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I made Helen’s VEGAN HỦ TIẾU today. I’ve been wanting to make this vietnamese vegan soup ever since @2kismet posted about it on instagram. He is a big inspiration for my continued education about cooking tasty vietnamese food. But please do watch Helen Le’s you tube video if you are–like me–new to cooking this delicious, flavorful HỦ TIẾU CHAY.

I forgot the tofu skin–sniff. Soup was yummy anyway and made me feel really good after a weekend of partying and my son giving me his cold. Thanks G, you’re the best.

Recipe adapted from Helen Le’s blog


  • 1 pear cut into large pieces
  • 1 apple cut into large pieces
  • 2 cobs corn, cut into thirds
  • 1 daikon radish, sliced
  • 1-2 leek cut the white part into thin strips; chop finely
  • 3-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2-3 salted radish cut half into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces and soak in water for the toppings; cut the rest into thin strips for the broth
  • 200 g tofu puffs cut in half
  • 300 g mushrooms (straw, oyster, etc) minced
  • chinese celery
  • cilantro
  • red chili
  • lime
  • bean sprouts
  • 500 g dried Hu Tieu noodles (These are thinner than pho noodles.)
  • rock sugar, salt. pepper
  • light soy sauce Always have varieties of soy sauce around. Cheap soy sauces like kikkoman or even Trader Joe’s are worthless! If you are gluten free and don’t have gluten free soy sauce, you can leave it out of this recipe.
  • mushroom seasonings (optional). I used mushroom seasoning and it was delicious but it does have msg in it. However, the recipe only calls for a couple tsp or so.
  1. Fill a large pot with 4 liters or 16 cups of water. Add the cut pear, apple and green part of the leeks. Also add 2 small cubes of rock sugar, 1 tbsp salt (1 tsp mushroom seasoning optional) and the cubed preserved radishes. Bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer the broth for 1 hour.
  2. While broth cooking, start the toppings. Add some oil in a frying pan and fry the minced white part of the leek. When it turns golden brown, transfer to a small bowl. Also fry 2 tbsp of minced garlic till golden brown and transfer to a separate bowl. With a little bit oil left in the pan, quickly stir-fry the minced radish. Lower the heat and season with 1 tsp sugar, then transfer to another small bowl.
  3. Then add some oil in the pan and stir-fry the mushrooms. Season with 1-2 tbsp light soy sauce and 1 tsp mushroom seasonings (optional). Stir-fry for about 1 minute and you’ll see the mushrooms produce some liquid. Throw in the fried tofu puffs to suck up all the juice. Season to your taste with salt, pepper and mushroom seasonings.
  4. Dip some pieces of dry tofu skin into hot oil to turn them into cracker. Take out of the oil immediately as it will burn quickly. (I forgot tofu skin so don’t have a picture of it!)
  5. Before cooking the noodles, soak them in water for about 15 minutes.
  6. When the broth has cooked for 1 hour, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. It should be delicious already with a mild sweetness from the fruit and rock sugar and the flavors of leek, radish, mushroom, etc. Strain the fruits and vegetables from the broth as these will not go in the soup.
  7. Have everything ready to assemble before you cook the noodles as you don’t want them sitting in the bowls getting cold.
  8. Insert a handful of noodles into the noodle strainer and submerge into the boiling water. Cook until it reaches your desired softness and transfer to serving bowl. You don’t want them too mushy.
  9. Blanch some bean sprouts for a few seconds in the boiling water and place in the serving bowls with the noodles.
  10. To serve, top the bowls of noodles and bean sprouts with the stir-fried mushrooms and tofu, add the fried leek and garlic, and the stir-fried minced preserved radish. Ladle the broth over the noodle bowl and garnish with some cilantro, chili slices, chinese celery leaves and crispy tofu skin. And a lime wedge!