Vegetarian Pho From Ani’s Raw Food Asia

Vegetarian Pho From Ani's Raw Food Asia

Another cookbook recently landed in my kitchen for review, Ani’s Raw Food Asia by Ani Phyo. While excited, I admit I also had doubts. I’m most familiar with Chinese food and it’s usually cooked (some dishes are even cooked a couple of different ways before it’s finally served), there’s not much that’s uncooked. But if anybody can pull off Asian raw food, it’s Ani.

The nicely designed cookbook is jam packed with Asian-American fusion raw food and drink recipes, along with cooking and lifestyle tips. The style of writing is light and conversational in tone, resulting in an easy and inspirational read.

As soon as I saw the recipe for vegetarian pho, I knew what I was going to try first. What a delight! The flavors are spot-on, satisfying savory – you don’t even notice it’s raw. Served at room temperature, it’s perfect for those super hot days.

Vegetarian Pho From Ani's Raw Food Asia

The recipe calls for kelp noodles which I’ve never tried before. Made from a sea vegetable, kelp noodles are rich in minerals, fat-free, gluten-free, low in carbs and only 6 calories per serving. They’re clear and surprisingly crisp. Straight out of the fridge, the neutral-tasting noodles are crunchy. Left to warm to room temperature, the noodles become softer.

Vegetarian Pho with Vegetables and Hoisin Sauce
Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup Nama Shoyu or Bragg Liquid Aminos

1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
4 cups filtered water

4 cups kelp noodles (about 1 pound of noodles)

1/2 cup shredded napa cabbage
1/2 cup tender greens like mustard, Bibb, red leaf, mache, or spinach
1/3 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions

1 cup bean sprouts
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 fresh red or green chile pepper, sliced
1 batch Hoisin Sauce

Marinate onion and mushrooms by tossing in a bowl with Nama Shoyu. Set aside for 20 minutes to marinate and soften.

Make broth by placing ginger, garlic, bay leaf, and 1 cup water in blender. Blend smooth. Add remaining water and the onion marinade mixture. Pulse lightly to mix.

Place noodles into four serving bowls. Put vegetables on top of noodles in each bowl. Pour broth into each bowl.

Place vegetable garnish onto one plate. Serve as a side along with Hoisin Sauce.

Hoisin Sauce
Makes 1/2 cup

1/4 cup Nama Shoyu
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 to 3 tablespoons yacon syrup, to taste
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch cayenne powder, to taste

Place all ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk until mixed well.

Will keep a week or longer in the fridge.

From the book Ani’s Raw Food Asia by Ani Phyo. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2011.

Disclosure: I received the book free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the book expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.

This post also contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.


  1. says

    That looks interesting…especially the hoisin sauce. I’ve not used yacon before. Would you recommend it for other recipes too? How do you get to the stage where publishers are sending you books? p.s your photo here is light and fresh..balanced too. I am impressed with your skills.

  2. chow says

    India-leigh – I didn’t have yacon syrup so I used agave syrup instead. I’ve never used yacon before so I can’t recommend something I haven’t tried yet. I didn’t really do anything to receive books for review, I just write about things I find interesting.

    Noelle – It’s a super yummy recipe! :-)

    Mandy – The kelp noodles were fun to try, I found them at my local Whole Foods.

  3. says

    I’ve only had kelp noodles once, and a single bite at that, but I loved them! If only they were more readily available/not quite so painfully expensive. I think I might very happily make this soup with regular old noodles- It doesn’t need to be raw for me, and it sound delicious either way.

  4. says

    Oh, must try! I have two of Ani’s books already and I LOVE them. This one has been on my wish list, too, so thanks for posting the recipes. Kelp noodles = YUM! (I always sub raw agave for yacon syrup in her recipes because I can’t find it anywhere near where I live and it’s really pricey online)

  5. says

    Raw pho? I’m impressed! It was my favorite food growing up and I’m always looking for a good vegan version. (BTW, love your blog!)

  6. says

    Yum! I have 2 of her books already, this one is on the next list. I’m not sure where to find kelp noodles. I had them once at a raw restaurant and LOVED them. Can’t find them here. I think maybe online somewhere…???

  7. chow says

    Hannah – I was lucky enough to get the kelp noodles on sale when I decided to try the recipe. I bet it would be good with regular noodles too.

    Christina – I had a feeling that yacon syrup might be pricey. Agave is a good sub, I already had it and it’s easy to find.

    Jen – Thanks! I love pho, raw just makes it that much better.

    Tanya – Ani has the kelp noodles at her online store I’m sure there’s other online stores that would have it too.

  8. says

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. After reading about it on your blong and @BreadWithoutButter – I definitely need to give it a try.
    I am also thinking about getting Ani’s cookbook – I have the dessert one but would love to try some raw creations from Asian cuisine.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *