This easy pho soup is a simple version of the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. You can add beef, chicken or salmon for extra nutrients!
Today I'm sharing one of my favourite healthy comfort foods - pho soup AKA Vietnamese noodle soup.
Perfect to enjoy any time of the day, and any season of the year, this flavorful soup is both refreshing and comforting. What's not to like?!
Let's set the record straight– this is not the most authentic pho recipe because I’m far from being a Vietnamese cooking expert.
However, I've been eating Pho for years both at authentic restaurants and at home, and I thought it was time to share my simple homemade pho version.
The broth recipe used as a base for my Salmon pho is a simplified version of this broth recipe, so I'll leave it up to you to choose which one to follow, they're very similar in terms of flavour.
The salmon, although is not showcased in the traditional Pho, is truly a fantastic and nutritious addition.
HOW TO MAKE PHO SOUP
This easy Vietnamese-inspired recipe is conveniently gluten-free and dairy-free and requires minimum cooking skills.
It's made with 4 main components put together:
- a protein of choice (tofu, salmon, cod, chicken, beef, prawns)
- rice noodles
I start with a base of vegetable broth (carrot, celery stick, bay leaf half, onion in 1.2 lt of water, simmer for 20 minutes), but if you have chicken broth or fish stock at hand, you can totally use it instead of vegetable stock.
Next, remove the veggies from the stock, and set the broth aside.
In a large pot, stir-fry for 30 seconds the garlic, dried shiitake, sliced lemongrass, star anise, cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon stick.
Pour in the vegetable stock, ginger, raw brown sugar, and a glug of tamari sauce.
You can replace tamari sauce (which is gluten-free) with regular soy sauce if you like, and for a more authentic taste, add in a tiny bit of fish sauce (nuoc mam in Vietnamese).
Simmer the broth for 30 minutes, then strain through a sieve, and return to the pot.
At this point, you can add the shiitake mushroom and let them cook for about 5 minutes, then add the pak choi and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
Now, it's time to cook the protein of your choice. I used salmon this time, but you can definitely substitute it with chicken, king prawns, beef or tofu.
Salmon fillets are super quick to cook in a pan, and they're ready in 5 minutes.
Place the salmon skin-side down on a hot pan drizzle with a little olive oil, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Halfway through cooking time, brush the fillets with the chilli, lime and ginger dressing.
Once they're ready, remove them carefully from the pan and set them aside, until ready to serve with your pho.
Whilst the veggies and the salmon cook, place the rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and let them sit for 3-5 minutes (check package instructions).
Drain the noodles in a colander, and place them under cool running to stop the cooking process.
Now, all the main pho ingredients are ready!
Place a handful of noodles in each serving bowl.
Then, pour the prepared broth together with a handful of shiitake mushrooms and pak choi, top with the cooked salmon fillet and your favourite toppings.
You can use all of the below pho garnishes, or just a few of them:
- Fresh mint
- Fresh cilantro
- Sliced red chilli
- Sliced radish
- Spring onion
- Mung bean sprouts (bean sprouts)
- Lime wedges
Also, feel free to use whatever other toppings you like:
- roasted peanuts
- snow peas
- spiralized carrots
- blanched edamame
These are just a few other great options!
I love serving some extra toppings on a large serving board or round dish and letting everyone top their pho to their own taste preferences.
This Vietnamese noodle soup makes a great dinner party meal, and it's just as perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
And if you're planning a Vietnamese-themed dinner party, give these salmon summer rolls a try too, they’ll go amazingly well with this easy pho!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook!
Easy Pho Soup (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
- 1 l homemade vegetable stock, see notes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 lemongrass, sliced
- 1 tablespoon raw brown sugar
- 2 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 60 ml tamari sauce
- 300 g fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 4 pak choi, sliced lenghtwise into quarters
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 salmon fillets, 125 gr each
- 200 g rice noodles
- handful of fresh mint leaves
- handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 red chili, finely sliced
- 4 radishes, finely sliced
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- handful of bean sprouts
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- In a large pot, stir-fry for 30 seconds the garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms,, sliced lemongrass, star anise, cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon stick.
- Pour in the vegetable stock, ginger, raw brown sugar, and tamari sauce.
- Simmer the broth for 30 minutes, then strain through a sieve, and return the broth to the pot.
- Add the shiitake mushroom and let them cook for about 5 minutes, then add the pak choi and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the salmon skin-side down on a hot pan drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, turning them on the other side halfway through cooking time.
- Once they're ready, remove them carefully from the pan and set them aside, until ready to serve with your pho.
- Whilst the veggies and salmon cook, place the rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and let them sit for 3-5 minutes (check package instructions).
- Drain the noodles in a colander, and place them under cool running to stop the cooking process.
- Place a handful of noodles in each serving bowl. Then, pour the prepared broth together with a handful of shiitake and pak choi and top with the cooked salmon fillet.
- Serve with fresh mint, cilantro, chilli, radishes, spring onion, bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.