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Dragonfly's Vegan Ribs

What you need: 

2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons vegan beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato flavored bouillon
1 7/8-2 cups water
2-3 tablespoons raw tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I use KAL)
unbleached flour, for dusting
vegan BBQ sauce, to serve

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and grease a cookie sheet. Mix the gluten with the broth and bouillon. Using a fork, make a well in the center and add the water all at once. (Add more if you live in a dry area, less of you don't, hence the different amount.) Mix fast, rapidly encorporating all the gluten. Mix in nutritional yeast.
2. Dust a flat surface, dust your hands and lightly dust the gluten lump. Knead until rubbery and smooth. Use more flour if you need to. Flatten the gluten out with the tips of your fingers. Melt the tahini in the microwave or on the stove. You want it to be smooth, slightly warm and easy to spread. Using just your fingertips, poke the melted tahini into the surface of the gluten.
3. Turn over the gluten and repeat. It won't actually knead into the gluten, but will work in a bit and sit on the surface. Slice the gluten into strips. The thicker the strip, the chewier the rib, the thinner the crispier. Put the strips on prepared sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
4. When the under side is golden, flip them over and bake some more. You want a crispy product. They should puff up at first and flatten as they are browning up. You can add sauce to each side as they are browned up, or add it at the end. We like a small amount of sauce, but you can drench yours, if you like.
These are a homemade version of the non-vegan rib mixes you can buy at the HFS (they require butter). That, and it is a much larger quantity. I have four girls who can eat them all by themselves. I have to triple the batch when my grown sons are here. Those boxes should be out of reach price wise. We eat these every Friday or there is a general household revolt.

Preparation Time: 
1 hour
Cooking Time: 


Good stuff! This is the first time I made seitan homemade (usually I buy it packaged from the store, which is more expensive). I used a soy ginger broth I found in my pantry. I also didn't put the barbeque sauce on the seitan while it cooked; instead, the hubby and I dipped the seitan into the bbq sauce afterward, which was kind of fun. Another great recipe from Dragonfly--thanks!!


I had the same problem as yabbitgirl...  I used non-stick foil instead of oil and they were REALLY stuck tight to it...  :o  Not to mention they puffed up HUGE, never unpuffed even after flipping, and then got too crispy on the outside...  Does anyone have advice on how to cut these REALLY thin?  I used a serrated knife and made them as thin as possible, but they still puffed up to be enormous...  They looked like those big fat bread sticks Italian restaurants serve!  Oh, and if you are making this for one, cut the recipe in HALF!  LOL this makes a ginormous batch...

I will definitely make these again though, I think I must have just made some mistakes in the preparation  :D

Thanks for the recipe! 


Note to self: Remember to oil the pan BEFORE putting the ribs on! Otherwise they stick like mad!
I obviously need to practice making these...the "dough" came out very wet and wouldn't hang together hardly. Maybe it needs to rest before shaping. They were OK, but I'm sure it's my technique that was lacking, not the recipe.


These were not all that great to me. Everyone else liked them though.  Maybe next time I will make them thinner and smaller.


ive made these twice now - the first time i think i mixed in too much gluten flour while kneading - they were chewy but good - also the bbq sauce i used was not that great
this time around - i used less flour in kneading for a very springy dough - also i mixed marmite melted into the water - and added some onion powder and pepper and a little squirt of braggs liquid aminos into the dough - as i did not have the bouillions to use
i also mixed some braggs into the melted tahini
and these baked beautifully -
i made my own bbq sauce and coated them after they were baked -
i have to say - these reheat great in the oven as well - once they have sauce on them!
i have also frozen the left overs and reheated them - which tasted great too.
btw these ribs are now called - 'shrinky dinks' because of the way they puff up in cooking - in my household!

great recipe!
i actually crave these from time to time.


Made this a couple days ago, so so so good!  Used tomato paste (instead of the bouillon), seasoned with oregano, thyme, garlic, onion powder, pepper.  I baked them without the sauce then basted them with it and put them back in for another 5 mins or so on each side.  Made them to go with baked beans and mashed sweet potatoes--southern comfort food at its best.  My fiance thought they were too chewy, but I love them.  Still eating leftovers for lunch 3 days later.  Thanks!


This was the first time I have used wheat gluten and I am not so sure that I did it right.  For starters when I was mixing it with the water etc. it was a runny slop in the bowl so I added some more of the gluten and and added some flour.  Not sure how much but enough so I could empty the bowl onto the counter to knead it.  I cut it into thin strips and baked the specified time but found I had to keep it in the oven longer to crisp up.  It was edible but I found that it had a distinct dough-like texture probably because of all the flour and gluten!  I will try these again but will try some of the suggestions left by others!


HO-LY CRAP! These are gooood!  :D  :D  :D
I didn't have tahini so I used spicy mustard, as other reviews did.
I don't know what tomato bouillon is (where in the store do you find that?) so I mixed 2 T of ketchup and a dash of chilli powder into the water before adding.
Every step of the way it felt like I was doing something wrong... the dough was so wet squishy and made squish noises every time I kneaded it. I kneaded with extra gluten instead of the flour. I didn't know how long to knead! It became smoother but not smooth and still wet... finally I gave up and pressed it out as best I could. It was all holey in some places and no even in texture but I assumed that'd be good for the meaty-ness of the ribs. Anyway, THEN I put it on parchment... dough goes on parchment in my head... BAD MOVE! Parchment makes things not brown... duh me. Anyway, removed it from parchment halfway through cooking and it began to brown. It has a slight floury(?) aftertaste Maybe the tomato bouillon covers that up more.
This is so versatile. I think I will make it again using poultry spices for "chicken" or you could shred it and put a sweet and sour sauce over it for BBQ pork.



This is the third from-scratch seitan recipe I've ever tried, and this is definitely one I'll be making again.  The tahini adds something that most don't, and it's easy and relatively quick.

I made a few seasoning adaptations:

1.  As bbq sauce is already very salty (and I like a lot of it), I omitted the bullion cubes and broth seasoning, which both tend to be high in sodium.

2. I added about 1 tbsp of organic ketchup to the liquid mixture, and seasoned with oregano and onion powder, black pepper, thyme, and would have put garlic powder in had it not been hiding in the back of the fridge.  I added only a tiny bit of salt.

I had a hard time pressing the raw 'ribs' as thin as I wanted, so thin-sliced them with a very sharp knife after they were cooked, and slightly browned them in a skillet with a bit more bbq sauce.  In basting the 'ribs' while they bake, thinning the bbq sauce with water works well for not saturating the ribs with overly salty sauce, and getting them nicely moist.

My ribs were a bit overly-browned even after 10 minutes; I'd check them at 8 before turning, next time.

When reheating, try tossing the sauced ribs in a little flour then heating in a little bit of oil, possibly adding a bit more sauce if you would like.

Thanks, Dragonfly!


ohh yes, very impressive, very realistic, very easy, very yummy....we had the left overs in burger buns for lunch today........the only hiccup is it doesnt say in the recipe when to add the nutritional yeast, but im assuming this goes in with the dry ingrediants at the begining, very very nice recipe, thanks  :o



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