How to make Vegan Pho (Pho Chay)

overhead shot of vegan pho with seitan slices

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Homemade Pho Chay (Vegan Pho) - Imagine slurping on noodles immersed in an umami-packed savory broth that's flavored with warm spices! This bowl of noodles will keep you warm and full during the cold season!



For the broth

  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 giant green onion, cut into large pieces (different from leek, see note)
  • 2 to 3 inches of ginger, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 14 cups of water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 daikon (about 500 to 600g), cut into big chunks 
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons salt
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon Yondu (optional)

For pho chay (vegan pho)

  • Rice noodles, cooked according to package
  • Vegetables and herbs such as baby bok choy, bean sprouts, green onion, jalapeno, lime wedges, Thai basil, mint, and cilantro (for serving)
  • Other toppings such as seitan slices, sauteed mushrooms, and/or tofu (for serving)
  • Condiments such as sambal oelek, sriracha, and hoisin sauce. 


  1. Add the water, bay leaves, daikon, and shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Bring it to boil. 
  2. Meanwhile add the onion, giant green onion, and ginger to the air fryer and cook at 400F for 10 minutes. This should char the vegetables. Once the vegetables are charred, add them to the pot. 
  3. Once the broth comes to a boil, add the salt and reduce the heat to low, place a lid, and simmer for an hour. 
  4. Mix together all the spices and place them in a teabag or cheesecloth. Set aside. 
  5. After an hour, add the prepared spice bag to the broth and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes. 
  6. Strain the mixture and serve with noodles, vegetables, herbs, and condiments. 


  • If you can't find giant green onion (although it looks very similar to leek, they are different), go ahead and use regular green onion. Since the regular green onion is significantly thinner, you can use 4 to 5 of them and add to the air fryer for 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes to char them before adding to the broth. 
  • The longer you boil the broth, the deeper the flavor. However, do NOT place the spice bag until the very last 15 minutes so the spices won't overpower the taste. 
  • For extra umami, you can add 1 tablespoon of Yondu to the broth. 
  • Please refer to the "Storing and Reheating Method" and "Tips on making Pho Chay" section above for more information.