There is so much going on in a bowl of pho at a Vietnamese restaurant: Special rice noodles are served in a layered, clear beef broth with several thin cuts of beef, next to garnish you can add yourself, including Thai basil, spicy red chillies and spring onions.

And while this vegetarian recipe comes nowhere near those complex flavours and textures, be warned: It gives enough of a whiff of the original to prompt you to begin plotting your next outing for pho.

VEGETARIAN PHO

Serves 2

2 onions
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1.2 litres miso broth or vegetable broth

200g rice or soba noodles
120g shiitake mushrooms
2 small bok choy
2 small carrots
2 garlic cloves
2 spring onions
1 lime
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sambal oelek (or hot sauce)
½ bunch of coriander
1 handful Thai basil leaves

Halve onions and slice ginger, then place in a hot, dry saucepan with star anise and cinnamon. Roast for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices’ aroma unfolds. Remove pan from heat.

Peel and finely dice onion and ginger, removing black spots. Mince garlic. Place onion, ginger and garlic in pan and add broth. Allow to simmer, covered, at medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Once finished cooking, pour broth through a sieve. Alternatively, the cooked ingredients can be removed with a spoon.

Peel carrots and cut into thin strips. Clean shiitake and bok choy and remove cores. Halve bok choy leaves. Put carrot, mushroom and bok choy in broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Put noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain water and add cooked noodles to soup.

Juice the lime. Add soy sauce and sambal oelek to pho to taste. Serve with fresh coriander, basil and chopped spring onions. – dpa/Aileen Kapitza