I LOVE Pho. Actually, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pho to be even more specific. When we lived in Surrey there was a place right under Surrey Central (yes, super ghetto) called Pho Tam that made the best pho ever. It was like $4 and you got a gigantic bowl of delicious pho-y goodness, although not vegan!
I was craving pho, so I decided to make my own. I browsed through a few online recipes which are all pretty similar...but this is what I used, it tasted pretty authentic!
For the Broth:
8 cups of vegetable broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
8 cloves of garlic, cut in half, skin on
2 onions, cut into big chunks, skin on
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
2 anise star things
3 2" sticks of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
Put all the dry ingredients into a hot pot and sear them. When they are nice and brown add in the soy sauce and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or so. When it's done, either strain the broth into another pot or just scoop out all the big nasties.
For the Toppings:
Fry up some Tofu (I used half a block for 4 bowls, but adjust to your tastes)
green onions, sliced
Sriracha hot sauce (yum!!!)
I think some people also use lime wedges and basil...but I keep it simple
You also need a package of thin rice noodles. To assemble, put some (cooked) rice noodles in a bowl, add the broth to cover and then put in your desired toppings.
Here's all the random things used to make the broth taste authentic, it smelled absolutely delicious:
Here's my tofu frying, Jason said it looked like croutons. It totally does too haha. Maybe I was subconsciously craving Caesar salad (ew).
Here is what anise star pods look like. OH MY GOD!!!!! They are the most amazing things ever, it smells like black licorice and it is AMAZING. I LOVE black licorice smell and am hell-bent on making some pretty potpourri with this stuff even though Jason strongly objects and refuses to enter the house if it smells like black licorice hahaha. You definitely need the anise seed pods (not ground anise seeds either...different!) to get the authentic taste, so make the trip to the asian market to buy some.
And finally, you NEED the Sriracha hot chili sauce: