Vietnamese pho with tofu
Pho is a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup flavoured with aromatic spices and garnished with bean sprouts, fresh herbs and lime. Traditionally pho is made with beef but we have kept it vegetarian and used shitake mushrooms, pak choi and Tofoo’s Naked tofu, which is rich in high quality protein. This recipe takes a little while to prepare as we suggest slowly cooking the broth to allow the flavours to intensify, but its well worth the effort.
140g or half a block of The Tofoo Co. Naked Tofu
For the broth:
1 white onion, peeled, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
3 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled, finely sliced
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. coriander seeds
15-20g dried shitake mushrooms
1.5 litres of stock made with 1 or 2 vegetable stock cubes
2.5 tbsp. soya or tamari sauce
Juice of half a lime
Drizzle of olive oil
120g shitake mushrooms
1 pak choi, roughly chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds
150g wholemeal rice noodles
Half a lime, cut into wedges
1 bunch coriander
2-3 large handfuls of bean sprouts
4 spring onions, sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
To prepare the tofu, wrap the block of tofu in kitchen paper and place a plate on top along with a weight such as a tin of beans, this helps to squeeze out excess moisture.
To make the broth, place a large pot on a medium heat and add the onions, garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and cloves. Sauté dry for 4-5 minutes until the spices begin to release their aromas and the onions begin to brown.
Add the dried mushrooms, stock and ½ tablespoon of soya sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour depending on how much time you have.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms and chopped pak choi for 8 minutes until soft, then set aside.
In a small bowl, add some chopped garlic and ginger, along with a squeeze of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, 1 tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Chop the tofu into ½ cm slices and dust with arrowroot or corn starch, then add to the bowl and coat in the mix. In the same pan used for the mushrooms, add the slices of tofu and fry for 4 minutes on each side, then set aside with the mushrooms.
Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.
Once the stock has been simmering for 30-60 minutes, use a sieve to remove the onions and spices, and then add the lime juice and remaining soya sauce.
- To serve, divide the mushrooms and pak choi between 2-3 bowls. Ladle over the hot broth, top with the tofu slices, and garnish with coriander leaves, lime wedges, chilli slices, spring onion and bean sprouts.