Vegan ribs

This is something I’ve wanted to make for a while. The first time I was inspired was from an old blog A Veg*n for Dinner. Then Pintrest kept throwing delicious picture of seitan my way, so I finally read this recipe for Vegan BBQ Ribs (Seitan) with Spicy Korean or Spicy Traditional BBQ Sauce. Last weekend I made a batch partly based on that one, but with my own modifications for what I had in the house, and my need to put maple syrup into everything. It was so successful that most never made it to that intermediate step of plate in going from pan to mouth.

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And then I made another batch the following day that completely sucked. Too much liquid, too great a ratio of chickpea flour to gluten flour. Just a mess.

Today, I tried again.

Ingredients:

1.5 cup vital wheat gluten
2 TBS chickpea flous
2 TBS Nutritional yeast
2 TBS vegetarian beef broth powder
1 TBS onion powder
2 tsp smoked paprica
1 TBS pepper

Combine in food processor

1.25 cup water
0.25 cups mixed smoked, chipoltle and regular maple syrup
2 TBS chili garlic paste
1 drop liquid smoke (optional)

Combine in measuring cup

With food processor running, add wet to dry. Process until all is combined and then a minute more.

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Wrap it and let it rest for 30 minutes.

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Grease up a pan and squish the dough into it. It will not want to cooperate. Force it. I covered it in plastic wrap and weighed it down for a while while the gluten relaxed.

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Preheat oven to 350F

Meanwhile, make up a sauce.

Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (other vinegars are fine if you’re out of cider vinegar. Malt vinegar is nice
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 drops liquid smoke
2 tsp chili powder, I used Kashmiri pepper a friend gave me that his wife picked up in India
2 tsp cumin, ground measure whole and then grind
1/3 cup tamari

Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer while seitan bakes.

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Slice the seitan into riblet slices. Bake in oven uncovered for 30 minutes.

sliced unbaked seitan

Turn heat up to 450. Pour about a third of a cup of the sauce on the ribs. Turn the ribs over to the drier top is now on the bottom. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes. pour some more sauce on, turn the ribs again, back in oven for another 10 minutes or so.

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After baking with sauce

Turn on broiler. Add rest of sauce. Broil for about 2 minutes, turn, place back under broiler. Repeat this step until ribs start getting dark and crispy. Don’t worry of the ribs separate into individual  pieces, that actually helps the cooking.

 

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FRIED!

So I admit to making one of the recipes without taking pictures. I made the veggie burgers after hanging out at the park with the kid after school on a hot day and didn’t even think of it until we were eating. But, as they made 12 burgers, I can at least give you a picture of the finished product since that’s what I had for dinner tonight. And YUM!

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I’m sure this will eventually be on the VegTimes website

But this post is mainly about the fritters. As I said before, the Vegan Soul Food cookbook is always a winner, but perhaps I should have specified taste-wise. These fritters were certainly tasty, but a pain in the ass to cook.

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As you can see from the feature image, I didn’t have black-eyed peas, but used soldier beans instead. I’m sure that didn’t matter.

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I assure you this tasted better than it looks

I also didn’t fry in coconut oil. If I could afford to use 5 cups of coconut oil for frying, I could afford to have someone cook it for me too. Peanut  oil was used instead.

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And here is where all my shots got blurry

See all those little bits in the oil? That’s from the first batch that completely fell apart. It took a while to get the frying right so that they would brown, not burn, and stay together

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Failed fritter and failed photo

But there was a lot of batter so we had enough for me to have a meal and Spouse to have half a meal (supplemented with ramen).

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Would I make this again? Probably. And if I didn’t have seven different kinds of hot sauce in my pantry, I might even make the hot sauce to go with it (we used Alex’s Ugly Ghost Pepper sauce instead.) I would be more likely to make this for a group though as part of a larger meal. Two to three each is more than enough  for an appetizer and it would benefit from being followed by a crisp salad to balance the oil.

 

The next round

I recently had my 15 year anniversary at work and my office gave me a new cookbook. So this round of recipes will include one from Sarah Britton’s My New Roots. This cookbook is really beautiful and the recipes look good too. A little nut-heavy, which is to be expected from a vegetarian cookbook, but one thing I can’t use if I’m cooking for Spouse as well.

The next book in the pile is Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen. I LOVE this cookbook! It is one I’ve cooked from before and never had a bad meal. I recommend this book to anyone, including omnivores.

We travel back in time for the next two. 1987’s Weight Watchers Quick and Easy Menu Cookbook is kind of as grim as it sounds. Lots of “scant teaspoon reduced calorie margarine” and stuff like that. The more fun one is the collection of WWII recipes (and I have a few of those books) in Good Eating: Suggestion for Wartime Dishes.  I find British wartime recipes are great for cooking out of my pantry, and pretty frugal (go figure), as well as putting an emphasis on vegetables, preferably raw (again, duh.)

For the magazine entry, I will be doing the burgers from “Vegetarian Times” this round as well since I didn’t get to them last time. There might be one more from there before the next issue comes as well

No, I didn’t forget a cookbook, just saving it for last. Not all the cookbooks include full meals for every time of day (this assumes you don’t consider cupcakes breakfast, lunch, and dinner), but some do for the liquid lovers. Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric’s Speakeasy is a collection of cocktails to suit every mood.

This seems like it will be a good batch, without too much extra shopping involved, unlike last time. I’ll most likely add additional, thrown together side dishes, or something barbequed to go with a dish, but focus my energy on the cookbook recipes.

See you soon.