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I love this as a base recipe, but I made one small change to it. After doubling the recipe size (we really love pho), I actually added a flat of shiitake mushrooms and simmered the soup for the traditional 6-8 hours. Vegetable broth alone isn't enough to replicate the savory flavor of pho, even when combined with the spices. Shiitake is often used by religious vegetarian communities in China and Southeast Asia to replicate a beefy, umami-type flavor in foods, so this is actually a very accurate substitution to make. I used a propane blow torch to scorch my veggies and I tied the spices into a bouquet garni (again, another relatively accurate thing to do, given the French occupation). Other than that, the recipe is amazing. The spices are spot-on perfect. I used to live in Thailand, where we have a similar soup that we just use flat noodles in, and the taste is perfect.

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dopplerthesexybeast September 24, 2012

Great recipe! I'm not a vegetarian, but I was looking for an authentic-sounding recipe to use as a base. I used beef stock instead of vegetable stock and added thinly-sliced beef. The recipe is perfect, and I'll certainly be making the vegetarian version when I'm not cooking for omnivores.

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base_form_one February 01, 2010

Mmmmm.....Total keeper! The only change I made was to use only 1 pod of star anise, one and a half cinnamon sticks and simmer a little longer. My DH added think strips of raw beef to his bowl and the broth cooked it. I added crispy tofu to mine. The flavors and the toppings were perfect, we both loved it and it was fun to make. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I'll be making this again.

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Lucky in Bayview January 30, 2014

Wonderful! Thanks Spatchcock!

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Popcat August 26, 2012

I made this recipe last night for a dinner party, and I was happy to see that it didn't take 10 hours :). I think it ended up taking about one hour. It was DELICIOUS! Seriously, everyone agreed it tasted exactly like pho you get from a Vietnamese restaurant, and I'm pretty sure everyone had two helpings. It was extra fun because everyone could make their own soup as spicy/flavorful as they liked. I had basil, lime, scallions, bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos, fried tofu, and sriracha as toppings. One suggestion I have would be to soak the noodle directly in the soup when it's finished simmering, so you don't have to dirty another bowl! Enjoy!

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juliab07 February 12, 2012

Going to try it. Hope it doesn't take 10 hours ;)

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violabean January 26, 2012

This is really good, I just recently became vegetarian and I love this recipe. It's very close to the Pho broth without the thought of feeding cancer cells in your body, since meat is cancer food!!! I added oyster mushrooms and chickenless strips from Trader Joes and it was the bomb! I'm definitely making Pho again. Perfect for cold nights =)

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onelove808 April 23, 2011

This made an excellent broth. I forgot to add the soy sauce, but after taste testing, it didn't need it with the broth that I used.

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oosphere March 08, 2010

Great recipe! I've never had pho before because there is never a vegetarian version at restaurants, so I was excited to find this recipe. This tastes really fresh. I followed the recipe fairly closely; the only exception is that I used five spice powder in the broth instead of the individual spices (Chinese 5 spice has cinnamon, star anise, and cloves as 3 of the ingredients, so it seemed like a close approximation). I used seitan and basil, and I added both sriracha and hoisin at the end. Very flavorful! Thanks for posting.

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Aunt Cookie February 15, 2009

I made this on a cold rainy night last week and it hit the spot. Just for some protein, I threw in some firm tofu. The aroma was wonderful! Very simple to make and great taste too!

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atm1970 November 04, 2008
Vegetarian Pho