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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 were TOUGH.  The taste was ok but they were like shoe leather.  Can't figure out why so many liked them so much.  I followed the recipe to a tee.  


These were amazing. I have seen a few recipes for seitan-style riblets before and this was easily my favorite. A++ for the recipe.


ok these were awsome =) I cant wait to make them again :)>>>


I don't know what happened these were like doughnuts with bbq'd sauce . What did I do wrong?


Tried these and they were a total potluck hit!  I made the seitan in balls instead of ribs, and baked them in a glass dish instead of on a metal baking sheet.  Then I put them in the crockpot, smothered with one 18 oz bottle of hickory smoke bbq sauce and 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce.  I let them simmer for a couple of hours and they were absolutely delicious.  In fact, they disappeared!  I'll probably make them again this week, for a vegan picnic.


I made these ribs the first time, following the recipe to the letter, but they just turned out okay. The seond time, i used soy sauce instead of the beef broth, added rep pepper flakes, black pepper, cumin, and curry powder and then put all this with the water and tahini and mix everything with the gluten at once. It turned out spectacular! I love it so much and even my carnivorous husband had seconds and thirds!


this was SUPER tasty! great recipe! i didn't have tomato boullion so i mixed a tiny bit of  pasta sauce (all i had)with boiling water and used a tablespoon of that, it worked. nomnomnom!


I made these ribs tonight and I was very skeptical that they would be edible.  Well, they were AWESOME!  Probably the "meatiest" thing I've had in years.  They were a little chewy, but my boyfriend and I enjoyed that.  I think I did let them stay in a bit to long, because my oven temperature is not accurate, so I always have to play with cooking times.

I did not have any of the bouillon or veggie broth on hand, nor did I have tomato paste.  So, I omitted all of those.  I replaced the "beef" flavored bouillon with chicago steak spice mix and then I added two pinches of chipotle powder, about 1/2-1 tsp chili powder,  1/2 tsp onion powder,  and a tablespoon of sweet & smoky rub spice mix that I happen to have.

I pretty much followed the recipe after that..  I didn't know how much kneading would make it "smooth and rubbery" so I just kneaded for about 2-4 minutes until the seitan refused to go back together, I let it rest 5 minutes and kneaded for another 2-3 minutes.

Also, not sure if it's just me, but I had a difficult time slicing the seitan loaf (or dough ball) into thin strips, my "ribs" were all very very different looking from one another.

I basted them with BBQ sauce which I made by combining about a Tablespoon of each of these: ketchup, wasabi brown mustard, hot sauce, teriaki sauce, pure maple syrup, 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar, and a tsp of the sweet & smoky rub mix.  I just kept making more of this as I continued to flip them and baste them.

I also made up more of the BBQ sauce, heated it up on the stove and after I thought the ribs were crispy enough I tossed them in the bbq sauce on the stove.

My boyfriend and I devoured these!  I will definitely be making these again!  I've only had real ribs once in my life, and I don't ever care to have them again, but these seitan "ribs" helped fulfill a very carnivorous, finger lickin' desire that I apparently had lurking deep below the surface.


This was tasty.  Here's a little trick I used: I added some of the spices that are used in typical bbq rubs and bbq sauce (garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, etc) and mixed them into the vital wheat gluten before adding any other ingredients.  This gave the taste impression that the ribs had been "marinated". 


I really liked these ribs! I experimented with a couple of things:

1. I added liquid smoke to the water before mixing it into the gluten. A generous amount.
2. I cut thin strips and thick strips, in order to see which way I preferred (thin!). They were both thin, but one was very thin.
3. I laid out 2 groups (1 thin & 1 thick) and I stretched out a third (thin). The stretched strips did better. They didn't puff up as much.
4. I did 1 batch in BBQ and 1 in buffalo sauce. I liked them both!

Thanks for the recipe!



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