Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho

Inspired by my friend Thuy who introduced me to Vietnamese food

Pho Broth:
2 quarts vegetable broth 
2 cups water
6 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for ½ hour, stems removed
1 unpeeled onion, halved
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, cut into 2 pieces and smashed
2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 1/3 only, outer leaves removed, and smashed
3 whole star anise
4 whole cloves
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon palm sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Pho Toppings:

1 ½ cups baby bok choy, trimmed
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 package enoki mushrooms
1 pack thin dried rice noodles

Pho Garnishes:

2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh Thai basil
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2-3 Thai chilies, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 limes, sliced into wedges

To make Vegetarian Pho broth:
Rehydrate dried shitake mushrooms by placing them in a bowl of hot water for about 30 minutes, until softened.  Cut stems off.

Place onion and ginger on baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until slightly softened and onion skin is charred. Remove onion skin and ginger skin.  

To prepare lemongrass, cut off stalky top part, leaving bottom 1/3. Trim about 1/2" off bottom, and remove outer leaves until tender bulb is exposed.  Crush bulb with flat side of a large knife. Lightly toast star anise and cloves in a small skillet.  

Combine broth, water (note: if using homemade vegetable broth, use 2 cups more broth instead of water; boxed vegetable broth tends to be too strong), rehydrated shitake mushrooms, onion, ginger, lemongrass, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, palm sugar and soy sauce in a saucepan.  Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Strain broth, reserving shitake mushrooms.  Slice shitake mushrooms and save for topping.

To prepare Pho toppings: 
Bring broth to a boil and add baby bok choy.  Cook 3-4 minutes until just tender, but still with a bit of crunch; remove to a bowl.

Add fresh shitake mushrooms and cook 3 minutes until just tender.  Remove. Cut 1" off root end of enoki mushrooms.  Separate into strands.  Cook enoki mushrooms in broth for 1-2 minutes until just tender.  Remove.

To make rice noodles:  
Bring a pot of water to boiling.  Add rice noodles and stir.   Cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft but still chewy; drain and rinse well with cold water.

To serve, place a handful of noodles in each bowl.  Top with mushrooms (shitakes reserved from broth, fresh shitakes, and enoki mushrooms) and baby bok choy.  Pour some broth into bowl over noodles. Garnish noodle bowls with bean sprouts, fresh mint, basil, cilantro, chilies and lime wedges.  Serves 4-6.

This printable recipe is from Jeanette's Healthy Living.