Vegan Rice Noodle Soup

During my one-month stay in Vietnam, I discovered a vegetarian version of the traditional meat-based Pho at a local Zen Buddhist restaurant.

Inspired, I’ve created my own version of this dish that I believe is even more flavorful, particularly the broth which is the most crucial part of the dish.

Here’s the step-by-step video of the recipe:

📝 The Ingredients

For the stock base, I use:

  • Vegetable oil: 3 tablespoons.
  • Onions: Either 1 large, 2 medium, or 3 small ones finely chopped.
  • Garlic: Minced, about 4 cloves to extract a strong aroma.
  • Ginger: One 2.5 inches piece, freshly chopped.
  • Leek: 1 large leek, sliced.
  • Carrot: 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped.
  • Mushrooms: About 100 grams, coarsely chopped.
  • Spices:
    • 1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns.
    • 1 teaspoon of cloves.
    • 3 whole star anise.
    • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds.
  • Liquid: 1 litre of water as the primary broth foundation.
  • Seaweed: 2 sheets of nori, which are added while the broth simmers.
  • Seasoning: Add salt to taste, if necessary.

Moving on to the toppings, I include:

  • Rice Noodles: About 60 grams, cooked according to package instructions.
  • Mushrooms: 4 of your choice, such as Pleurotus or brown mushrooms, sliced.
  • Greens: 6 bok choy leaves.
  • Sprouts: 90 grams of fresh or canned bean sprouts.
  • Garnishes: Fresh chives, sesame seeds, and chili flakes for extra flavor and texture.
  • Optional: For a protein boost, cubed soft tofu works wonderfully.

👨🏻‍🍳 Step by Step Instructions

First, I chopped an onion and garlic cloves and sautéed them over a pot with three tablespoons of vegetable oil until they were soft and translucent.

I then added a roughly chopped ginger, leek, and carrot and sautéed them for 3-5 minutes.

Mushrooms were added next to the pot and I sauteed them for another 3-5 minutes to release their flavors.

Then I added peppercorns, cloves, star anise, and coriander seeds, and poured in a liter of water. This combination was brought to a boil and then allowed to simmer.

The broth simmered for roughly 50 minutes, during the last 20 minutes of which I added two nori sheets to give it a fishy flavor.

I tasted the broth and seasoned it with salt for additional flavor (but that depends on you, of course).

When the cooking was complete, I strained the broth through a sieve into a bowl and squeezed the vegetables to extract their flavors.

The strained broth was returned to the pot, now without the vegetables, and I added the toppings that needed to be cooked, namely the mushrooms and bok choy.

I cooked the bok choy until it was tender yet crisp, but I let the mushrooms cook longer until they were reduced in size and tangibly soft.

At the same time, I boiled water and poured it over the rice noodles and cooked them according to packaging instructions, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking and making sure they cooked properly by covering them with a lid.

To assemble the dish, I first placed the noodles in a bowl, poured the broth over them until they were almost covered, and topped them with the cooked mushrooms and bok choy, followed by the bean sprouts, as well as a sprinkling of sesame seeds and chili flakes. I also garnished the bowl with some chopped fresh chives.

If you want some extra protein, you’re free to add soft tofu straight from the package. And that’s it— a simple rice noodle soup made entirely without animal ingredients.

💬 Frequently Asked Questions

Can I include different veggies in this soup?

Yes, you can use a variety of veggies, such as carrots, spinach, or kale, based on your preference or ingredient availability. In that aspect, it’s a pretty versatile soup.

Can I make this soup ahead of time and store it for later?

I wouldn’t recommend making this soup in advance or saving it for later, unless we’re talking strictly about the broth.

If it is the broth, you can make it in advance or store it in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to three months.

You mention tofu as an optional ingredient, but is there something else I may add?

For sure, you can add other types of protein like edamame, seitan bits (like the ones that have a chicken-like texture), or thinly sliced tempeh.

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vegan rice noodle soup

Vegan Rice Noodle Soup

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  • Author: Alexandre Valente
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 bowls 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Inspired by a traditional vegetarian recipe from Vietnam, our Vegan Rice Noodle Soup contains a rich, aromatic broth infused with spices and veggies that is complemented perfectly with mushrooms, bok choy, mung bean sprouts and tender rice noodles. 


Units Scale

Stock base:

  • 23 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2.5 inches of ginger, chopped
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 100 grams of mushrooms, chopped
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of cloves, 3 whole star anise, 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 sheets of nori seaweed
  • Salt to taste


  • 60 grams of rice noodles
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced (e.g. Pleurotus or brown mushrooms)
  • 6 bok choy leaves
  • 90 grams of bean sprouts, fresh or canned
  • Garnishes: Fresh chives, sesame seeds, chili flakes
  • Optional: Cubed soft tofu


  1.  Start by sautéing chopped onion and garlic in a pot with vegetable oil until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Then, add in chopped ginger, leek, and carrot and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once those have cooked down, add in the chopped mushrooms and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in peppercorns, cloves, star anise, and coriander seeds. Pour in 1 liter of water and bring it to a boil. Finally, let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Add two nori leaves and let it simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Strain the broth into a bowl, squeezing the vegetables to extract their flavors. Return the strained broth to the pot and cook the mushrooms and bok choy until tender (the bok choy will be ready first).
  7. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions, which for me meant immersing the noodles in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  8. Then, assemble the dish by placing the cooked noodles in a bowl, ladling the broth over them, and topping with cooked mushrooms, bok choy, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, chili flakes, and chopped chives.
  9. This dish is best served hot.


For additional protein, add cubed soft tofu.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese

🙏🏻 Before you go, I’ve got a favor to ask!

I’d love to get your feedback on this recipe! Feel free to leave a comment below detailing your experience— and let others know how you feel about it!

Of course, you can also ask any questions you may have about the recipe— and we’ll try to respond ASAP.

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