Day 21 – Spicy Barbecue Seitan “Ribs”


Today I’m trying out the seitan I made for day 18 of the challenge, attempting to make some mock “ribs”.

First I mixed up a BBQ sauce marinade, using:

3 Tbs Tomato sauce/paste

1 Tbs Sugarfree maple syrup

1 shot bourbon

1-2 tsp dark soy sauce (light soy will give an equally good flavour, but dark gives a better colour)

1-2 tsp sriracha or other chilli sauce of your choice

1/2 to 1 tsp each of cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper

1tsp garlic paste (or 1 clove, minced)

Salt and pepper to taste

The above ingredients are flexible and the quantities are estimated, feel free to muck around with them, add others or just substitute your favourite bottled BBQ sauce.

Cut the seitan into strips roughly the size of ribs, I used the whole quantity made on day 18, and toss with the marinade. Set aside for half and hour at least. This batch was set aside for almost 24 hours – this recipe was to be day 20, until a citywide power outage stepped in and bumped it out to today.

Grill, bake or barbecue the “ribs” turning and basting with the marinade, until all the marinade is used up and the ribs are glossy and a little blackened around the edges.

Serve with the sides of your choice – I used sauteed kale and mushrooms with garlic and onion.

The flavour of the marinade worked really well, but the texture wasn’t right, the seitan was dense and springy, a bit like crabsticks or pressed ham. Not unpleasant, but not very rib like. If I had planned from the start to make ribs, I might have shaped the seitan block into a flatter, more rectangular shape and perhaps tried for a less dense texture, more fibrous. Nonetheless, this recipe shows potential, I’ll need to work on it a bit, but I’m sure I’ll get there in the end.