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Vegetarian Pho

Broth and reconstituted shitakes can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days ahead of time, or the freezer up to 3 months. Gently reheat over medium before serving.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Mike Krautter

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dried shitake mushrooms (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces fresh shitake mushrooms (about 5 cups), caps and stems separated
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered, plus julienned carrots, for serving
  • 2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 large bunch cilantro stems, plus leaves for serving
  • 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium shallots, halved lengthwise, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
  • 3 2-inch pieces ginger, halved lengthwise, plus 1 tablespoon, peeled and finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce, plus more for serving
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • Sambal chili sauce, lime wedges, bean sprouts, sliced chilis, and basil leaves, for serving

Directions

  1. Gather dried shitakes in double-lined cheesecloth and tie-off with kitchen twine. Place in a large pot. Add fresh shitake stems, quartered carrots, garlic and cilantro stems.

  2. Toast cinnamon, cloves, star anise, coriander, fennel and black peppercorns in a small skillet over medium-high, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to pot.

  3. Preheat broiler. Place onions, halved shallots and halved ginger on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, until very charred in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to pot.

  4. Add 16 cups water and season with 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, skim foam and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook until broth is reduced by just under half, about 1 hour.

  5. Remove cheesecloth and reserve dried mushroom caps, then pour broth through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Check seasoning; broth should be well-seasoned.

  6. Meanwhile, slice fresh shitake caps into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Heat oil over medium-high in a medium nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add mushroom slices and cook until softened and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add finely chopped ginger and shallot, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add hoisin and stir to coat. Transfer mushroom slices to a bowl to cool slightly.

  7. Pour boiling water over noodles in a large baking dish or bowl. Let soak 5 minutes, stirring with tongs to release starches, then drain. Repeat, let soak until al dente, about 5 minutes more; drain. Divide among bowls along with reconstituted shitake caps, shitake slices, and julienned carrots. Pour hot broth over noodles and serve with toppings, as desired.

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