08 August 2014

Vegan Pho - Inspiration

I recently moved back to the Vegan Mecca - Portland, Oregon! I am so happy that I am now able to get a wide variety of vegan options at pretty much any restaurant I go into. My problem is, however, that when a restaurant makes a vegetarian dish from what is traditionally a meat dish, they tend to add vegetables to bulk up the meal that don't always go with the dish - green beans, bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, ugh. When I order a vegetarian version of a meat dish, I would like to just have tofu/tempeh/beans/whatever protein sub is appropriate to substitute for the meat and I want the same vegetables as you would get with the original dish. For example, I have ordered veggie fajitas from Mexican places only to be given mixed frozen vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots) to put in my tortillas, instead of just getting the bell peppers and onions. And if I modify a dish to fit my diet it can end up being mediocre because I took off something that was essential to the flavour of the dish.

Anyway, all of this is to say, I don't want to order veggie pho with mushrooms, green beans, bell peppers and whatever other random vegetables they want to throw in, so I am going to make it at home. I spent some time searching for recipes online this afternoon and I thought I would share them on here.

I searched for recipes that made their own broth using flavourful ingredients because that is the most important part of any pho.

http://www.steamykitchen.com/271-vietnamese-beef-noodle-soup-pho.html (NOT VEGAN, but I am including it for ideas on what spices/veggies to use).

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/health/nutrition/noodle-soups-from-the-garden-simple-vegetarian-pho-broth.html?_r=0 (Onions as well as the ginger is grilled before making the broth... count me intrigued on how that brings out that real ginger flavour).

http://thecozyherbivore.blogspot.com/2012/12/vegan-pho-with-green-tea-broth.html (This is made with my favourite green tea - gen mai cha! I'm not sure if I want a "popcorn" flavour in my pho, but it is something to consider).

http://www.oneingredientchef.com/vegan-pho/ (If you are not following this blog, I highly suggest that you do so. Each of his recipes uses "one ingredient" - meaning only whole foods. Everything is as minimally processed as possible and all the recipes look super tasty).

I'm going to be at my sister's house in the 'burbs this weekend and I'll probably take the opportunity to go by Uwajimaya for proper rice noodles, fried tofu cubes, and Thai basil without paying "white people" prices.

Have you made Vegan Pho? If so, any recipe you recommend? Or do you know of some place in Portland that I should check out?