Savory East Vegan Pho with Blackened Tofu 4

Try a Vegan Spin on this Family Favorite

Kianna Shepherd, a veteran vegan, sourced local farmers markets for the fresh ingredients needed to prepare a vegan spin on pho, a popular Vietnamese dish. Heighten the traditional flavor by substituting the protein with tofu, adding herbs like basil, cilantro and mint, and mixing in apples and ginger. This combination of flavor enhancements complement each other and give the broth an element of sweetness while the spices and tofu maintain the savory element.

East Vegan Pho with Blackened Tofu

Broth Ingredients:

+ 3 star anise, whole

+ 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

+ 3 cups water

+ 1 medium onion cut into 4 pieces

+ 2 whole cloves

+ 1 teaspoon coriander

+ 1 ½-2 inches sliced ginger

+ 1 teaspoon black peppercorn

+ 1 medium carrot, thickly chopped

+ 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches

+ 1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos, to taste

+ 1 medium Fuji or Gala apple

+ 1 package rice noodles

Tofu Ingredients:

+ 1 pack extra firm tofu

+ 4 teaspoons liquid aminos

+ 2 teaspoons paprika

+ 2 teaspoons garlic powder

+ 1 teaspoons ground black pepper

+ 2 teaspoons avocado or sunflower oil


1. Cook rice noodles according to package. Drain and rinse with cold filtered water; set aside.

2. Sautée ginger and onion in large cast iron pan until aromatic and lightly browned.

3. Place broth, cinnamon, onions and chopped carrots in large pot over medium heat; bring to simmer.

4. Place apple chunks and ginger in cheesecloth or tea bag. Place remaining spices in another bag. Add both bags to broth along with water. Cover; let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

5. Strain broth into an empty pot. Set bags aside to cool. Discard any veggie chunks from the broth.

6. Once bags are cool, squeeze over broth to express any remaining broth.

7. Add liquid aminos to broth and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired.

8. Press the tofu. Place tofu block between two sheets of paper towel and place a weight on top of the tofu without breaking it.

9. Mix paprika, garlic powder and black pepper in small bowl. In a shallow bowl, mix liquid smoke and liquid aminos.

10. Marinate tofu in liquid mix for 4-6 minutes, followed by dipping tofu in seasoning mix. Add oil of choice in skillet and sautée tofu on high until blacked and crispy on the outside.