Asian-style Mushroom and Vegetable Broth

“I love spicy Asian-style soups and this broth base is a real favourite. You can make it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge or freeze it in portions so that you can put something together quickly when you are really pushed for time.

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; it’s very simple to make and you can serve it with whatever veg you wish. I’ve included some of my favourites to give you a pointer.”

Asian Broth

Jane DevonshireExtract taken from Vegetarian, Hassle Free, Gluten Free
by Jane Devonshire (£22, Bloomsbury Absolute)
Photography © Mike Cooper



Asian-style Mushroom and Vegetable Broth

I love spicy Asian-style soups and this broth base is a real favourite. 

Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Asian Soup, Broth, Mushrooms
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Author Jane Devonshire


For the broth

  • 40 g dried mixed mushrooms
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • a splash sunflower oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 red chilli  finely sliced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass well bruised
  • 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 nori sheet optional
  • 60 ml gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

For the soup

  • 200 g mixed or button mushrooms chopped
  • 110 g asparagus chopped
  • 1 bok choi green leaves chopped off, base chopped into 4 or 8 depending on size
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 75 g beansprouts

To serve

  • 75 g cooked rice per person
  • 2-3 spring onions finely sliced, green parts included
  • 5 g coriander chopped
  • 5 g basil chopped
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 10 g unsalted peanuts roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl with the boiling water and leave for at least 20 minutes until stewed, or overnight.

  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry off the onion and chilli until cooked through and softened, about 3 minutes. Add in the lemongrass, ginger and garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.

  3. Tip: I always cook the onions, then add in the garlic for just a minute or two before adding more ingredients. Onions take longer to cook than garlic and burnt garlic is very bitter and can really spoil your dish before you start. 

  4. Put the soaked dried mushrooms and stock into the pan with the nori (if using; this adds a fishy flavour to the broth in much the same way fish sauce would, so leave out if you prefer), soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

  5. Remove from the heat, strain and reserve the stock, discarding the vegetables. Use immediately; or cool and keep in the fridge for 48 hours in a covered dish or freeze.

  6. To make the soup, bring the stock to the boil and add all the ingredients except the beansprouts. Leave to boil for up to 1 minute, turn off the heat and add in the beansprouts. Stir through and serve immediately.

  7. To serve, divide the rice among your serving bowls, spoon over the broth with the vegetables, and sprinkle on the spring onions, herbs, chilli and peanuts, if using.

  8. Tip: Rice noodles work really well in this dish as well; just cook according to the packet instructions and add them to the broth instead of the rice.