I have previously spent some time working in a Vietnamese restaurant where I learned a thing or two about pho. Traditionally, it comprises a beef or chicken broth flavoured with star anise, cinamon and cloves then topped with noodles, meat and fresh vege. for this vegan version, we’ve replaced the meat with sauteed mushrooms.
Kohlrabi is a funky-looking traditional vegetable used in South East Asian cooking, it has a peppery taste and is related to cabbages. If you can’t get your hands on any kohlrabi then the best substitute is the stems from a head of broccoli. If you have any kohlrabi left over, you can try pickling it, there’s a good recipe you can follow here: https://www.riverford.co.uk/recipes/view/recipe/pickled-kohlrabi
Vegan Mushroom Pho
- 1 L vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 whole star anise
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 medium shallots peeled
- 2- inch piece ginger
- 1 large carrot roughly chopped
- 20 g dried shiitake mushrooms
- ½ head kohlrabi trimmed and quartered
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
For pickled onions
- ½ medium red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
- 200 g dried flat rice noodles
- 150 g oyster or shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 bunch of coriander stems and leaves thinly sliced
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 spring onion thinly sliced
- 3 Thai birds eye chillies thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons crushed peanuts
- siracha and hoisin sauce to serve
- Preheat grill/broiler on high. Place shallots ginger and garlic on a baking tray and broil for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the stock to the boil along with the sugar, spices, dried mushrooms, soy sauce and 2L of water. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add ginger, garlic, shallots, carrot and kohlrabi. Cover and simmer for at least two hours or until broth is deep brown in colour.
For pickled onion
- While the stock is simmering, in a separate saucepan combine the rice vinegar and sugar along with ½ a cup of water and bring to the boil stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the sliced red onion in a small bowl.
- Set aside and allow to pickle for at least an hour and a half. (can be stored in the fridge up to 4 days)
To prepare toppings
- Cook noodles as to packet directions.
- Heat the sesame oil in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Stir fry the mushrooms for 10 minutes or until starting to soften. Set aside until ready to construct.
- To serve, divide noodles equally among serving bowls and fill with broth. Top noodles first with mushrooms then bean sprouts, spring onion, coriander and pickled onion. Finally sprinkle over sliced chilli and peanuts.