After visiting Vietnam a couple of months ago I completely fell in love with one their most popular dish, Pho. Normally Pho is based around a bone broth and normally served with seasonal veggie, chicken or beef.
My version is made with a rich veggies and mushrooms stock and served with meaty sticky tempeh chunks. I love how warming, comforting and filling this dish is without being too heavy. Ideally you want to make your stock in advance so you can just throw some veggies and the tempeh in and your meal will be ready in no time!
If you can’t find tempeh sliced tofu will work perfectly as well.
For the veggie stock:
1 white onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 piece of ginger (about a thumb size)
1 fresh red chilly
1 tablespoon of miso paste
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 stick of lemongrass
2 medium size carrots roughly chopped
2 stick of celery roughly chopped
5 chopped chestnut mushrooms
2 litres of filtered water
Salt to taste
1 packchoi roughly chopped
3 spring onions
A generous handful of greens of your choice ( I have used kale but spinach or spring greens will work as well)
6 oyster mushrooms
1 fresh red chilly ( just half if you like it mild)
Few slices of fresh ginger
About 200gr of rice noodles
A generous splash of tamari and Sesame seeds to sprinkle
For the sticky glazed Tempeh:
½ block of Tempeh (buy organic if possible)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
3 tablespoon of tamari sauce
1 flat tablespoon of agave nectar or maple syrup
Start by making the stock. I personally prefer to make the stock on Saturday or Sunday when I have got plenty of time (for best results is better to let the stock simmer for at least 5 hours) so I can enjoy a hot bowl of pho throughout the week.
Roughly chop the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger.
Into a big pot heat up 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Once melted add the chopped onion, garlic, chilli and ginger. Sautee for about 5 minutes until the onions are starting to turn golden brown.
Add all the other veggies plus the 2 litres of filtered water. Bring the stock to boil them turn the heat down to a simmer. Put the lid on and let it cook gently for 4-5 hours.
Once the stock is ready adjust with salt and pepper. Strain all the liquid to a fine sieve. Discard the cooked veggies (unfortunately because they have been cooked for so long there isn’t much goodness left in them to do anything with!). Store in stock in a jar or an airtight container.
When you are ready to make your pho start my cooking the sticky glazed tempeh:
Slice the tempeh into generous bite size pieces.
In a frying pan heat up one tablespoon of coconut oil. Once hot add the tempeh and let it cook onto 1 side for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown. Keep turning the tempeh pieces until they are evenly golden brown. Add the tamari sauce and cook for another couple minutes. Finally add the agave nectar and toss the tempeh pieces around so they all get coated. Turn the heat off and let the tempeh rest in the pan.
To make your pho. In medium size pot pour about 3 cups of your veggie stock. Bring it to boil.
Add the rice noodles, chopped kale (or the greens you are planning to use), packchoi, chopped mushrooms, spring onions, sliced ginger and fresh chillies. Let it simmer on a medium heat for about 5 -7 minutes until the veggies arte tender and the noodles are cooked.
Serve in bowls with the sticky glazed tempeh, fresh coriander, sesame seeds, a squeeze of lime and a splash of tamari sauce.