Instant Pot Vegan Pho
Is there anything more soul-satisfying than diving into a steaming bowl of pho? Normally, you’d have to head to a Vietnamese restaurant to savor the traditional noodle soup. But thanks to Nisha Vora’s recipe for Instant Pot vegan pho—from her new cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes—we’re making pho at home (at lightning speed, no less).
“Pho broth is traditionally simmered for hours,” Vora writes. “With pressure cooking, you can achieve a richly flavored broth in a fraction of the time.” Her advice? When charring the onions and ginger, don’t skimp on the oil, or you’ll have a mess to scrape up (but be careful of spatters). And when topping your pho, tear up the fresh herbs for the most flavor impact.
Time to break out those chopsticks.
From The Vegan Instant Pot® Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes by Nisha Vora, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Nisha Vora.
12 ounces dried rice noodles, dried rice sticks or banh pho (found in well-stocked grocery stores or any Asian market)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral high-heat cooking oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved
One 4-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 cardamom pods, lightly smashed with the back of a knife
3 whole star anise pods
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 Fuji apple, peeled and cut into large chunks
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (5 to 6 ounces)
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
One 6- or 8-ounce block baked tofu (plain or five-spice flavor), cut into cubes
3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup Thai basil leaves, torn
1 cup cilantro leaves, torn
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 cups bean sprouts
Thinly sliced hot chili peppers or sriracha
1. Prepare the Noodles: In a large bowl, cover the dried rice noodles with warm water and soak them until the noodles are pliable and opaque, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them in cold water to remove excess starch.
2. Make the Broth: Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and, after a few minutes, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and ginger, cut side down. Do not stir them, but allow them to cook until charred and deeply browned, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the cardamom pods, star anise pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns, and cook for 1 minute, stirring the mixture frequently. Add the apple, cilantro, tamari or soy sauce, coconut sugar and shiitakes to the pot. Pour the vegetable broth on top and stir the mixture to combine.
4. Secure the lid and set the pressure release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook (manual) setting at High Pressure and set the cook time to 15 minutes.
5. Once the timer goes off, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then perform a quick pressure release.
6. When the pressure on the Instant Pot has been released, open the pot and, using oven mitts, remove the inner pot. With a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl, carefully strain the broth and discard the solids. Season the broth with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the broth and taste it, adding more salt if desired. Select the Cancel setting.
7. Assemble the Pho: Place the cooked rice noodles in individual bowls. Pour the strained broth over the noodles and add the baked tofu cubes. Top the pho with the scallions, basil, cilantro, lime wedges, bean sprouts and chilis or sriracha.