Vegetarian Pho

The local grocery store runs a weekly promotion where one item is free/highly discounted with your store card. When the item was a free eight ounce package of mushrooms, Dave and I each picked one up with our cards, but then I needed to find recipes to use them all before they could spoil. I had this recipe on my Pinterest already and plenty of homemade vegetable broth in the freezer -- it turned out to be a perfect match.

Recipe from Oh My Veggies.

-64 ounces vegetable broth
-6 green onions, thinly sliced
-1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
-Salt to taste
-1 1/2 tablespoon butter
-8 ounces  mushrooms, stems removed
-1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
-2 teaspoons sesame oil
-14 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
-2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
-Fresh basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha for serving

You'll start by creating a yummy ginger scented broth. In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onion, grated ginger, and salt. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Shameless plug: You might be thinking, what the heck is that blue thing?!? This is a ceramic grater (demo video) and it's an awesome kitchen tool that Dave's parents gifted me for my birthday. You can grate pretty much anything with it without any leftovers, because you will not cut yourself on the ceramic grater like you would a metal grater. This is what I used to grate the fresh ginger and it allowed me to use the whole knob and to get the smallest possible pieces for the broth, that way no one was biting into a big chunk of fresh ginger.

Next, while the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce is thick and coating the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

Divide the rice noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth. Add bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos, hoisin mushrooms, fresh basil and  lime wedges, 

We divided our soup into four servings, our first bowls were a little too spicy, we ended up with some incredibly powerful jalapenos and by the time they steeped in the broth with the hoisin mushrooms the soup was very, very hot. Our second batch was better, we left out the jalapenos and served it the same way. The broth took on a wonderful, light ginger flavor. The hoisin mushrooms helped to add nice flavor and texture. I think added a squeeze of lime is a must, the acidity really complemented the ginger broth and the hoisin mushrooms.


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