Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho

I admit, I’m quickly becoming an Instant Pot junky. It certainly doesn’t replace all of my kitchen appliances as so many profess, but it does make select dishes either faster or tastier. Both are true with this quick and flavorful gluten-free, vegetarian Pho. Bonus – it takes advantage of the widely available sprouts of Spring. For a twist, add mushrooms of choice. Don’t have an instant pot? Simply cook the soup portion on the stove top as you normally would. Recipe by Kara Lydon – check out her blog for some beautiful pictures of her creations.

12 ounces dried wide rice noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, halved
4 inch piece of fresh ginger, halved
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
4 whole cloves
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
14 ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 16 squares
Toppings: Fresh herbs like cilantro, Thai basil or mint, lime wedges, scallions, bean sprouts, Thai chili peppers or jalapenos, hoisin sauce, or chili garlic sauce (like sriracha)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cook noodles according to package instructions.
3. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to saute for 7 minutes. Add onion, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and coriander seeds. Stir occasionally, letting the onions and ginger char.
4. Add vegetable broth, water and soy sauce. Secure lid on and set to manual pressure for 15 minutes (making sure valve is set to sealing).
5. Spread tofu in single layer on nonstick baking sheet (or baking sheet lined with parchment paper) and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.
6. Let Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before using quick valve to release remaining steam.
7. Once pressure is released, open lid and using a fine mesh sieve remove and discard solids from broth.
8. To build your pho, add noodles and tofu to a bowl and pour broth over top. Add desired toppings.

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