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How to Make Pho Your New Weeknight Wonder

Jennie Dockser

March 27, 2018

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Photo: John Lee © 2017

Popular Vietnamese noodle soup pho is typically a favorite of carnivores, but Andrea Nguyen has a killer vegetarian version that achieves all the same substance and heartiness, minus the meat. A 2018 James Beard Award nominee for The Pho Cookbook, Nguyen devotes her latest release entirely to the beloved dish, tweaking classic preparations and exploring new iterations.

Nguyen’s innovations extend beyond just the ingredients—unlike the traditional pho bo or pho ga, which require several hours of simmering, this vegetarian riff takes just half an hour before it’s ready for the dinner table. Packed with flavor and “beefed” up with mushrooms, snap peas, and pan-seared tofu, this soup also has a secret weapon: the broth. Nguyen swears by a dark, well-seasoned broth simmered with ginger, cinnamon, and star anise, mimicking the hallmark flavors of the standard dish. The result is a warming bowl irresistible to meat and tofu-lovers alike. Make it tonight.

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Jennie Dockser is the media department intern at the James Beard Foundation. Follow her on Instagram.