Basic Vegetarian Pho Broth For When You Need It Most [Recipe] |

Basic Vegetarian Pho Broth For When You Need It Most [Recipe]

A basic vegetarian pho broth is something I drink for everything. I have this as a snack, as a main dish with a good piece of pork belly or beef, and even as just a hydrating drink during the day.

You can try making this pho at home easily and it will become a staple of your kitchen very quickly. Even though pho soup is all about the noodles, this basic vegetarian broth is a star on its own.

This Basic Vegetarian Pho Broth Is Happiness In A Cup

Where to start?

I usually begin my adventures in cooking with the mise-en-place. So first, I gathered the coriander seeds, star anise, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, clove, garlic, ginger, onion, celery, carrots, Napa cabbage, cilantro, and soy sauce.

Photo of text area that says "Basic Vegetarian Pho Broth For When You Need It Most , vegan and gluten-free, simple ingredients, makes 8 jars," followed by a photo of broth on a bowl

These ingredients are truly the ones that give your pho broth the flavor it needs. I love mixing these strong aromas and spices, but you can add or switch whatever you like. As for the crunch, I prefer using cabbage, celery, and carrots because they make a vegetarian broth truly delicious, and more importantly, fulfilling.

Other spices you can use include coriander, black peppercorn, red pepper flakes, and cumin. I also love using soy sauce, but tamari works just as well, and in a pinch, you can use fish or oyster sauce. If you like it, I would add hoisin sauce, but be careful to not overpower the rest of the flavors.

Is that all of it?

That’s pretty much the whole process. As you know, I love using the freezer method for longer preservation, so once you cook your broth, put it in your freezer-safe jars, and store. This basic vegetarian pho broth lasts up to 3 months, but just make sure you thaw it with enough time.

Enjoy this pho broth as a stock for real pho, in a sauce, as a marinade base, or even as a hydrating drink full of electrolytes!

Basic Vegetarian Pho Broth [Recipe]

Recipe by Gillian Lightman


  • 1 1/2 cups (192 g) chopped cilantro

  • 2 lb (900 g) napa cabbage, sliced

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 2 whole star anise

  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

  • 1 whole clove

  • 2 whole cardamom pods

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 12 cups (2.8 L) of water

  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely

  • 3 stalks of celery, sectioned

  • 1 large carrot, chopped

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1/4 cup (32 g) nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1 tbsp salt


  • Mix clove, star anise, coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a large pot.
  • Toast over low heat while you stir constantly for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant.
  • Add ginger and garlic then stir rapidly for 30 seconds.
  • Pour the water, along with the other ingredients, into the pot.
  • Turn heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat, then let it simmer uncovered for an hour until vegetables are mushy.
  • Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Use a large fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to strain broth.
  • Transfer broth to freezer-safe jars and store in freezer for up to 3 months.