BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Vegetarian Pho

  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 40 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $9.25

I like to top it with tons of fresh cilantro, fresh minced garlic and sometimes mint and basil.

I kind of have a lot going on these days.

Between prepping for a fast-approaching cookbook release, spending my days at my awesome full-time job and the completely zany, absolutey crazy, I-can-hardly-believe-my-life-these-days news that the sitcom pilot I developed called Young and Hungry freaking got the green light from ABC Family on Friday, I have been doing a lot of running around, not unlike a popular poultry variety with its head cut off. 

And you know what I don't have time for right now? This cold.

It's a nasty one and there's really only one way to fight it: pho. Preferably one that doesn't take very long to make, and doubles as a great opportunity to clean out my vegetable bin.

I like to top it with tons of fresh cilantro, fresh minced garlic and sometimes mint and basil. A few slurpfuls of this one, and you'll be feeling like a whole new girl. Or, at least, a slightly healthier one. 



  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil, divided Pantry
  • 1 onion, chopped, (save the peel) $0.50
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided Pantry
  • 1 2" piece ginger (no need to peel it), minced $0.50
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped and divided $1 for a bunch
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste) Pantry
  • 2 whole star anise pods (if you can't find whole pods, use 1/2 tsp ground star anise) $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 2 teaspoons honey Pantry
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper Pantry
  • 8 oz. extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2" cubes $1.50 for 12 oz.
  • salt Pantry
  • 8 oz. dried rice vermicelli $2 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus more to taste $2 for 10 oz.
  • 1/2 green jalapeño, sliced $0.25 for a whole jalapeño
  • Asian chili sauce and hoisin sauce to pass at the table Optional

Recipe Serves 2-3


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, 4 cloves of the garlic, the ginger and the cilantro stems. Feel free to also add any lingering vegetable odds and ends in your refrigerator--this is a great opportunity to use them up!
  3. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until very fragrant.
  4. Add the soy sauce and stir well. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until soy sauce begins to cook off.
  5. Add 8 cups of water and stir well. 
  6. Add the star anise pods, honey and black pepper and stir. 
  7. Cover the pot and allow to cook, covered, for 20 minutes. 
  8. While the broth cooks, heat the remaining oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the cubed tofu and fry until lightly crisp. 
  10. Drain on paper towel and salt lightly. Set aside.
  11. Strain the broth and return to the pot. 
  12. Taste for salt and add more soy sauce if needed.
  13. Cover the broth and bring to a boil.
  14. Add the rice noodles and cook for 8-9 minutes, or until tender.
  15. Stir the remaining clove of minced garlic and the rice vinegar and stir well.
  16. Ladle the soup into bowls, using tongs for the noodes if necessary.
  17. Divide the fried tofu between the bowls.
  18. Garnish each bowl with cilantro and sliced jalapeño. 
  19. Serve with Asian chili sauce and hoisin sauce if desired.

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What They're Saying

voucher discount, on Sep 24, 08:20 PM, wrote:

Pho, famous food in Vietnam. However, when sold in other countries, the procession with the small change