the whole family

Credit: Meg Thompson

A Vietnamese delight, pho is a popular dish that’s versatile and delicious. Pho chay is the vegetarian version and, despite the long list of ingredients, it’s quite simple to make. This recipe makes a lot of broth, so if you have some left over, keep in a jar in the fridge to make another pho later in the week, or freeze for later.

Serves: 1–2, plus extra broth



  • Broth
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (not toasted)
  • 1 onion, peeled & quartered
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 3 × 2–3cm knobs of ginger, peeled
  • 2–3 tbsp tamari
  • 1L stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup
  1. Place oil, onion, spices, garlic and ginger in large saucepan or stockpot and cook over medium heat until onion is a bit charry and golden.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except sugar and toppings, and bring to simmer.
  3. Turn heat to low simmer and cook for 2–3 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, cut tofu into cubes, place on lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for about 15 mins, or until tofu has puffed up a little and is lovely golden colour.
  5. Cook noodles according to directions on package, adding Asian greens in last 30 secs of cooking time. Drain and set aside.
  6. Slice and trim remaining toppings to bite-sized portions.
  7. Once broth is almost ready, add sugar and taste, adding extra sugar or a little sea salt if needed.
  8. Strain broth, serving hot liquid into each bowl.
  9. Add some noodles and toppings to each bowl and enjoy!



  • Toppings
  • 200g smoked tofu
  • 200g brown rice noodles
  • 1 bunch favourite Asian greens (bok choy, Chinese broccoli)
  • 150g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Spring onions, coriander, bean shoots, chilli, Thai basil & lemon
  1. Strain broth, serving hot liquid into each bowl.
  2. Add some noodles and toppings to each bowl and enjoy!


Meg Thompson

Meg Thompson is a practising naturopath, cook, mother, writer and passionate wholefood enthusiast based in Melbourne. Meg’s interest in health, food and the role of food as medicine has shaped her career and lifestyle. Following an early career in psychology and education, she completed studies in naturopathy, nutrition and herbal medicine and now runs a successful clinical practice. Meg works from a philosophy that food is much more than something to fill our bellies, but a source of nourishment, deliciousness, education, ritual and celebration, best shared with those we love.