Once the broth and tofu are prepared for this meal it takes no time to put together. I'd count on 30-45 min to have this meal from fridge to table, with not a lot of hands on time or attention needed so you'll be free to do other tasks as dinner cooks. And you can always prepare the broth and tofu earlier in the day to make this meal ready in 10 min when the time comes.
6 cups water
3 veggie stock cubes
8 whole garlic cloves
2 inches ginger, peeled and cut into cubes
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
soy sauce to taste
Simmer first 5 ingredients for 20 minutes. When finished, add rice vinegar and soy sauce to taste. Strain soup before using, or simply avoid putting garlic, etc. into soup bowls.
Dice one block of firm organic tofu into half-inch cubes. Heat a frying pan to med/med-high with oil and add tofu. Brown all sides of tofu and set aside.
Prepare veggies and herbs by washing, cutting and arranging on a plate. I use some combination of red peppers thinly sliced, bean sprouts, bok choy or other green (thinly sliced or even lightly cooked), carrots julienned, broccoli, and so on. For herbs, I always use cilantro and sometimes add basil.
lime (2 or 3 wedges per person)
hot sauce (sirache)
Prepare pho rice noodles according to package instructions. I use one package for 4 people.
When noodles are cooked, drain and portion them out into bowls, adding broth and tofu. Serve with veggies and flavours for each person to add to their own preference.