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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: 


These are luscious and such a fast way to make a tasty seitan!  I'm going to be eating these once or twice a week.  They're addictive... I may have to make half batches, as my husband and I could not leave them alone and kept bringing each other "just one more" all evening (there's just the two of us.) Don't leave out the tahini... it gives these a richness and a very authentic-rib kind of texture in the bite and it smells so heavenly while they're baking.

I gave these a try last night to complement leftover blackeyed peas and mustard greens.  Made some coleslaw and had a real comfort food extravaganza!  I'm a lots-of-sauce person but I merely daubed one side of these with a 50/50 mix of commercial barbecue sauce and tomato puree, and they turned out so delicious I couldn't bear to smother them in more. Mmm!

The recipe makes four WHOPPING servings, and I can see that it could easily feed six.  It fed us at dinner, was the treat we were nibbling all evening, and will be a part of lunch today.

My oven is being chancy ever since I cleaned it (although I think it's finally fixed as of last night!) so I don't know if it's to blame, but the cooking times needed to make the "ribs" golden and crunchy/chewy were about 10 minutes longer per side than listed-- no biggie, as I was not in any rush.

The whimsical part of me wants to twist loooong triangles of this into "wing" shapes and use Buffalo Wing sauce on them after they're crisp/chewy.  Is that perverse of me?


I really liked these.  They really puffed up big when I baked them, but then they deflated to a normal size after flipping.  I'll be making these again!


these are super tasty, even without the tahini on them (i as out of it last night but have made them the "right" way before). my non-vegan friend really likes them and will request "ribbies" when i cook for her! i mix them with bbq sauce in a pan until lightly coated and then heat them up on the stove to let the bbq flavor soak in some



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