Hail Seitan! Vegan Ribs!

Now that I’ve finished licking the BBQ sauce from my sticky fingers, I’ve got a special recipe to share with you.

I was hunting for something cool to do with seitan today, as I bought a bag at the weekend from Vx and felt like experimenting, and I came across this one in my Vegan Diner cookbook (originally taken from Fat Free Vegan). It’s a fantastic recipe and much simpler than it looks…well…except for when it came to moulding my dough, but we’ll get to that later.

To save more time, I’d recommend making the sauce in advance, it doesn’t take too long and would store for a while in the fridge. Or, you could always buy a ready made sauce to save on time, especially worth doing if you can’t get hold of liquid smoke.

Sticky Ribs

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup of ketchup (I ended up running out so used 3/4 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (I managed to get a small sample from a friend, but I hear you can buy it on ebay. It’s quite crucial for the smokey bbq taste)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar ( you could use maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup molasses ( I didn’t quite use a 1/4 cup and it was still super sweet.)
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • ground black pepper
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before refrigerating.

For the Ribs:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (I don’t think this is necessary to be honest, the sauce gives it a lot of flavour)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup of the sauce above or another bbq sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 c and grease a baking dish with a little oil
  2. Measure out and mix together the wheat gluten, paprika, nutritional yeast, onion, garlic and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Blitz together the peanut butter and water, before adding the soy sauce and liquid smoke (if using) to it.
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix.
  5. Knead the dough for a few minutes. You’ll notice it’ll get nice and stretchy and springy really quickly.
  6. Now you need to try and stretch the dough onto your dish. This is a bit tricky because it just keeps springing back, but keep at it! You will finally get there. I found it didn’t stretch as much as I imagined it to, but it was fine, I got 2 racks of ribs out of this.
  7. When you’ve stretched the dough, cut into 8 pieces. Try to cut right through, but don’t separate them. You’ll notice as you cut it, they’ll try to stick together again, this is fine. Cut the dough in half, so that you have 16 ribs.
  8. Pop the dish into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. I did 20 minutes in a fan oven and it was a little bit much, though the sauce did soften them up again.
  9. When they’re partially cooked, remove them and top with the sauce. Turn over and add more sauce. Get them nicely covered before returning them to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Remove them from the oven, slice them up and serve
Serves 2 huge portions, or 4 normal portions
These ribs were awesome! The texture of the seitan is amazing, they reminded me so much of the real thing but without the pain of having to gnaw around the bone (gross!). I’ll warn you, the BBQ sauce I made was VERY sweet. I think I’ll cut back on the sugar next time, though they did go very sticky and delicious, I just worry about my heart.
I’m going to get some Hoisin sauce and try doing these Hoisin style too. They’re fab.

2 thoughts on “Hail Seitan! Vegan Ribs!

  1. It's one of the only things I've made from the book so far. I did the coconut cream pie thing ages back but it never quite set right. This was awesome though. The cheeze looks good and the raspberry almond cake sounds nom 😀


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