$4 Pho

$4 Pho

cheap easy vegan pho

If you've never tried the complex, spicy, sour, light-but-filling meal that is pho, you certainly should. There are a few pho places here in our city that make it incredibly well, but if you're not in a city it might be hard to find. As well, most pho is not vegan or even vegetarian as the broth is usually beef or chicken, and fish sauce is almost always added. This version is quick to bring together, meatless but very flavorful, and, as the title suggests, is very cheap to make.

This recipe comes from the lovely Margot Mazur, who runs the ever-inspiring Four Dollar Vegan. Be sure to check out her Instagram and follow for great recipes! 

This makes three large/four medium servings of pho at about $4.75/serving.


  • 1/2 tofu block, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed small mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown rice miso
  • 2 cups bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 servings glass noodles/rice noodles/your favorite noodles


  1. Start by pressing the tofu. Drain the tofu, wrap it in a towel and place a plate on top and bottom of it. Put a weight on top and let it press for at least 15 minutes, or an hour for best results.
  2. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add mushrooms to boiling water, then turn down heat to a simmer. Add sliced garlic cloves to the pot, and let simmer 20 minutes. After they’ve simmered, take out the mushrooms—there’s your broth!
  3. While that’s simmering, however, you can slice your pressed tofu into large cubes and throw ‘em in a pan with the olive oil and a pinch of turmeric. Cook the tofu until golden brown on all sides. The turmeric adds a really nice flavor, and cooking the tofu will keep it from falling apart in the pot.
  4. Take 1/2 cup of water out of the pot and put into a bowl. Mix the brown rice miso into the water and set aside. Take the tofu off the heat, and onto a dish layered with paper towels to absorb the oil.
  5. Add the chopped bok choy and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the tofu and noodles into the pot. The noodles should take only a few minutes to cook.
  6. Prepare the herb plate: slice 1 lemon, 1 jalapeno, and wash and plate the bean sprouts.
  7. Turn off the heat and let sit for about 3 minutes longer. Then add the miso/water mixture you set aside. Miso is sensitive to high heat, so we add this in the end to prevent burning off the nutritional benefits of the mixture. Serve immediately with the herb plate  and salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Did you know you can share your recipe on our blog? Just send it our way and we'll let you know if it'll work for our site! Thanks again to Margot Mazur of Four Dollar Vegan for creating this great recipe! :)

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